Today's News: Our Take - Top Chef's Brooke: I Didn't Like the Finale Format

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Brooke Williamson | Photo Credits: David Moir/Bravo

Brooke Williamson was riding a three-elimination challenge win streak heading into the Top Chef finale, but the Los Angeles-based chef came up short to Kristen - or more specifically, two rounds short after Kristen took the title 3-1 in a best-of-five contest. "I didn't love the format of how they judged in rounds," she tells TVGuide.com. "I felt like it should've been a collective judging based on an entire meal. It would've been nice to actually put my dessert out." What was her planned dessert? Does she regret making those fried chicken wings? And does she have any more phobias? Find out below.

Top Chef's Kristen: "It doesn't feel real"

What was going through your mind when you were serving the fourth course, knowing it could be your last?

Brooke Williamson: I wasn't really thinking like that. I was just really happy with the dish. I feel like it was my best dish of the night. I felt like it was a perfect dish and there was nothing that I would change if I had to do it over again. It's great to feel like that about the last plate that you put out in a competition. It's a little bit bittersweet because I didn't even get one vote. [Laughs] So that's essentially the dish that sent me home, so it's a little bit frustrating, but I at least feel like I ended on a positive note. I loved the dish, but they all loved Kristen's more.

I was convinced when Padma explained the format that it would go five rounds.

Brooke: I was convinced it would be that way too! [Laughs]

What did you think of the format change?

Brooke: I know there's some backlash about it. I thought it was a lot of fun cooking in front of a live audience. You're able to see how it all begins and the evolution of the food by the time it hits the plate. People saw all of it, which was really cool. I kind of forgot that people were there for a while. I didn't love the format of how they judged in rounds. It would've been nice to actually put my dessert out. I really thought I could get it to the fifth round. But it was fun.

What was your dessert?

Brooke: A black chocolate miso cake with red bean tapioca pearls and milk jam and black tea ice cream. I was very happy with the way my dessert turned out and I had spent a lot of time on it. I wouldn't have spent so much time had I known it wouldn't have been served! [Laughs]

How much pressure did you feel after you lost the third round?

Brooke: I was more concerned with getting the next course out. I wasn't really thinking, "Oh, this could send me home. This could not send me home." I just wanted to get my best food on a plate and serve it. It was more that I wanted to get back to work.

Do you think the chicken wings did you in? Were they too risky?

Brooke: I don't know if it's any one dish that did me in. I was happy with all the food that I served. I guess it wasn't the time or the place to be serving the chicken wings, but I thought it would be playful and fun. They just weren't what they were looking for, I guess.

Tom said he got it, but he didn't get it.

Brooke: Yeah. I mean, Padma loved them - she was licking her fingers. I thought they all enjoyed the flavors. I knew it was a risk, but I felt like it was a good dish.

Maybe it was because you forgot the wet naps.

Brooke: [Laughs] Exactly!

VIDEO: Top Chef's Brooke and Kristen mix it up with cocktails

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