Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Richard: Here Comes The Chef

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

Dookie Chase Makes Everybody Cry

Richard: Here Comes The Chef

Richard opens up about Wedding Wars.

Bravotv.com: First the Quickfire -- how excited were you to do the speed challenge -- a favorite from last season?
I was very excited to do the relay. I personally never saw that episode last season but the other contestants talked about it often, so when I realized what was going on I was excited.

Bravotv.com: Your win let you choose which person to cook for (bride or groom) -- what made you choose bride?
I just thought that it made sense. It's her day, and I also thought that the meat and potatoes theme left little to misinterpret.

Bravotv.com: You mentioned that wedding food is usually horrible, I'm sure people might be curious to know how the food was at your wedding?
We decided that for our wedding we wanted interactive stations that represented the foods we liked, so we had some local chefs help out and do sushi, NYC deli sandwiches, a tapas bar, etc. I think wedding food gets bad when it's a formal sit-down, or buffet. It should be reflective of the couple, and let's be honest, there is a lot of room for creativity in the catering world. By the way, I've already gotten a few requests to cater weddings since last Wednesday ....

Bravotv.com: It seems like you guys just took the bride's suggestions and ran with it, did you ever have any hesitation about her theme?
No hesitation. It just seemed fairly simple; it was all about the meat.

Bravotv.com: There was some concern about Andrew's chicken dish, did anyone actually say that he shouldn't make it though?
I don't think so. I think Andrew made that same dish the week prior and it was killer. We also had a kitchen near the buffet line, so that was the plan to cook more at the moment and bring fresh crispy orders to the line.

Bravotv.com: You look surprised that Andrew didn't like the spinach after you added something to it -- did he express that before Judges' Table? What did you add to give that "funny taste?" (or however the judges put it)
Tom liked the spinach. There was a guest who didn't care for it. I suggested star anise in the kitchen and we went with it. I put it in my spinach every day; it's great. I never added the star anise to the spinach, I suggested it ...


Bravotv.com: You gave your win to Stephanie -- a top chef first! -- why did you do that?
I took the win and gave Stephanie the prize. It was a team effort, and she provided an element that was crucial to the win, something that no one else on our team could have delivered.

Bravotv.com: Did you taste the other team's dishes? What did you think?
No -- there was so much going on that I never got a chance to taste their stuff.

Bravotv.com: You said you would never have made the cake -- have you ever had to make one for anything?
Not a wedding cake; no way. I do a red velvet "tartare," which is basically a crumbled cake with cream cheese sorbet. I usually joke that I do it as a tartare because I'm a bad baker!


Bravotv.com: You just opened your restaurant Home! Can you tell us about it yet?
HOME, is a restaurant in Buckhead Atlanta that I opened a few weeks ago. It is a Southern-inspired modern menu, focusing on farm to table. We try to do everything local, and of course also feature some neat toys in the kitchen.

People can make reservations on OpenTable.com and mention this blog when they reserve so I make sure to say "Hello!" This past Friday I had the pleasure to meet and cook for Harold from Season 1 which totally freaked out my dining room, as most of them were popping springs and circuits (does not compute!, does not compute!) when they realized two Top Chef[testant]s from different seasons were in the same space ...

Make Melissa's Mom's Egg Custard

Melissa entrusted her mom to remake one of her childhood favorites -- and came up with a win. Make your own version at home.

Egg Custard With Shitake Mushrooms, Clams, and Lobster Ingredients

Ingredients 

Clams
3 cups water
1 bag of bonito
1 small piece of dashi
10 shitake mushrooms (additional to dice for garnish)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mirin
3 eggs
Scallions (for garnish)
Salmon roe (for garnish)
Lobster knuckle meat (for garnish)

Directions for Clams
1. Steam clams, remove meat, and chop.
2. Reserve residual liquid for broth.

Directions for Broth
1. Boil to a simmer for 1 hour.
2. Strain.
3. Adjust seasoning with soy sauce, salt, and mirin.
4. Cool liquid in ice broth.
5. Mix 2 cups of chilled broth with 3 eggs.
6. Whisk well.
7. Strain to create the egg custard.

To Garnish
1. Put knuckle meat, clams, and mushrooms into small bowls
2. Top with chilled egg custard (about 4 oz.)
3. Cover with plastic wrap and steam for 10 minutes.
4. Top with scallions, salmon roe.

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