Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

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Taking Care Of Your Dumb Little Brother

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

Taking Care Of Your Dumb Little Brother

Why Harold Dieterle thinks Betty was redeemed and Frank was a disaster.

First off, that Quickfire Challenge. This is one of the things that, from a former contestant standpoint, I found pretty challenging. They're cooking in the dead heat of summer, which is never easy. But they all seem back in the game. Making a market entree with no cooking. It's what I've been saying all along. They're still not listening. It's a Quickfire Challenge. These are very clear rules. And Marcel was the only person who made an entree. Based on appearance -- on everything -- it was the clear winner. And everyone keeps coming down on the guy.


Marcel is young. He's arrogant. And everyone is, when they're around that age. I know I was pretty bad. It's one of things, though, that when you're good at your work, you don't need to tell everybody what you know. People that are smart and passionate and that are going to care, they're going to recognize you have skills, and they're going to figure out that they should listen to you.


So, yes, Marcel tends to sometimes kind of be running off at the mouth and telling everybody what's what. I think he's out of control somewhat. But I was glad he won. I thought his dish was well executed. Let me move on to the Elimination Challenge, because I gotta be honest, I was pretty ticked off at Frank. I know I've said that I find him funny in the past. This time I found him obnoxious, on a couple of different levels. You don't know what kind of atmosphere you're going to be cooking in. And I watched this challenge thinking: "Wow, this sucks, he's the one guy who had a game plan of what he wanted to make" -- and it was a dish that definitely needed an oven. And based on that alone, he was frustrated and kind of just wanted to go nuts.


And then little Mike forgot his eggs, and Frank is laughing at him and calling him someone's "dumb little brother." Come on, man. If he's your little brother, even your dumb little brother, then give him some eggs. It kind redeemed Betty. Watching Cliff and Betty step up and give Mikey some eggs, that was pretty cool to see. I thought that was a nice personal recovery on Betty's part.


I thought that Mia's dish was fantastic. It was my favorite of the Elimination Challenge by far. It was really creative. A crab cake with eggs. It worked out that they were down by the water, for the surfers, so she had that going for her. I was really disappointed with Sam's dish, though. He was talking about his first idea being green eggs and ham. (Sam, I am.) That dish was last year. But what is he thinking cooking basil and eggs? Basil is a very delicate herb, it's just going to turn brown on you. And Frank's was just a total disaster. haroldsblog_ilan_320x240.jpg

I'm still waiting on Ilan. I have a feeling about that guy. I think Ilan is really talented. Every dish he makes, though, is Spanish influenced, and I'm waiting to see something else. I hope -- for his sake -- he pulls something new out soon.

This was one of the first guest judges, by the way, who I thought was really spectacular. He was fair, I think he had good comments. I'm tired of seeing guest judges beat up on the contestants, it's in poor taste. As far as that goes, it was thankfully a pretty low-key episode. There wasn't a whole lot of crazy drama blasting out of those people.