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Two servings of 'Top Chef,' coming right up [Updated]

August 20, 2009 |  1:48 pm

'Top Chef' Masters 

If you're reading a food blog, you probably fall into one of two categories: someone who TiVoed the "Top Chef Masters" finale and premiere of "Top Chef: Las Vegas" and has spent the day doing your best to avoid any spoilers. Or, you got a bellyful of back-to-back "Top Chef" and want to pore over every last detail.

So, to make everyone happy, here's what we will do: No spoilers here (you can click if you want to read more). But we will say that the finale of "Top Chef Masters" was amost un-"Top Chef"-like. The remaining chefs -- Rick Bayless, Hubert Keller and Michael Chiarello -- were given plenty of time, zero curveballs and even an extra pair of trusted hands in the kitchen. They just cooked their hearts out. When you're ready, you can click below to read more, and check out this chat with the inaugural Top Chef Master.

As for the premiere of "Top Chef: Las Vegas," we will only say this: Seitan worship was involved.

-- Rene Lynch

Check out another take on the finale after the jump ...

Rick bayless Well, Rick Bayless has really made a name for himself. Not only is he a wildly successful chef and businessman (check out his appearance on CNBC's "The Entrepreneurs"), he's now earned rights to the title of Top Chef Master.

Viewers were undoubtedly charmed by his passion and enthusiasm throughout the season, where he proved that Mexican cuisine can be refined and sophisticated, yet still utterly approachable. Bayless brought us "Mexico, One Plate at a Time," whether he was under the gun in a quickfire or busy fending off Chiarello's snarky remarks.

Bayless' edible chefography was a good read, giving viewers a peek into the real Rick. Gael Greene didn't seem to enjoy his chorizo air, stating that she was, "so predjudiced about air. Whenever I see it, I just wonder what they are trying to do to me." Is this woman human?

Regardless of Greene's anti-air bias, Bayless won the bragging rights, plus $100,000 for Frontera Farmer Foundation, which supports small, family-owned, sustainable farms in the Midwest.

Gawker can poke fun at him for sounding like Ned Flanders all they want. I still love the guy to death. And how about that mole that used 27 ingredients? Viva Mexico!

-- Krista Simmons

Photos, from top: "Top Chef Masters" finalists Michael Chiarello, from left, Hubert Keller and Rick Bayless; Bayless during an episode shot at Universal CityWalk. Credits: NBC Universal; Bravo.

Photos, from top: "Top Chef Masters" finalists Michael Chiarello, from left, Hubert Keller and Rick Bayless; Bayless during an episode shot at Universal CityWalk. Credits: NBC Universal; Bravo.

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