Emeril Lagasse

Emeril reflects on encouraging the chefs to cook from the heart and to leave a tangible mark on his beloved New Orleans.

on Jan 220

Bravotv.com: What did you think of this week's Quickfire challenges? What do you look for in the perfect bite? What did you think of Carlos and Nick's work with the red peppers and eggplant?
Emeril Lagasse: I really enjoyed this week’s Quickfire challenge. It was nice to see the chefs competing in a different format, especially this close to the finale. For me, the perfect bite is all about balance. I think that both chefs did a nice job with this challenge, but it seems that Carlos was able to better highlight the produce by keeping it simple.

Bravotv.com: Tell us about why you decided to allow the chefs to leave their mark on your restaurant? What did you hope the chefs would come up with?
Emeril: I'm very proud of this group of chefs and I wanted to share their work with our customers by letting them taste the winning dish first hand. It's been an amazing journey for these cheftestants and they have truly embraced the cuisine and local ingredients of the city. It's really cool that they were able to compete for such a tangible prize that I think is pretty significant in leaving their mark.

Bravotv.com: What did you want the chefs to embrace and taste over dinner at your restaurant? Were you hoping to strike inspiration in them?
Emeril: By sharing my food and experiences with them, I was hoping to inspire the chefs to use what they have learned throughout this season and to cook from the heart in the Elimination Challenge.

202 comments
sakibetty
sakibetty

You are my favorite judge! You are refreshing, honest, and kind. You're a classy guy and it's SO great to watch you in candid (well, as candid as reality tv gets) social situations. If I watch the next season of Top Chef it will be only if you're still a judge! Lawd knows I did NOT agree with this season's winner. He has zero grace and charm and doubt anyone cares where he goes from here. It will be very hard to get reeled into next season after such a disappointing outcome. This is due to the production and editing: if the judges and show leads us to believe the person is not putting out great dishes then that person wins... we all feel like sheeple. We cannot taste the food. So for the life of me, we don't understand how someone with constantly bland food won. It's a horrible trick to play on the audience. But you are awesome and will look forward to seeing more of you!

SouthIL
SouthIL

As a viewer, it appears as though Tom DOMINATES everyone else at the judge's table.  He comes off as an insufferable bully.  How many time could/should Nick have been eliminated, but for some reason wasn't.  Stephanie was a CLEAR VICTIM of the rules of the game, with Nick prevailing, Tom satisfied. Then Shirley! Now Nina.  He did the same thing with the Voltaggio bros.  He wouldn't be satisfied until the final pitted them against one another.  He makes Simon Cowell seem tame.  Please Emeril, stop letting him get the best of you.  You, Gail and Padma are at least as good for the show as him.  Hugh is just an "interesting choice" for a judge.  This season was quite frustrating from the viewer's side, and it appeared that Tom controls all of you.  You're better than that.  If that's not the way it is, Bravo's editing team may need a sit down.  This household are fans of Stephanie, Shirley and Nina, and can't wait for a new season of The Amazing Race.

wendy18
wendy18

Dear Chef,

I have been watching you since early "Food Network". I loved it when Shirley said, "He's like my Uncle". I made your seasoning mix before it hit the grocery shelves. You got me excited about cooking again, and you were never shy about adding the spices I  grew up on. OK, they were "Low Country" and Creole, and I had the beginnings of an ulcer by age 10. It did not matter. Still love you!!! If you ever need a recipe for "Chow-Chow" let me know, LOL.

better
better

Since last nights & it's finally two to be tied to cook-off! Besides grades & points given out were not correct for never his fashion Spanish styles!

Your main judges in fashion runway's afterwards critic's by label titles & 'Shenanigans' tell what level on theory of nothing ,or pointless as a top cast 'reality series'!

Jimlilly23@
Jimlilly23@

I was so upset that Nick was not pushed further to resign (don't understand why you have immunity on team events, because Nick should have been gone).  Shirley was the hands down best chef, and if Nick had not been such a weasel, She would have still been in the running.  If Nick wins, I don't think I can watch anymore.  I am so disturbed that he was so selfish and he was not eliminated in the next two weeks.

lindy500
lindy500

I thought we were discussing the Final Four challenge, not the Nick-fall-on-your-sword challenge.  I was somewhat disgusted with the chefs running down Carlos's Mexican food-inspired cuisine.  Shirley relied mostly on her Asian roots, but she felt it all right to practically spit out the words about him.  It's not like he made Taco Bell food.  He made good, complex dishes.  I don't know how he really acted with the others.  Perhaps he was arrogant, or perhaps he was intimidated by the fact that he wasn't classically trained.  While he was busy washing dishes, Nick went to culinary school. He has come a long way and it is to his credit that he hasn't forgotten his roots.  I'll just have to trust the judges to make the correct decisions, but I could see that Padma didn't agree with them.  


