I'm very excited that Rick Bayless won the first season of Top Chef Masters. His video is adorable. What a low-key guy!
It was interesting to have watched the series and root for the finalists; I would have been OK with either Bayless or Hubert Keller winning, but the previous couple of episodes Michael Chiarello came off like, well, a jerk, so I wasn't rooting for him. Particularly in the episode where the finalists had to interview former Top Chef contestants, he made them scramble to chop stuff for him, and asked everyone how to pronounce his name. Degrading interivew questions! The other 2 chefs treated the TC-ers more respectfully, both in the interviews and during the ensuing challenge.
Oh, and in the video Bravo calls his "exit interview" he says he "could have manipulated the outcome" of the finale by choosing a different dish! What an egomaniac. He's a good-looking guy but did not deserve to win.
I also think it was fitting Bayless won because his is a true American cuisine; Keller cooks from a French background; Chiarello from Italian roots; but Bayless has Oklahome BBQ roots and specilizes in Mexican cuisine, which is also North American.
I also want to say that I like that Kelly Choi hosted the Masters episodes; we watched her on her NYC-cable channel days and it's nice to see her on a bigger stage.