And then there were two. On Celebrity Cookoff, only Carnie Wilson and Dean McDermott remain in the competition. These two would compete tonight and one of them would be crowned the winner of Season 2. Carnie competed for the Autism Research Institute, and Dean McDermott the Miracle Babies Association. The winner’s charity would receive $50,000 and the runner-up’s charity $10,000.
Tonight’s competition challenged the two cooks to prepare dishes for a celebrity dinner party. Guests attending the party were comedian Kathy Griffin and six of the best chefs in the country including Suzanne Goin and Nancy Silverton. Further, they would cook out of a mystery kitchen. In other words, they would not know what ingredients they’d have to work with until getting in the kitchen. The menu would include an appetizer, entree and dessert. After dining, the guest judges would vote on which of the two would be the winner. Although they didn’t know what food was in the pantry, the two contestants met with their mentors to come up with a vision for the menu at the party.
After entering the kitchen, the contestants were given time to gather their ingredients. Dean began by grabbing his proteins (advice given by Guy). Carnie looked specifically for items that would help her make some of her favorite dishes. Just a few minutes into the challenge, Guy and Rachael brought in two helpers for Dean and Carnie. These helpers were their best friends.
Carnie was just thrilled when she found tuna in the pantry and other items for her simple menu. For an appetizer, she planned to make a tuna dip served with chips, and for her entree, a pesto pasta with shrimp. Nonetheless, she became discouraged when she saw Dean preparing some of his more elaborate dishes. His menu would include seared scallops, lobster and greens as an appetizer, and a wrapped petite filet with red potatoes and asparagus tips for an entree. Because Dean had so many components to his dish, he really struggled to get everything on the plate. He was also unhappy with the steaks but hoped for the best. Finally, the two cooks were given 20 minutes to make a dessert. Carnie chose to make baby apple fritter balls with vanilla ice cream, and Dean a grilled pound cake topped with fruit, caramel and syllabub.
At the party, Dean was given many kudos for his scallops. The lobster and sauce were given less favorable remarks however. His entree was tasty but called disjointed by one of the chefs. Carnie’s tuna appetizer was praised for taste but criticized for its portion and watery texture. Her pasta was cooked perfectly and the chefs impressed by her having seeded the tomatoes. At dessert time, no one had anything negative to say about Carnie’s donuts. With Dean’s dessert, however, some thought he put too much alcohol in his dish. But clearly the professional chefs were impressed with his skill and technique.
Finally the guests were given ballots on which to cast their votes. Meanwhile, Carnie and Dean sat down one last time with their mentors. Rachael and Guy, however, had no clue as to who the judges would choose to win. Before the announcement, the contestant’s families joined them. After six weeks of grueling competition, Dean McDermott was named the winner of Celebrity Cookoff, season 2. He won however by just one vote.