‘Top Chef’ Season 13 Reaches the End of the Road—Does It Spell the End for Amar Santana? (UPDATED)

Whatever the outcome, the Broadway and Vaca chef-owner does Orange County proud

Tonight’s the night we learn if local hero Amar Santana, chef-owner of Broadway by Amar Santana in Laguna Beach and Vaca in Costa Mesa, gets the Padma Lakshmi anointment of “Top Chef.”

The 14 episodes of season 13 have been a roller-coaster ride, leading up to what looked like (almost) the end, a demoralizing elimination in a toast challenge. However, handily dispatching two “Last Chance Kitchen” foes, Santana rejoined regular competition in last week’s Las Vegas semifinal. On that show, he made the most of what was kind of a silly challenge inspired by celebrity illusionist David Copperfield, establishing himself as one of two finalists—he’ll battle Jeremy Ford for the ultimate title in tonight’s episode. I think we can expect to see some major cooking indeed.

As an appetizer for tonight’s final, follow Amar Santana through a typical day here, just posted on orangecoast.com. (See earlier “Top Chef”-related here.) If you missed last week’s triumphant return and semifinal, watch it here.

So: once more, with feeling: Go Amar!

UPDATE: That sound you hear is a collective O.C. brain scream. How could this happen? I’m very sorry to report that bro-chef Jeremy Ford won “Top Chef,” even though it sure looked like Amar Santana deserved the titular toque. But let’s see what Amar has to say—I’ll have an update from him in Taste of Orange County tomorrow.

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