On another note, Emeril, you seem to be the nicest, most gentlemanly person EVER!  No wonder Shirley calls you "Uncle".  A big hug to you!

kysophie
kysophie

I haven't added a comment on here since season 2 (I think, when Sam was let go in Hawaii).  It just never fails, why there is always one or two RICHARD's in every season, and that goes for women too.  Maybe, it's for ratings but who knows.  Showing your emotions about your daughter for the whole world to see, is very touching.  Showing your emotions and seeing the REAL IMMATURE side of you on how you treat others to the whole world to see, makes you look like a total RICHARD!  Make yourself a role model for your daughter that she can cherish it for life.  Acting like a COMPLETE RICHARD, is something no child would be proud of!  

And for all those who say, this is a cooking show and nothing else, well true, but have some respect and class for other cheftestants!

showgrl
showgrl

The last time I checked the show was called Top Chef not Lets See What Chef Has The Most Integrity

shysharon
shysharon

That was SUCH a fun episode...I have never missed a single episode of Top Chef...just when I think ok, I have so many things on my DVR...then I end up loving TC all over again! Loved the challenges, loved the chef's choices, then when someone said Gregory was previous winner, I thought, it's all a blur...not sure who that is...and I saw him and thought oh yes, I liked him! Thanks as always for good TVtime!

shysharon
shysharon

Shirley got you in the heart, you got Shirley in the heart, and you both got me in the heart!!

4theloveofdiamonds
4theloveofdiamonds

You are a great mentor Emeril and how lucky were those chefs to have had an opportunity to eat your cooking. 

I always enjoyed watching your cooking show and like you even more now for your treatment of these contestants.

msmith76
msmith76

Nick seems like an unprofessional hot head.  Don't understand why he made it to th efinals.  Carlos should have made it.

itsonlyashow
itsonlyashow

The judges seem to really like Shirley's food, and she is no doubt a talented chef, but it seems as though she cooks a lot of fish- in- broth dishes. At any rate, I'm glad the chefs were able to translate their NOLA experience into their food.  I thought Carlos' tamal was creative, out-of-the box thinking, but alas, it wasn't successful as the other dishes.  At least he won a car, and he did get to go to Hawaii.  That's something.

maggie34
maggie34

Very disappointed that Carlos had to go! he did so many wonderful dishes and Nick stayed when he could not even win at all! What is going on with the Judge's heads? and Emeril even said he loved the seafood tamale??? don't get this show at all. Maybe time to get a new set of Judges and one so called chef does not have integrity.....

liv-ca
liv-ca

I'm still wondering how a chef that has been at the bottom the last few times and delivered an under-seasoned dish gets to go to the finale?? Really very disappointed in the judges decision to send Carlos home (probably for cooking a Mexican dish) which every one else seems to have a problem with. I will be rooting for Louis!!!! I don't really believe in any of the other chefs!!! Specially Nick I have never seen so much negativity coming from one person before.. and Shirley could use some humbleness as well.

elizabeth.cook.528
elizabeth.cook.528

Just finished watching the episode.  Restored my faith in Top Chef. The final three are all about integrity.  I love them all.  Go Lewis in LCK. Much Love.

elizabeth.cook.528
elizabeth.cook.528

I would think that Top Chef would have cameras everywhere.  Mobile ones as well as stationary ones.  I'm sure, if they scour the tapes, they might see who changed the oven temperature. Carlos came to win, by any means necessary, and he played dirty. Conduct unbecoming a Top Chef. A Top Chef doesn't have to fight dirty.  Much Love.

elizabeth.cook.528
elizabeth.cook.528

I was disappointed in the way Nicholas has been treated.  In the beginning, Carlos seemed to be a nice guy with a winning smile.  Unfortunately he lacked integrity.  Case point, Nicholas' chef's knife, which we all know means a lot.  Nicholas was nice enough to loan it to Carlos, and what did Carlos do.  He left it filthy and somewhere that Nicholas had to hunt for.  Then, it's very peculiar how the oven temperature got raised.  Then his childish, deliberate,  provoking move when he purposefully moved Nicholas' pots. So juvenile. Certainly not the behavior of a Top Chef.  If Carlos wins, I will not watch again. Much Love

jerseygirl_aatrh
jerseygirl_aatrh

@lindy500  FYI Asia is a massive continent made of up many different countries with distinct cuisines.  Shirley was pulling from all of them. Mexico is one country on 1/2 a continent.  


