Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Watch What Happens Reunion

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

Watch What Happens Reunion

Bethenny Frankel shares her thoughts on the Reunion.

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As for last night's episode, I found the chefs to all be a bit understated and significantly cooled off. There was very little drama, and thank god for the video montages which were definitely the highlights.

I had forgotten that Spike and Mark took a "smoked foam" bath, Dale and Richard admired each other's nipples and Spike and Andrew recorded a "vanilla" love rap. I got no gay vibes from any of these players, so I thought it was just a function of the insanity of the situation. Being sequestered with the same people for weeks will make you laugh, cry, drink, and say things you wouldn't otherwise. The "I'm not gay but I'd let him bang me" comment from andrew was definitely a little much, but then again so is Andrew.

Rarely on these shows do you see so many friendships as a result, and I thought that was great. That is what cooking in a kitchen is about: teamwork and camaraderie.

Now to the relationships: Mark got married and Jen and Zoi seemed to have broken up but didn't want to discuss it. They mentioned this with the intensity of Brad and Angelina wanting to keep their relationship private. I totally understand, but it was funny. Frankly, I didn't think their relationship was particularly highlighted on the show, and I certainly didn't think it had any negative or positive bearing on the outcome. Cook your food, play the game, and win or lose. Please don't blame the outcome on the status. No one is buying that.

I'm glad that Spike's cunning personality was highlighted, because as the video showed, it really was a factor. I actually met him at the A-List Awards, and he asked me why I hate him so much. I told him "I don't hate you but you're a bit of a jerk." He actually seemed like a nice guy, and he probably thought that this strategy would work. He was mistaken, and I do believe that even in a competition, maintain integrity. None of his scams ever even helped him.

There was a nightmare section. That is totally plausible. In serious stressful situations, your mind goes crazy and it processes in your sleep. I am a crazy dreamer, and it can be terrifying and have you really ruffled during the day as well. As they mentioned, cooking for iconic chefs is terrifying. I remember years ago when I cooked at an event, and Jeffrey Chodorow was my first customer. I was panicked, and Jeffrey is no Daniel Boulud or Anthony Bourdain -- he's a restaurateur. They're star chefs. My favorite line was that Anthony Bourdain is a culinary assassin. Truer words have never been spoken. He just annihilates anyone (especially chefs with subpar dishes). His kindest words of the season were describing a dish as "baby vomit with wood chips." That alone could make you gag.


I found the Ryan Scott rambling portion annoying and uncomfortable. It was annoying then and I didn't need to relive his moronic monologues of nonsense yet again. Let the food speak for itself. Less is more.

I also don't remember anything about Antonia being "The Black Hammer." I didn't even realize. And yes, to all of the snarky comments, I do watch the show. Some things just slip through the cracks.

It was cute when Gail fell asleep at the table, hilarious when the Judges' Table was described as the place where chefs get ripped a new a**hole, and accurate that the judges are absolutely brutal and can shrink the strongest chef's ego. That's actually a great, humbling thing for chefs to take into their careers. Chefs are anything but modest and humble.

I agree with the fact that scales on fish (even if not everyone experienced this) is more egregious than below-average mushrooms eaten by anyone. Removing scales is 101 in a fish dish. Tom actually seemed regretful that Dale went home with one failure and Lisa with two. This decision is the one fatal flaw of the season. Dale is far superior to Lisa, has a better attitude (not very difficult to achieve), and deserved to go farther -- not all the way but definitely farther.


They mentioned my question about Lisa's permanently pissed-off behavior and scowl. I don't think she'll get that Emmy she mentioned. I also met her at the A-List Awards and that scowl is permanent too. Smiling is free. She might want to try it or simply not leave the kitchen. I would sooner have Andrew interact with diners before Lisa.

She really threw Andrew under the bus in his firing episode and she apologized and knew that she was wrong. It may be frustrating, but everything comes out in the wash, and tattletaling is really pretty low.

Andrew's advanced Dungeons & Dragons answer to his supposed ADD condition was funny. I'm sure people with ADD will be offended. I don't think diagnosing someone on a reality show is necessary. He lightened that one up and diverted it.

Now to the fights: They illustrated the major ones to be Dale vs. Spike over who did more in the kitchen. I think dale won that one. Dale and Lisa had a major war and I think dale got that one too. Lisa vs. Andrew -- Andrew won due to her ratting him out. He was right. Then there was a whole spiderweb of arguments that I couldn't assess.


Richard did a satellite feed. I really like him. He is a class act and remained so in admitting that he choked. I think Stephanie would have taken the whole competition regardless. I do believe he was the best but definitely less consistent.

Stephanie won the Fan Favorite. I feel like the winner shouldn't be up for this vote. Give someone else a chance to win something. Maybe that's my bitterness because I would have rooted for Dale even though he wouldn't have had a shot. Antonia would have been a close second.

I thought it was a great season. I love this show, and I can't wait till the next season rolls around. Thanks for listening, and for the few of you that hate me, now you can hate someone else on another blog until you have to watch me on the Real Housewives next season.

Otherwise, visit www.bethennybakes.com for my other blogs, recipes, and updates.

Ciao.

B