Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

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The Holiday Cold

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

Gail Talks OvenGate

The Holiday Cold

Harold Dieterle talks Ted Allen, Mia's elimination, and curdled drinks.

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I'm going to make this short, because like everyone else, I have this cold that's been going around. If you get the winter cold, I suggest that you do what I did and treat yourself to one of those gift boxes of clementines. Winter is citrus season, and so the clementines are especially good at this time of year. But onto the blogging. First off, Holiday food is tricky because it's based so much on what you remember about the holidays. You know, for my family, we're Sicilian, so we usually eat a lot of fish and shellfish. And of course, there's always a ham. So I thought that it was cool that Ilan made some stuff for Hanukkah. I think that's the thing about the holiday, you have to make stuff based on what's going to taste good and what you remember specifically about your holiday.

That Quickfire Challenge, I have to say, I thought there were some real hits and some real misses. First of all, Betty's curdled lime drink? What was that? You can mix rum and lime and cream, but nobody wants to drink anything that's curdled. She really should have thought ahead about that one and used a blender to really get the thing emulsified. I wouldn't be able to drink it. I don't know anyone who would. Chefs can be a bunch of punks. And the judges generally fall into this category, and this is what I like about Ted Allen. I think he's an incredibly fair judge. Cooking with him, or around him, you get the impression that he's knowledgable. He's actually one of my favorite judges so far, because he's a very capable judge, and he never gets personal about it. He just seems to really enjoy himself and enjoy the fact that he's there talking about the food. This season's chefs are definitely pretty dramatic. And more so than Season 1. It's almost as if they're very aware of the fact that they're on television.


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As far as the Elimination Challenge goes, I thought it was really ridiculous that nobody wanted to listen to Mia. You know, she runs a catering company. That's what she does. And they all just kind of bulldozed right past her and said, "this is what we're doing." I think that if you're doing a catering event that size, you're going to have to serve more than four items. Imagine going to a party like that and having a menu selection that's not, you know, complete. And to try to make that food to-order at an event like that -- there are no good words to say about that. It's just crazy.
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I think Sam really did a good job. And you know, I've been defending Marcel for a while, and I really thought it was kind of absurd that he was making faces based on the fact that he wasn't the winner. I get it, it's competive and the kid really wants to win, but Sam really came forward as the team leader. He really stepped up to it and I think he deserved to win. haroldsblog_mia1_320x240.jpg

As for the whole elimination mess. I don't really know what to say about Mia. She really seemed to be having some sort of breakdown. And to be honest, I didn't really see her going all that far anyway, so I feel like her going home wasn't really all that much of a problem. Well, that's about all I have in me. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to have a clementine and go back to bed.