So because Carlos has worked his way up from the bottom, he reserves the right to look down on the culinary accomplishments of the other chefs?  The boulder sized chip on his shoulder and him being a jerk was difficult to watch. Plus plenty of chefs have come through Top Chef and done well without being classically trained and learned classic techniques on the job. 


The man never stretched himself outside of cooking fairly traditional Mexican food. Not Mexican inspired like Shirley with "Asian" or Nina with "Caribbean".   For goodness sake one of his biggest challenge wins with with his mother's recipe. Not his own creation.  So yes, he deserves the criticism for cooking only Mexican food. 

Jimlilly23@
Jimlilly23@

@showgrl Nick was a weasel for not stepping down.  If there had been a question, it would be different, but Jacques Pinin inferred to him that it was the thing to do.  Sure he had immunity, but his team members told him that his corn silk sucked and he  was just so stubborn

Sylvie_Featherfoot
Sylvie_Featherfoot

@showgrl True enough, but since Nick had been making such a big noise about his integrity and being a gentleman that a discussion of whether his actions demonstrate those qualities is absolutely fair.  And they don't.  

It's also been noted in the past, by the judges, that any chef, let alone a Top Chef, needs to be a leader who works well with others, who inspires them, rather than simply imposing himself.  That was a factor in Harold Dieterle's win over Tiffani Faison in Season 1, Marcel's immature nastiness was a factor in his loss to Ilan Hall in Season 2.  Nick's performance in Restaurant Wars was admirable, certainly, but we have seen his style of captaincy have much less effective results.  Not to mention his serial finger-pointing - we KNOW he didn't check the oven temperature on the quinoa; he asserted he had turned it down to 275, but he didn't.

It is a HUGE red flag that, of all the personnel at the restaurant Nick cooked at, when it was sold he was the ONLY ONE whose services were not retained.  

4theloveofdiamonds
4theloveofdiamonds

@maggie34 All of them Mexican dishes. You have to show versatility and imagination when you are competing against such powerful opponents. Look at Nina and Shirley, they hit it out of the park on every occasion in one way or another.

jerseygirl_aatrh
jerseygirl_aatrh

@maggie34 They are always judged on how they do in each challenge. This is not the first time a less competitive chef got to stay.  Been like that for 11 seasons. 

lkbrose
lkbrose

@liv-ca You don't remember Lisa?  I think she was the most hated chef-testant of all time.  She was on the fourth season with Richard Blaise, Dale Tilde, and the first female winner -- Stephanie Izard.  Also that season had Spike as well!  In retrospect, it was quite colorful :)


Bfan14
Bfan14

@elizabeth.cook.528 Cooking with integrity, means treating those around you with respect, not yelling like a maniac, and not accusing everyone of messing with your burners, and accepting blame for cooking your own crappy dish…all of which NICK NEVER once. So exactly what integrity are you talking about???

PaulainVA
PaulainVA

@elizabeth.cook.528 Or maybe nobody changed the temperature.  Sometimes you make your own mistakes.  Nicholas never seems to even consider the possibility that in his haste he may have created his own problem.  Immature.

ElaineM
ElaineM

@elizabeth.cook.528 if you tivo the episode, you will see the camera panning to the temp in the oven when Nick put it in the oven.... Nick did NOT change it to 275 - it was at 500 when he put the food in and it was 500 when he left the food in the oven and walked away....  no shenanigans - just nervous forgetfulness and wanting to blame it on anyone but himself!

itsonlyashow
itsonlyashow

@elizabeth.cook.528How did he play dirty?  He shouldn't have said Nicholas "stole" his oven but that may have been a language flub.  Maybe he planned to wash the knife but just hadn't gotten around to it.  There is no evidence that anyone, let alone Carlos, changed the oven temp.  Maybe it's time to look into your own heart to see why you're so biased.

ana.lili
ana.lili

@elizabeth.cook.528 well, it was alluded in the episodes that he played dirty, nothing was actually shown indicating that (at least not in the episodes i watched). 

