'Top Chef Duels' Prediction: Who Will Survive Week 3?
'Top Chef Duels' Prediction: Who Will Survive Week 3?
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
It looked like Brooke Williamson had the judges eating out of the palm of her hand during last week's Top Chef Duels when she won two challenges and twenty thousand bucks. But when it came down to executing a big-top themed three-course meal, it was Shirley who emerged the ring leader. Shirley's presentation and sense of whimsy had her flying high while Brooke juggled furiously to keep up.

Fans of Williamson have reason to rejoice: she may be down, but she's not out. Brooke competed against Marcel Vigneron in The Knockout, and prevailed. Now she's guaranteed a spot in the final round and a second chance to re-enter the Duels.

Week three of Bravo's Top Chef Duels is all about la famiglia. Cheftestant Antonia Lofaso, a Top Chef Chicago finalist, goes up against fellow chef and distant cousin Mike Isabella, the Top Chef All-Stars runner-up. One thing is certain, blood is not thicker than a shot at a hundred grand.

Antonia Lofaso

Antonia has opened two restaurants in California, Black Market and, most recently, Scopa. Antonia shares the secrets of her success as both a busy chef and a single mom in her book "The Busy Mom's Cookbook."

Why She'll Win: Because I want her to. She made it to the finals during her season only to get knocked out of the top three by the much-less deserving Lisa Fernandes. During her tenure on Top Chef All-Stars and season four, she tallied a total of eight combined "Quickfire" and "Elimination" wins. It's time this wallflower got asked to dance.

Why She'll Lose: While Lofaso did attend the French Culinary Institute and worked at judge Wolfgang Puck's well known restaurant Spago, her dishes tend to lack that wow factor the judges go for. And though she's made it far on Top Chef in the past, she didn't have the chops to go up against the really big dogs like Blais and Chicago winner, Stephanie Izard, and yes, Isabella.

Mike Isabella

This guy isn't just a chef and restauranteur, he's on his way to building an empire. He has already opened four establishments with has three more in the works in the D.C./Virginia area. He's well versed in Greek and Italian cuisine and is expanding into Mexican as well.

Why He'll Win: Since his time on Top Chef Las Vegas, during which he won paltry two "Quickfires," Isabella has honed his skills. He had Richard Blais shaking in his apron during the All-Stars final, and "Food and Wine" magazine named him The People's Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2012.

Why He'll Lose: Mike likes to talk a good game, and he has a tendency to be arrogant. He was eliminated from Top Chef Las Vegas for his lackluster vegetarian dish after boasting how confident he was in his abilities. The mighty can always fall.

My Prediction

I'm going with Antonia for the win. I think Mike's ego, and let's face it, more impressive resume, could have him underestimating Antonia's capabilities. Who doesn't want to see this hard-working single mother finally figuratively step up on that middle podium?

Top Chef Duels airs Wednesdays at 10pm on Bravo. 

(Image courtesy of Bravo)