The folks at Bravo tried to keep up the tension, putting the final three chefs through some awkward silences before the judges table. But when Rick Bayless won, was it really much of a surprise? I'd have been more surprised if he'd packed his mocajete and gone home.

So it was that after cooking up Proustian food at the Getty Villa–after the surprise arrival of their own respective sous chefs–Hubert Keller and Michael Chiarello returned to their kitchens and Bayless won the $100K for charity. And, presumably, a lifetime's supply of plastic wrap. (The stuff is actually really good for steaming roasted chiles.) Although the judges weren't wowed by that chorizo “air,” Bayless's barbecue (who knew he grew up in a BBQ restaurant) and his mole negro and his cochinita pibil made everyone very happy.

Instead of attempting to make your own black mole, a project that might well take you 20 years to perfect too, you might consider trying your hand at cochinita pibil. If not, there's always Chichen Itza, which serves an outstanding version of the dish. Maybe they'll wrap up some extra–in Glad–for you to take home for that next Bravo marathon.

LA Weekly