Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Padma's Picks Recap: Fine Dining Bragging Rights

Gail: I Wasn't Surprised Doug Stayed on Top

Get Doug's Masterpiece Brisket Recipe

Make Melissa's Seared Duck Breast Dish

Gail on Innovation (and George's Failure to Push It)

Make Melissa's Mom's Egg Custard

Hugh Worries About Scurvy and Foie Gras

Make Mei's Inspired Duck a l'Orange

Gail Has No Problem With Blood

Make George's Cravable Breakfast Sausage

Gail Simmons Won't Be Pushed Around

Make Doug's Winning Mussels

Tom Colicchio Answers Your Restaurant Wars Qs

Gail: It Wasn't Keriann's Day

Make Doug's Winning Braised Pork!

Gail: We Had a Tough Job This Week

Make Katsuji's Authentically Delicious Stuffing

Hugh: The Demise of Cornwallis and Aaron

Make Gregory's Winning Dumplings

Richard: Chefs Please Follow Instructions

Richard Tries Money Ball Soup

Make a Home Run-Worthy Popcorn Crème Brule

Hugh: Where There's a Will There's a Fenway

Gail: Keriann and Aaron Were Being ---holes

Make the Winning Surf and Turf

Gail: We're Taking No Prisoners

Richard Goes From Player to Announcer

Tom Talks Boston

Gail: There Was No Season 11 Underdog

Hugh Wants Nick to Be Kind to Himself

Gail: It Was Difficult to Let Go of Shirley

Big Easy to Ocean Breezy

Gail: The Final Four Are Like Our Children

Emeril Is Proud to Serve Shirley's Dish

Hugh: Enough With the Mexican Food Hate

Gail on Favreau, Choi, and Finding Yourself

Hugh on Poor Boys, Swingers and Food Trucks

Emeril: Nick's Choice Is Part of the Game

Nick's License to Immune

Hugh's Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Hugh Decides Eight Is Enough

Padma's Picks Recap: Fine Dining Bragging Rights

Friendship is tested when Nick Lama and Brad Brad McGehee compete.

Only two weeks till Top Chef!

After last week's "Dive Bar Food Fight," Padma's heading uptown near Audobon Park two find two chefs vying for "Fine Dining Bragging Rights." Watch HERE.

First, Padma meets up with James Beard award-winning chef Susan Spicer, probably most known for her restaurant, Bayona.

As I mentioned in the last recap, you may recognize one of Susan's two "picks.": Nick Lama, Top Chef Master Sue Zemanick's sous chef at Gautreau's. He's competing against a good friend, Brad McGehee, Executive Chef at Ye Olde College Inn.

They describe their restaurants' approaches to food. Gautreau's heavily focuses on Gulf seafood. Ye Old College Inn draws inspiration from the vegetation growing on their one acre of land.

They get cooking! Brad is making a grilled flatbread with strawberries, ham, and brie. He describes it as a "backwards pizza," and notes that Louisiana has the best strawberries in the world. Nick is making a sauteed snapper with corn pudding. I'm all over the corn pudding. 

There's a little s----talking, but these two guys seems way too mild-mannered to really get into it. Apparently, their wives are more competitive they are!

Brad runs into trouble as his parchment paper catches on fire! I'm already slightly skeptical about Padma's reaction to flatbread, and this ain't helping.

Time to present!

Brad describes his final dish as a grilled flatbread with fresh strawberries, topped with mild domestic brie cheese (take that, Frenchies!), Iberico ham, peppercress, and citrus herb vinaigrette with lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and lemon balm… but no citrus.

Nick made a sauteed red snapper with corn puree, English peas, baby carrots, morels, and pea shoots with a basil-mint pesto.

Padma and Susan have a lot of comments about the dishes. First, they note how different they are. Padma is happy with Nick's "great execution of fish and seasonal vegetables." Susan loves the snapper's skin -- a skin we watched Nick smartly score.

As I suspected, Padma didn't like the idea of Brad's flatbread... at first. She thought he just "made a little appetizer." But, Susan likes its sweetness and saltiness and thinks it has more personality. Ultimately, Padma agrees calling it "divine," and so... Brad wins!

"You better take it all now," says Nick.

Good luck, Brad!

Next week, Padma dines on food truck fare. Until then, Have a Nosh!

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