Adam Erace Adam Erace battles adult on-set diabetes and cankles as the restaurant critic for the Philadelphia City Paper. He also writes about food and travel for publications like Details, Fodor's and Southern Living. He lives in South Philly with his wife, Charlotte, and two rescue mutts, Lupo and Marco.
When the judges tasted their first bite of Nick Elmi's crudo on the Top Chef finale last night, the future was looking bleak for our dimpled homeboy. It needed salt, a recurring tick for Elmi all season. Praise mounted out over the course of his meal, which included scallop noodles a la Jason Cichonski, a duck dish Tom declared was the best thing he'd eaten all season and a redeeming panna cotta with papaya. But going against Nina Compton, whose meal elicited similar oohs and aahs, victory was hardly in the bag.
After hours of debating, Nick edged out Nina in what the judges called the closest finale ever. And now, Philly has two Top Chefs. Remember: We called it.
After Nick was announced as Top Chef, Twitter exploded. A selection:
Are foodies turning over cars on East Passyunk? #TopChef— Foobooz Philadelphia (@foobooz) February 6, 2014
Make that two Philly Top Chefs. @BravoTopChef I think we know where season 12 should be.— Andrew Erace (@andrewerace) February 6, 2014
Nick you are #TopChef and the crowd erupts @jasoncichonski @gaslightphilly #Philly #FB http://t.co/99xMm3nFEZ— PhillyChitChat.com (@iPhillyChitChat) February 6, 2014
We're so happy for @nicholaselmi & @KristenElmi, it's great to see good things happen to good people!— COOK (@cookphilly) February 6, 2014
Another Philly Top Chef winner! Must be something in our wooder... #TopChef— foodzings (@foodzings) February 6, 2014
During the hoopla, the handle for Elmi's EPX restaurant, Laurel, was trending number-one in Philly. Good luck getting there now, by the way.
Wow. @LaurelEPX booked into April #TopChef.— Foobooz Philadelphia (@foobooz) February 6, 2014
Throughout the night, Elmi's Twitter was silent, as he was live filming the after-show, Watch What Happens Live. But this morning he shared this:
Dear Philly, I love you. Thank you for your support. #TopChef— nicholas elmi (@nicholaselmi) February 6, 2014
We love you too.
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