Francis Lam

Francis Lam marvels at Bryan's Asian-inspired dish.

on Aug 1, 2013

It's great to be back on Top Chef Masters! And so great to have Gail join us this year. She and I didn't know one another, but within seconds of our first tasting, I knew I was her brother from another mother. The way she tasted and observed the food was so spot-on (by which I mean, "was so like me," which I guess makes me a narcissist), it was like she was saying exactly what I wanted to say before I even thought it. (I guess I shouldn't basically be telling the producers that she's made me redundant.)

OK, let's forget that paragraph ever happened.

Anyway, it was great to see Curtis again, who was even sharper and smoother than I remembered, and James, who is always that hilarious/craycray. Yes, he actually told Kathy Lee Gifford to come inside his body and taste with his mouth. And Kathy Lee... man. You know what I learned this episode? I learned that you don’t get to be Kathy Lee Gifford unless you have morning talk-show energy and wit 24 hours a day. That woman's dynamism is unreal! And when you give this bunch that many opportunities to joke about eating hearts and heads, you better hide the kids. Or have careful editors.

(Oh, and yes, shrimp heads -- and shells -- are delicious! Imagine packing all the flavor of shrimp into a thin crackle. The key is that they have to be really well-cooked with dry heat, meaning grilling, roasting, or frying, so they actually crisp and break up when you chew them. Try it!)