Dean McDermott, winner of Season 2 of "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity… (Oxygen media )
After six weeks of sweat and tears, mishaps and triumphs in the kitchen, Dean McDermott was announced the winner of "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-off," on Sunday night's finale episode. Woo hoo, "Daddy D!" He was clearly the favorite to win from the start, having been the only one with any culinary know-how. Let's take a look at how he beat fellow competitor Carnie Wilson in the finale.
It was home cook Wilson on one side of the kitchen and budding chef McDermott in the other. The challenge: Throw a three-course dinner party for 11 people in a mystery kitchen with 30 minutes for the appetizer, 40 minutes for the entree and 20 minutes for the dessert. Neither had any clue what was available in the fridge and pantry until they got there.
When Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri announced who would be at the judges table, they talked about how important the judges were, how one was an international superstar, then proudly announced the guest of honor was Kathy Griffin. I let out a sarcastic laugh at how lame and D-list this "special" guest was only to be promptly shut up by the rest of the table. Jet Tila, Brad Miller, Michael Cimarusti, David Lentz, Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin were all seated. Talk about a "Top Chef" worthy judges table!
McDermott went for elegance and made an appetizer of scallops, lobster, mango gastrique and crostini, an entree of flank steak-wrapped filet (yes, steak wrapped around steak) with smashed potatoes and cauliflower curry puree and a dessert of grilled pound cake with syllabub and caramel. He overdid each course but managed to impress everyone, including me. Wilson was decidedly more safe in her approach, with a tuna dip appetizer, pesto with shrimp pasta entree and apple fritters for dessert.
The judges respectfully critiqued each dish, but found McDermott's meal worthy of the $50,000 prize. He was able to donate that money to Miracle Babies, an organization that raises funds for neonatal intensive care. Wilson also won $10,000 for the Autism Research Institute.
I went into this show thinking it would be just another celebrity reality show. And it was, but I admit I got sucked in. Yes, some of it bordered on too cheesy to stomach at times, but it was fun to watch and I can honestly say I'm sad it ended. Bravo, "Daddy D." The right celebrity won.
'The Taste' recap: Comfort food heats up
'Rachael vs. Guy' recap: Food truck wars
'Top Chef' recap: Good ol' salmon bake for Brooke Williamson
Follow Jenn Harris on Twitter or Google+