Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Ultimate Cop Out

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

Ultimate Cop Out

The Top Chef winner weighs in on pasta salad, angry judges, and more!

I thought that the judges were angry this episode! Why were they so angry? You know those judges hate the pasta salad. I gotta say, that’s the ultimate cop out. Seriously? You’re gonna go on TV and make pasta salad? What are you thinking?

Let’s talk about the Quickfire. There was definitely some good stuff and I was impressed. I liked the potato risotto idea, and it was too bad it was a little salty.

I probably could have said that making ice cream in 45 minutes is a little tough unless you have a real high-powered machine and it didn’t get it done. He played it great though. I was hoping he would win because that would have been funny.

But with the risotto, I don’t like the fact that he put mascarpone. You don’t really make risotto like that. Potatoes you have to be a little more gentle with because if they get overcooked they can break apart when you’re trying to beat the crap out of them with a spoon. I would have just gone with butter and cheese. I liked the idea, but it gets creamy anyway.

In terms of the gnocchi, you can definitely do it in 45 minutes. I thought Ashley did a good job. She went for it and made the ricotta cheese. But Preeti taking the water was kind of a disaster.

Let’s talk about the elimination. I thought it was smart to get them in teams. It was an interesting game plan. I guess they just felt like it would make things easier for them if they just put themselves in groups and come up with the food that way instead of every single person coming up with a different dish.

I thought Jen did a good job as the leader. I thought it was kinda funny when she told them she had to stay on task. I find myself saying that in the kitchen a lot too. I thought it was a good challenge. It looked tough and everybody was battling with firepower. They had four hours to cook and that was good enough.

Mike Isabella found himself on the top and the bottom and that was kinda funny. I didn’t think they’d do it. I thought they would give someone else a hard time. But that pasta salad I was like, come on. They couldn’t send Mike home.

Gail and Tom talked about how Preeti didn’t realize she messed up and Laurine did. Everybody messes up and everybody makes mistakes. The judges want to see that you realize it. If you recognize your mistakes and identify what you can do differently then there’s growth there and you show that you have that quality of a chef. It’s great to stand behind your food, but it’s a problem if you say, “I thought I did everything right and I don’t know why I’m here.”

Right now I’m liking the brothers, Eli, Kevin, and Jen. We’ll see.