Josh Valentine got the boot in the penultimate episode of Top Chef Wednesday night. Valentine and his fellow contestants, Sheldon Simeon and Brooke Williamson, traveled to Alaska where they first cooked at a dog-sledding training camp, and then were tasked with feeding the governor of Alaska, Sean Parnell. Each contestant had to make the dish that inspired them to be a chef in the first place; Williamson channeled her mother’s cooking style and made a meal of braised chicken and grilled quail, while Simeon concocted a seafood stew and Valentine cooked foie grass three different ways. In the end, Valentine’s versatile dish didn’t make the cut.

Valentine’s trip to Alaska was complicated by the fact that while he was in competition he learned his wife was giving birth to his daughter.

“Man, obviously it was super difficult,” Valentine told EW. “That may be the hardest thing that I’ve done. As a husband, you want to do everything you can to be there for your spouse, and I wasn’t able to.”

Valentine also stood by his decision to go with the foie gras. “I wanted to step outside of what the judges were used to and what people were used to seeing me do and do something that really inspired me to be a chef.”

As for who he wants to see take home the Top Chef prize, Valentine was reluctant to play favorites, but ultimately said he’d like to see Simeon win it all.

Top Chef will air part one of its season 15 finale next Thursday on Bravo at 10 p.m. EST.

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