Who won 'Top Chef: Seattle': Kristen Kish or Brooke Williamson?

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who-won-top-chef-kristen-kish-brooke-williamson-bravo.jpgWith the competition down to Brooke Williamson and Kristen Kish, one thing is clear going in to the finale of "Top Chef: Seattle." Season 10 would produce the second female winner in "Top Chef" history. The first female "Top Chef" was Stephanie Izard in Season 4. "It's about time," Izard tells host Padma Lakshmi, as the competition gets underway.

Brooke, who goes in to the finale with the most challenge wins for Season 10 is Co-Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Hudson House and The Tripel in the Los Angeles area. She faces Kristen, who was eliminated from the competition by way of a shocking turn of events in Episode 11.

But the Chef de Cuisine at Barbara Lynch's Stir in Boston spent weeks fighting her way back in to the competition by winning round after round of "Last Chance Kitchen," the web spin-off series which pits the eliminated chefs against one another.

In a final twist for Season 10, the "Top Chef" finalists will face off for their elimination challenged in front of a live studio audience. They have three hours to prepare their (hopefully) winning dishes, with the help of sous chefs chosen from among the recently eliminated "cheftestants." Each finalist has planned a five-course menu, and the dishes will be judged course by course. The first finalist to win three rounds will be named "Top Chef."

Brooke's helpers are some of the most popular among fans of the show -- CJ Jacobson and Stefan Richter, who both returned from previous seasons, and Kuniko Yaki. Kristen is working with Sheldon Simeon, the last chef eliminated before the finale, Lizzie Binder, and Josh Valentine, whose wife gave birth to their fist baby while he was competing as part of the final three chefs in Alaska.

In the audience for the live cook-off, which was clearly a surprise to the finalists, are all nine previous season "Top Chef" winners. And, of course, the judges: Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, and Hugh Acheson.

Here are the winners of each course, round by round:

First Course: Kristen - Chicken liver mousse with frisée, mustard, prune, hazelnuts and pumpernickel
Second Course: Brooke - Seared scallop with salt cod puree, speck, black currant and mustard seed vinaigrette with juniper and romesco
Third Course: Kristen - Celery root puree with bone marrow, mushrooms, bitter greens and radishes
Fourth Course: Kristen - Red snapper with leeks, little gem lettuce, tarragon, uni and shellfish nage

And with that, the winner of "Top Chef: Seattle" is ... Kristen Kish!

"This win means absolutely everything to me," says Kish. "Being the second female 'Top Chef' is fantastic, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to win regardless. I'm gonna go back to work because I absolutely love it, and make myself a batter person and make myself a better chef." Kristen, who we learned earlier in the season was born in Korea and adopted by a U.S.-based family, also says she's planning a trip to her native country "in the very near future."

Congratulations to Kristen, the Season 10 "Top Chef!"
Photo/Video credit: Bravo