Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

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Why All The Hate?

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

Why All The Hate?

Why does everyone hate Marcel? Why did Betty cook a trio of soups? Harold Dieterle's asking these questions.

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First off, it's amazing to see how many chefs have vision issues. It was cool to watch Cliff, who is colorblind, adapt to the challenge. When I was just starting to cook, I always had a difficult time recognizing the center of the plate. This was very early on, when I was about 17 or 18. I went through a couple of chefs that would watch me plate food and it turned out that all of my presentations were off-centered until I finally had a chef that was patient enough to walk me through it. He helped me to kick the problem. But it's pretty interesting. A lot of chefs wear glasses or contact lenses. There are a lot of chefs with really interesting vision issues. Big Mike comes out with a victory. A Quickfire based around color is pretty interesting. And I've said it a lot, I think Mikey has talent. At this point, I think he's starting to shut up all the people that don't have any props for him. The kid's going in there, and he doesn't need to talk a lot of shit about other people, he just goes in, puts his head down and goes. I love that he has a chip on his shoulder. He's totally the dark horse and I am always pulling for the underdog. I think this performance really shut everyone up. I was really happy to see that.
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It really amazes me the amount of hatred directed at Marcel. Nobody can even keep their mouth shut. Everybody just gets into it with him. It's really amazing. I mean, you're around these people all the time, and look, there were times when there were people that I didn't want to be around, but my decision was to go and lock myself in the bathroom. That was my quiet time. You make that call when somebody is driving you crazy. Either lock yourself away for a while, or you get into a position where you're going to end up in a throw down. And it's everybody! Nobody likes Marcel! And I'm not really seeing him warrant it all. I don't know the guy -- I've not spent any real amount of time with him -- but I don't really get it. I don't think he's that bad of a guy. He's got a very specific style. It's not one that I'm into, but that's his style, and it seems like there's a lot of hating on him. And right from the first episode on. Yes, he's high on himself, he's cocky and he's obnoxious. Sure. I don't know, I'm not there. It's a little much.

Let's talk about the eliminations. I thought this was a fantastic challenge. In fact, I'll go as far to say that this was the first challenge that the contestants had that had a very very small amount of limitations. They were allowed to shop for food on their own, and they knew where they were going to be cooking. They knew their course. It was free reign, and they were allowed to cook a signature dish. And if you don't have a go-to dish that you can feel comfortable for, for one of the seven deadly sins, then you've got problems.

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I think two desserts was a mistake. I mean, seriously. Marcel does need to get laid. Where are the raw oysters? Where is the aphrodisiac? Where's the course for "lust" that's going to get you all horned up for later? It's not going to be cherries. That would most certainly not get the job done for me. I want raw fish, I want caviar, I want oysters. Something briney.


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And Betty. Wow. Sloth makes me think of barbeque. Last week, on vacation with my lady, I stopped of at this place in Atlanta called Poole's. Seriously incredible ribs. And that's the thing. Slow cooked. Northern Georgia. Braised. Cooked a really long time. Big and fatty. Betty did a trio of soups? What? The judges have been saying all along that they would prefer one thing that's really good rather than a bunch of mediocre things. And so, yeah, I thought she was the right decision to go. Combined with that odd green Quickfire mess. That was a visual disaster. Again, Ted Allen is not wrong -- it did look like lawn clippings.


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I was so happy to see another win for Big Mike. I'm not sure if he's going all the way, but I think he has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Maybe it's true -- maybe he does need to pop some pills to keep it real. Some chefs cook better when they're a little inebriated. I'm not one of those guys, but sometimes when my adrenaline gets a little out of control, I like a shot of gin. But maybe he's good with the vicodin. Everyone's got their poison after all. More cooking. Less drama. I can't wait for next week.