elizabeth.cook.528
elizabeth.cook.528

@jerseygirl_aatrh @lindy500   Thank you, Jerseygirl....That was my point...Also, a chef's knife is sacred to him/her...To have Carlos treat Nick's knife that way (leaving food on a knife can damage the blade) showed Carlos' lack of integrity...Carlos knew Nick was a little uptight and decided from the beginning to push his buttons instead of having confidence in his own ability as a chef.  

showgrl
showgrl

@Jimlilly23@ @showgrl  Once again...Nick won immunity fair and square .....many chefs before have had crappy dishes when they have immunity  why? because immunity gives u the chance to go outside your comfort zone without the risk of being eliminated ...many chefs with immunity have stated this and this is what Nick did..aside from the fact that this is the first time anyone with immunity has been asked to basically give it back ...nooooooo....then dont be handing immunity as a prize if this is going to be the case.....just as wrong as it was to be asked to give up his immunity in a competition no less it was just as right for Nick to say no and keep it...FINAL TWO BABY...GO NICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

msmith76
msmith76

Nina cooks a lot of Italian dishes.  Shirley cooks a lot of Asian dishes.

Jimlilly23@
Jimlilly23@

@msmith76I love Nina too!  I hope she wins, because from the start I thought it would be Shirley and Nina.  Nick is a Weasel and if he wins, it will be a shame.


msmith76
msmith76

Yeah. Yelling about moving his 3 pots!  Good grief.  I was proud of Shirley for telling him that he can be a jerk.

ana.lili
ana.lili

@Bfan14 @elizabeth.cook.528  and integrity is not enough, chefs need to actually win challenges!! nick was in the bottom more times than i can remember. carlos was robbed and it was such an ugly episode, bad mouthing the mexican chef and mexican food - so sad to see. that behavior is lacking of integrity. 

elizabeth.cook.528
elizabeth.cook.528

@itsonlyashow @elizabeth.cook.528 I'm not biased for Nick.....IMO he falters as a "Top Chef"....My angst was at Carlos because, to begin with, I think everyone, including myself, were charmed by Carlos. He sabotaged himself when he disrespected Nick's knife...Not cool....True chefs will tell you how they would've felt if it had been their knife. BTW, I think Nina , Shirley and Louis are the top runners.... Much Love

ana.lili
ana.lili

@itsonlyashow @elizabeth.cook.528 i think production was trying to bring in the drama. but even though there was really no evidence it was always implied that carlos had no integrity. the sin that he didn't clean the knives was way over blown IMO. it's unfortunate because they make out "the mexican" the bad guy - that's  how stereotypes are kept going. so shameful that at this day in age there are divisions still being drawn. from carlos' interviews you could see how alienated and rejected he felt, yet he still managed to be consistently in the top. good job, carlos! 

jerseygirl_aatrh
jerseygirl_aatrh

@itsonlyashow @elizabeth.cook.528  "look into your own heart"?  Um,  @itsonlyashow, it's only a blog comment.  

Carlos played dirty and pushed Nick’s buttons. He admitted as much in his talking heads.Carlos is NO better than Nick.I’m glad he and the gigantic chip on his shoulder are off the show.Just wish it had been a double elimination so we don’t have to hear Nick whining anymore.

elizabeth.cook.528
elizabeth.cook.528

@showgrl @elizabeth.cook.528 Funny thing is I actually hope Nina wins.  Besides the ability, the palate, and the creativity, she has exhibited a leadership and character that should always be associated with being a "Top Chef". Some may have said that the knife was no big deal, but a true chef knows it was. Nick, however, lacks a confidence that all "Top Chefs" have exhibited. And Shirley is a strong chef, but I think Nina may have edged her out. If Louis comes back in, I like Nina and Louis for the final two.

dinoudinou
dinoudinou

@ana.lili@itsonlyashow@elizabeth.cook.528- playing the race card is ridiculous. There were multiple races/ethnicities and the majority got along. Those who didn't either were weird (like Michael) or just jerks. Carlos is one of them. His last interview showed just how arrogant he was.

Bfan14
Bfan14

@elizabeth.cook.528 @Bfan14 You're opinions are ridiculous and  completely far fetched…I forgot you're the only one with special "EYE" that saw Carlos change the  temperature on Nick..who by the way only won ONE challenge.  He should have gone home a long time ago...