Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Bee-hind The Quickfire

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

Dookie Chase Makes Everybody Cry

Fin, Found, Floundering

What Danny Meyer Taught Gail Simmons

'Top Chef' Goes to Hog Heaven

Gris Gris Boucherie Ya Ya

Brian and Travis' Dud Spuds

Bee-hind The Quickfire

Lee Anne Wong shares tasting bee secrets.


For those of you who are curious, I bought all of the food and items for the Culinary Bee. I also sat under the table and handed items to Rocco and Padma while speaking to production on walkie. After half the contestants were eliminated in the first go-round, we had made the decision to start skipping around the list to give them easier things to identify--bow tie pasta being one of those things. Let's just say, they didn't get very far. Literally by the time Casey won, they had only gotten through 22 items. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

Later, when we were on lunch break, I brought the remaining ingredients over to the contestants' table for a little fun to see if they could identify everything. Much to my chagrin, they identified all of the obscure and more difficult ingredients right away.

Here's the list:

1. Taste: Tomato Paste 2. Identify: Yuca/ Cassava Root 3. Taste: Tahini 4. Identify: Quail Egg 5. Taste: Raspberry Vinegar 6. Identify: Taro Root 7. Taste: Daikon Radish Sprouts 8. Identify: Oats 9. Taste: Mirin 10. Taste: Fish Paste 11. Identify: Tapioca 12. Identify: Dried Red Kidney Bean 13. Taste: Grenadine 14. Identify: Quinoa 15. Identify: Thai Bird Chilis 16. Taste: Celery Seed 17. Identify: Farfalle Pasta 18. Taste: Tandoori Paste 19. Identify: Guava Fruit 20. Identify: Pappadum 21. Taste: Piquillo Peppers 22. Identify: Cheese Slicer 23. Taste: Lemon Curd 24. Identify: Kaffir Lime Leaf 25. Identify: Snow Fungus 26. Taste: Smoked Paprika 27. Taste: Bitters 28. Identify: Black Kokum 29. Taste: Bee Pollen 30. Taste: Chinese Five Spice 31. Identify: Fenugreek 32. Taste: Tomatillos 33. Identify: Palm Sugar 34. Identify: Apple Divider 35. Taste: Aged Sherry Vinegar 36. Identify: Buckwheat 37. Taste: Mizuna Greens 38. Taste: Mango Chutney 39. Identify: Baby Romanesco 40. Taste: Hearts of Palm 41. Taste: Malt Syrup 42. Identify: Rigatoni Pasta 43. Taste: Yuzu Juice 44. Taste: Herring (pickled) 45. Identify: Avocado Slicer 46. Identify: Boquerones (White Anchovy) 47. Taste: Chai Tea 48. Taste: Lime Pickle 49. Taste: Miso Paste 50. Identify: Dried Lima Bean 51. Identify: Fish Scaler 52. Taste: Hoisin Sauce 53. Identify: Dried Pigeon Peas 54. Taste: Mole 55. Identify: Chayote 56. Identify: Orange Peeler 57. Identify: Duck Egg 58. Taste: Lemon Balm 59. Identify: White Hominy/Pozole 60. Identify: Ancho chile 61. Taste: Pineapple Mint 62. Taste: Pumpkin Seed Oil 63. Identify: Thai Eggplant 64. Identify: Pearl Barley 65. Taste: Sorrel 66. Identify: Galangal Root 67. Taste: Caraway 68. Identify: Pie Crust Shield 69. Identify: Hijiki Seaweed 70. Taste: Plum Wine 71. Taste: Lovage 72. Identify: Guajillo Chile 73. Taste: Kecap Manis 74. Identify: Inari/Fried Tofu Sheet 75. Taste: Almond Oil 76. Identify: Nasturtium 77. Taste: Sumac 78. Identify: Strawberry huller 79. Identify: Rosehips 80. Taste: Lotus Seeds 81. Identify: Agar Agar 82. Taste: Red Azuki beans 83. Identify: Kohlrabi 84. Taste: Popcorn Shoots 85. Taste: Almond Paste 86. Identify: Szechuan peppercorn 87. Taste: Umeboshi Plum 88. Identify: Turmeric Root 89. Taste: Crosnes 90. Identify: Citrus Squeezer 91. Taste: Dried Squid 92. Identify: Hisbiscus Flower/Jamaica/Sorrel 93. Identify: Campanelle Pasta 94. Taste: Jackfruit 95. Taste: Savory 96. Identify: Lemon Verbena 97. Identify: Dried Pinto Bean 98. Taste: Baby Turnip 99. Identify: Grapefruit Knife 100. Taste: Jasmine Extract 101. Identify: Wolfberries 102. Taste: Rambutan 103. Identify: Bonito/Katsuobushi Flakes 104. Identify: Flax seed 105. Taste: Fennel Pollen 106. Identify: Balut 107. Identify: Black Gram 108. Taste: Huitlacoche/ Corn Fungus 109. Identify: Wakame Seaweed 110. Identify: Pasilla Chile 111. Identify: Corn Stripper 112. Taste: Mentaiko 113. Identify: Kombu Seaweed 114. Identify: Dried Soy Bean 115. Taste: Epazote 116. Identify: Bitter Melon 117. Taste: Purple Yam/Ube 118. Identify: Pineapple Corer and Slicer 119. Identify: Dried Mung Bean 120. Taste: Anise Hyssop 121. Identify: Chamomile 122. Identify: Coconut Stripper 123. Taste: Durian Fruit 124. Taste: Licorice Powder 125. Identify: Hamburger Patty Maker 126. Identify: Chile de Arbol