Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

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Harold Answers Your Questions

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

Harold Answers Your Questions

You asked. Top Chef Harold Dieterle answers.

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In light of this week's encore presentation of the Thanksgiving episode, we culled the comment board for Harold's blog and found a few questions. He answers them for you here:

As a New Yorker, I've been waiting, waiting, WAITING to hear news about your new restaurant -- Where? When? I'll be there. And will any of your Top Chef buddies be there to work with you? Roger

First of all, Roger, thanks for all of your support. Hopefully we're securing the lease by the new year and opening by mid-March. That's what we're shooting for. As for location, we'll just say "West Village location." There have been some other questions about whether or not any of the contestants from Season 1 will be helping out in the kitchen. Everybody's too high profile for little old me. I can't afford anybody. But you know, a friend in need -- I'm sure they'll come bail me out.

Why do you have that scar in your head? Actually, it's like a little nick. Did Tiffany wack you in the head with a frying pan? Are you okay? John Sanchez

It's on the back of my head. It's an old teen Halloween incident where during my delinquent days. I was being chased and I ran into a telephone pole, there were stitches.

Hey Harold! First, congratulations on your win. Do you still talk to Dave and Miguel? Gina

Yes. I still talk to most of the Season 1 contestants. With the exception of the few.

Way to be an awesome Guest Judge! And Congrats on winning 1st Season! Who are your top three favorite Chefs for this season? Chelsie

There's a bunch I actually like. I have a top six. All for different reasons. I really like Mike, becuase he totally -- I see a lot of Miguel in him. I just want to help him. I gotta soft spot for the underdog. And the way things are transpiring. There are a lot of comments that he's out of his league. But he's the guy I'm pulling for. I like Cliff's sensibility in food. I think he approaches a lot of challenges prety intelligently. I really like Sam. Sam and Marcel. As far as creativity, those guys definitely bring the wow factor. And Ilan. His dishes just look freakin' delicious. It's very clear he has a great grasp on spanish cooking. And I can't wait for him to break away and show a little bit more range.

Where is the host from last year? She was really good. And you, Harold, are just adorable! But where is last year's host? Mary Brown

I talk to Katie Lee every once in awhile. I'm not really sure what she's doing. But I'm a very big Katie Lee Joel fan.

Are you dating anyone? Many Many Readers

That's nice, but I'm locked up right now. I have a serious girlfriend. I'll be back next week with another blog. In the meantime, thanks for all the support everyone. I appreciate you reading the blog.

Make Melissa's Seared Duck Breast Dish

Get the recipe for Melissa King's winning new culinary creation: seared duck breast with farro, walnut miso, and pickled cherries.

Duck Breast, Walnut Miso, Pickled Cherries, Farro

Ingredients:

Duck breast
Salt
Pepper
1 cup Walnuts
1 Tbsp Red miso paste
1 Tsp Mirin
Rice vinegar
1 Tsp White soy sauce
Cheeries
Butter
Farro
Chicken Stock
Celery
Walnut Oil
Radishes
Yuzu
Chocolate Mint (to preference)

Directions for Duck
1. Season duck breast with salt/pepper
2. Sear on med-low on cast iron skin side down to render fat
3. Remove and let cool until medium rare
Directions for Walnut Miso
1. Blanch 1 cup walnuts in hot boiling water
2. Blend in blender w/ 1 Tbsp red miso paste, 1 Tsp mirin, 1 Tsp rice vinegar, 1 Tsp white soy sauce.
3. Blend until very smooth and then pass through chinois

Directions for Pickled Cherries
Cherries (slice/pit)
2 part Rice vinegar
1 part butter
To taste Sugar
Pinch of Salt

1.Boil and pour over cherries
2. Strain and reserve liquid. Mound pickling liquid with butter on the pick up to make cherry sauce

Directions for Farro
1. Boil farro in chicken stock for 1 hour until soft and bloomed
2. Strain farro
3. Mound farro with butter and chicken stock until it looks creamy
4. Season with salt

Directions for Shave Carrots
1. Shave celery (compress with walnut oil)
2. Shave radishes (compress with yuzu)
3. Chocolate mint (chopped)
4. Toss all with walnut oil, salt

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