Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

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Seriously. Bacon?

Gail: Mei's Menu Was Almost Flawless

Make Top Chef Mei Lin's Winning Dessert!

Richard: "Gregory Had the Better Ideas"

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Hugh: Mei's a Chef's Chef

Richard: "Winning Is Overrated"

Make Mei's Sushi Style Guac!

Gail: I Wasn't Surprised Doug Stayed on Top

Get Doug's Masterpiece Brisket Recipe

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

Make Melissa's Seared Duck Breast Dish

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

Seriously. Bacon?

Harold Dieterle asks the question we're all thinking. Bacon and avocado? Seriously?

Let's jump in with the ice cream. What the hell were these guys thinking? Bacon and avocado? Bacon and waffles? In ice cream? Half the thing that's great about bacon is that it's crispy. When you throw it in ice cream, it's going to become a piece of rubber. It makes no sense. Did these guys not watch the first season? How did they not know that it'd be served to kids? Who eats the most ice cream? Kids! And the winner was good old fashioned cookie ice cream. It was cool to see Cliff win. He's clearly got some momentum and is cooking with confidence. He's cooking very intelligently, and he's out there working it. It's fun to watch this big sensitive monster feeding ice cream to children.

I had to giggle watching Sam flirt with the moms. Honestly, any time you're cooking for a group of judges or the public, working it is just important as the food you're putting out there. Which only goes to illustrate how salty Emily turned out to be. I was hysterical watching her talk about how she hates kids, and the mom with the big fat ass. That girl is great. I knew right away though, she wasn't winning this one. I'm pretty disappointed in Marisa, I have to say. You'd think that someone who makes desserts all the time, she'd be the front runner. I was convinced that she had this Quickfire locked up. Of course a pastry chef would have a go-to ice cream recipe that she can whip out and throw down. But clearly not. It was really disappointing, actually.

And then the kitchen challenge -- I was in a similar situation a lot of times. You're put into these challenges that you really have no experience doing. Look, I love eating TGIFriday's. Do I want to make the food that they cook there? Not really, but I love going there when I'm hungover. I love fried food, and I think for this challenge, they needed to come up with something that isn't already on the menu. That has a style. And one that could be executed over and over. People think firemen want meat and potatoes only, but that's clearly incorrect. I've participated in two fireman cook-offs in New York City, and they take their food very seriously. Some fireman chefs are classically trained. They have very refined palates. So that Steak Sandwich? He's got to be kidding. Frank's dish? What the hell was that? It looked like something out of a Pink Floyd video. And for a guy who talks a lot about classical Italian tradition, and mouths off about "who's a hack and who's not a hack" -- I couldn't figure out where this fit into his style.

Mike cracks me up. I think he's hysterical. I don't see the hunger to want to win, I think he's just out there to have his time on TV, and have a good time. But I think he's not going to score any points badgering Tom. Throwing imaginary punches is not going to score any points with that guy. And then, there was this conflict between Betty and Marcel. There's a lot of aggression between all of them. And Marcel is a button pusher. I don't recall anyone taking shots at him while he was cooking. Least of all Betty, who was very clear to not disrupt any of the other contestants. Marcel got himself worked up. If you have fifteen minutes and your fryer isn't working -- grab the pot, fill it with oil and put it on the stove. And keep it together, man. Everything is already almost done. Heat up your oil. But he wants to go back and forth and get fired up about it, who does that help? Look, s&*t happens that you don't expect, but keep it together. And then watching him go back at Betty was pretty lame. And totally tasteless.

I think we're really seeing people use their heads. I think Betty, Cliff, Sam, are all being really smart about the shows that they are choosing. You know, Ilan's corn dish was a side, and that wasn't what the judges were looking for. Also -- just sayin' -- it might be time for Ilan to get away from the bacon. That guy cooks with a lot of bacon.

As much as I like Emily, she can say that she's used to cooking this style or that style. She can say she normally cooks high-end food. But seasoning food is seasoning food. And if you're going to render food inedible with too much salt, that's just embarrassing. No chef is going to give you a "nice work" if you can't season something.

I was happy to see Betty win. That she won a second time really helps toward the next competition. It doesn't technically count that someone wins two challenges in a row, but the judges remember that. Unless you're really messing up, they're not going to throw you out. She did well, she has a good attitude, she always smiles. Right now, it's really the Betty and Cliff show.

Make Top Chef Mei Lin's Winning Dessert!

Learn how to make the dish Tom Colicchio called the best dessert in Top Chef history!

Mei Lin's Strawberry Lime Curd, Toasted Yogurt, Milk Crumble, Mint

Strawberry Lime Curd Ingredients and Directions
1c Strawberry Puree
3 Eggs (Whisked Together)
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 lb. Butter
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
TT Lime (zest and juice)

1. Cook over double boiler.
2. Add limejuice and zest to taste.

Lime Puree Ingredients and Directions
20 Limes Zest
Simple Syrup
Grape Seed Oil

1. Cooked in simple syrup.
2. Blend with grape seed oil.

Milk Crumble Ingredients and Directions
1 Cup AP Flour
1 Cup Panko
1 Cup Milk Powder
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter (melted)
1 Cup Bee Pollen

1. Combine.
2. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.

Yogurt + Lime Ice Ingredients and Directions
1 Qt Yogurt
1 Qt Crema
4 Limes (zest and juice)

1. Charge 2 times in Isi.
2. Disperse in bowl of nitrogen.

Toasted Yogurt Ingredients and Directions
1 Qt. Greek Yogurt

1. Char until dark.
2. Blend.

To Garnish
Fresh Strawberries and Mint





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