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Simeon cut from ‘Top Chef’ finale
HONOLULU PULSE STAFF / email@example.com
Last night was the end of the line for Hawaii’s season 10 “Top Chef” contender, Sheldon Simeon, executive chef of Star Noodle in Lahaina.
Simeon and Brooke Williamson were the final chefs still standing after last week’s episode on Bravo. Last night, Kristen Kish, a previously eliminated contestant who vied for a spot in the finals by cooking against other eliminated chefs, re-entered the competition.
The chefs’ challenge was to produce a three-course meal served at Craft restaurant in Los Angeles, owned by series judge Tom Colicchio. Among the diners were guest chefs Martin Yan and John Besh as well as judges Hugh Acheson, Emeril Lagasse, Colicchio and host Padma Lakshmi.
Simeon’s lineup of dishes — Sashimi Spot Prawns, Court Bouillon, Radish and Asian Herbs; Roasted Quail, Pine Nut Puree, Garam Masala and Tangerine; and White Chocolate Mousse with Apple and Fennel — was deemed muted and uncharacteristic of his usual style, which was to deliver vibrant flavors.
Perhaps Simeon’s greatest achievement in the competition was winning the executive chef position in “Restaurant Wars,” when he created a restaurant and menu based on his grandfather’s Filipino dishes. The victory earned him $10,000 and a car.
Simeon, a two-time 2011 James Beard semifinalist — for “Rising Star” and “Best New Restaurant” — was named “Best New Chef People’s Choice” last year by Food & Wine magazine. He was raised in Hilo and started his culinary education at Leeward Community College and continued his training at Maui Culinary Academy.
Last night’s episode was a return to Craft, where contestants were challenged in the first episode. The rest of the season was held in Seattle and Alaska.
On Feb. 27, the season finale, Williamson and Kish will prepare their best five dishes in front of a live audience of friends, families and previous nine “Top Chef” winners. The winner will take home $125,000.