Tonight at 9 p.m. Portland's epic entry into the Top Chef arena ends, as Departure's Gregory Gourdet and L.A. chef Mei Lin compete in the season 12 finals for the $125,000 prize. We were lucky enough to have two local chefs in the competition, all the way up to the finals. Now, with Imperial's Doug Adams out and Gourdet hanging on, we can't wait to see if the title comes home to Portland.
Right now, Gourdet is in New York doing the media rounds with Lin, who was just in town for Chefs Week. After tonight's episode, they'll be on Bravo's talk show Watch What Happens Live at 11 p.m., where they can finally dish on all the stuff they've had to keep under wraps. So although you can't track him down at Departure, if you want to cheer him on in the company of others, Imperial will be showing the finals with the sound on, and you can taste some of Adams' dishes from the show, including the uber-popular fried chicken with compressed watermelon, honey from the rooftop beehives, and housemade hot sauce.
Meanwhile, if you want to get yourself geared up for tonight's episode, The Oregonian examines the "Top Chef" effect on local chefs and restaurants, and its TV writer Kristi Turnquist offers predictions for who will win. And you can check out this teaser video to see what's in store tonight. There is, oddly enough, a hot air balloon ride.