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 The judges present the finalists with all the ingredients, wines, and tableware necessary for their 'dream meal.' SLIDESHOW NEXT »

The judges present the finalists with all the ingredients, wines, and tableware necessary for their "dream meal."

Katie can't believe she forgot to include one of her primary dessert ingredients with her dream list. SLIDESHOW NEXT »

Katie can't believe she forgot to include one of her primary dessert ingredients with her dream list.

Katie realizes that this isn't your everyday 86 pan; it's the winner's pan. SLIDESHOW NEXT »

Katie realizes that this isn't your everyday 86 pan; it's the winner's pan.

THE FINALISTS' JOURNALS
Read more about this episode in the finalists' own words.
Katie Hagan-Whelchel
Sara Lawson

After taking a look back at all the 86ed contestants, it's down to the last challenge for our two finalists, Katie and Sara. Back when they first arrived in New York City, the contestants created a "dream list" of ingredients to cook their "dream meal." Now, the judges provide them with everything on their lists along with the Olives master pantry and two experts: Allison Williams, the general manager of Olives, and Joe Bibbo, the sommelier. The finalists have fifteen minutes to sit with them, write their menu down, pair their food with wines, and pick china and silverware. The staff will set the table exactly as the finalists have required and serve the food and wine to the judges. The finalists have two hours to cook, during which they can serve at any time as long as they are finished serving within two and a half hours. This final challenge puts the contestants in the position of owning their own restaurant and calling all the shots. It will ultimately reveal each of the finalist's strengths and weaknesses as they prepare the entire meal.

In the kitchen, Katie is frantic and all over the place, cutting her finger on a lobster shell and barking orders. She discovers that she forgot to put lavender on her dream list, which is vital for her planned dessert of lavender créme brulee, so she decides to 86 the dessert altogether. Sara, on the other hand, is calm and collected while preparing her dishes. As the courses are served to the judges, some prove to be home runs while others don't do so well. While Sara's foie gras is sliced too thin, Katie's is perfect with a gele, but is paired with sparkling water, which the judges don't appreciate. Katie's oyster dish paired with champagne is a huge hit, but her grits are dubbed as inedible. Sara's herb crusted lamb chop shows influences from Michael Mina and Todd English, which proves to the judges that Sara's desire to learn and grow only makes her a stronger chef. But she makes some errors, such as repeating one wine twice and forgetting to clean a truffle, which leaves the judges chewing grit.

Katie ends up being 22 minutes late, highlighting her lateness as a consistent problem. This leaves the judges with an extremely tough call; they must choose between a better cook with a good palate and a graceful cook with a good temperament. The decision is made as Katie is presented with the pan — only this pan is slightly different from the trademark 86 pan. Instead of an "86" on the bottom of the pan, "WINNER" is printed, and it takes Katie more than a moment to realize what this means. As she dons the Olives hat and white coat, chef Todd English welcomes her as the next great American chef, due to her ability to cook under fire!