Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Finally, a NYC Challenge

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

Finally, a NYC Challenge

Brian Malarkey calls it like he sees it and has a special message for Leah.

I had such high hopes for this season in NYC and all of the endless possibilities; finally Top Chef delivers with Eric Ripert as the host judge.

I missed last week’s blog because I was in Vegas doing a demo with Richard Blais at the NAPTE convention. I really didn’t have much to say about the “NYC All-Star Challenge” except I was really happy the current season won. That was a far cry from being the best that Top Chef has produced or highlighted out of NYC. Without Hung and Harold in the mix we had just a bunch of early elimination characters, great characters that we will always enjoy but still not the all-stars that should have been represented. The fact that Carla won or at least I think she won was like the Detroit Lions getting a really easy season against a bunch of Pop Warner rejects. 

This challenge highlighted cuisine that is of the highest echelon of our country's dining scene.  I of course have a hard time with Chef Eric Ripert because he’s the one that sent me packing my knives in the mountain of Aspen with the cowboy challenge, but I will and will always have the greatest respect for someone like him with such (stealing Hung’s line) Style, Grace, and Elegance ….

Breaking it down like the cheftestants in the Quickfire Challenge: It's impossible to reproduce one of Eric Ripert's dishes that he has worked on for years in two hours after having only tasted it moments earlier. One more thing from my eyes-only: I swear that Padma has the biggest crush on Eric Ripert. I saw it in Aspen and I saw it again on this episode.

The Malarkey Power Ranking:
1. Stefan - Wins the Quickfire and the Elimination only solidifies him as the “Top Chef” of Season Five. This guy is fierce with his lobster and asparagus reproduction. He refers to skinning an eel like riding a bike. Awesome display of confidence. Such a hard-edge competitor. I heard a very accurate rumor that he spends his time in nail salons as a means of relaxation. This self-described pretty boy with the shiny dome will be traveling with Eric Ripert this summer. Should be able to buy everyone cold beers with his $100K in pocket. 

2. Hosea : “The Seafood Guy” - I am really good friends with the guys who own the rights to “Who’s your Daddy” and they want your address to collect their copyright violation dinero. I was the seafood guy from my season and I had no idea that you are supposed to let Monkfish rest before slicing it. I always do medallions. Obviously it's going down to Germany vs. USA in the World Cup of Top Chef and I am beginning to think USA might actually have a chance.3. Fabio - The bread crust looked like a pain in the ass but you pulled it off without having to give a bunch of Malarkey doing so. I loved you using your knife as a spatula on Eric’s non-stick pans. His tight French ass is probably still clinched.

4. Carla -  Alright already — this is the first time I have not had her on the bottom. I’m really starting to enjoy her and all of the Hootie Whos, owl cries and “swagger.” She confessed to being a theatre major and now all she wants to be is an Eric Ripert dish. You can’t write nor think this outside the box. You go girl!  

5. Leah - Quit batting your eyes and rubbing your hair. The pouty lips and exaggerated smiles while “giving up” are forgettable.

5. Leah - Quit batting your eyes and rubbing your hair. The pouty lips and exaggerated smiles while “giving up” are forgettable. Head home and let the real chefs get down to it. Your party is over. Butter and miso? I always thought Jamie was a better chef! 

Farewell, Jamie - You inspired the line of the season. In my best Fabio impersonation: "This is Top Chef not Top Scallop!"  When you say in your interview that you are over cuisine like Eric Ripert and that this or that dish was not your favorite you have lit the fire of the wick to your own piece of dynamite that invariably explodes in your own face.  Jamie ROCKED IT and I would love to cook with her anytime. She was quoted as saying the second best line of the season: “… bored with Eric Ripert's food.” 

One last farewell to Jeff who did a great job on the show. The wink was the worst and the leadership was the best.

I call it like I see it and I want you to do the same. Let’s hear it!  

Could somebody on the set please get Toby some dental floss?