George Pagonis Makes Top Chef’s Final 4

The Kapnos chef edges his way toward the finals.

Local cheftestant George Pagonis remains in the Top Chef game after a tough battle last night, and has reached an impressive point in the series: the final four.

Photograph courtesy of Bravo.

While there’s no telling who’ll take the winning title, the Kapnos toque definitely earns the status of “most improved player.” Pagonis was the first to pack his knives and go on the inaugural episode over some unfortunate clam shucking. He then returned in a Top Chef-ian twist where ousted competitors are given the chance to cook their way back onto the show. Last night’s challenge was a tribute to Julia Child and Jacques Pépin, for which Pagnois prepared a decent-but-not-winning braised veal. More triumphant: slipping in a “that’s what she said” at the judges table to Padma’s declaration of loving “a hint of hot dog.”

The next new episode on Wednesday, January 21 will be a big one for Pagonis, as it determines who’ll go on to the finals. The Elimination Challenge involves family members joining the remaining cheftestants as sous chefs. Given the Pagonis’s culinary background—his brother Nicholas is a general manager/partner at Kapnos, and his family owns a diner in Alexandria—we have our fingers crossed.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.