Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

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Maybe, Maybe, Maybe

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

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe

Sam Talbot wonders about Hung's confidence, Joey's emotions, and Rocco DiSpirito.

Here's a quick list of "Maybes" I'd like to share, pertaining to the now infamous Rocco episode: sam_307_01_320x240.jpg

Maybe they should have started the "Bee" with easy items then make them progressively harder (like every other contest in the history of contests)? Anyway, this was a fun Quickfire and the Chefs impressed me. I mean, grounded up roasted red bell peppers as a spice? Wow.

Maybe Hung learned something in the Quickfire. He seemed a bit more humble in this Elimination. The typical Hung bravado and swagger were missing. I hope it sticks, because I really want to see what he can do in the kitchen.

Maybe I'm over reacting to Joey's comment about Rocco, but it really pissed me off. Before I rant about it, let me state this disclaimer: Maybe, just maybe, Rocco did or said something that warranted Joey's insults, but the audience at home didn't get to see it. For instance, I know from talking to Harold that we both had similar reactions to Guest Judge Mike Yakura. He walked into the TC kitchen, swearing at chefs and displaying an attitude that was unwarranted. We weren't his staff and the show isn't called "Hell's Kitchen". So maybe Rocco acted that way and it didn't make the edit? If so, then I can understand Joey's anger. But I'm going to assume he didn't. Rocco appeared to be friendly, respectful, almost to the point of being helpful. I was so fired up I went online to watch the rest of his exit interview. It appears that his disdain for Rocco stems from Joey thinking Rocco is a sell out. Let me repeat that: In Joey's Reality TV exit interview, he calls Rocco a sell out for doing a Reality TV show. Hello? Pot? Yeah, it's me. Kettle. I'm packing my knives right now because Rocco once had a TV show, not because I ignored my partner when he said to IQF the ingredients.

Maybe I'm biased. I've always liked Rocco. And I still do. I also liked the way he questioned the other judges when they were deliberating. I thought it was great when he called Tom out. As far as I'm concerned, put Rocco's name on the short list of guest judges we should see more of. And until we all get 3 stars from the New York Times like Rocco, maybe we should spend less time talking about "The Restaurant" and more time learning from a dude who has proven he can cook with the best of them. Okay, enough about that. Back to the positive stuff about this week ...

Maybe CJ and Tre did everything right. Or pretty close to it. Especially how they worked together. It reminded me of when I got to partner up with Cliff. When you get in that vibe, it's a lot of fun.

Maybe Joey's emotions got the best of him and his exit interview was just the result. Joey: You're clearly a passionate guy who works from the heart. It's easy to tell you've made some great friends there. Best of luck -- may you find yourself in the position where you can turn down TV show offers in the future.