Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Very 1995

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

Fin, Found, Floundering

What Danny Meyer Taught Gail Simmons

'Top Chef' Goes to Hog Heaven

Gris Gris Boucherie Ya Ya

Brian and Travis' Dud Spuds

Very 1995

Find out what Harold thinks of deconstructed dishes.

Let's start with that controversial Quickfire. Robin talks about her cancer and Eli makes a little remark when she wins… You’re not gonna get points for saying something like that. You can’t really relate to what this woman’s been through. She was definitely showing there, and he should trust the judges. I mean, I’m not into hearing the stories so much though. I’d rather eat the food and talk about cooking.

I thought the Penn & Teller stuff was really cool. It was really amazing to see how they did that. The whole point of the elimination was deconstructed food. I do very little deconstruction and we have done it, but it feels very 1995 to me. It seems like that was a ‘90s trend. In fact, I’ve had very few dishes deconstructed that I really enjoyed. The last one I had was a crab cake-esque dish with a remoulade, so it was all the elements of tartar sauce broken down. It was made into little drops mixed together to taste like tartar sauce. There was celery and old bay, and instead of breadcrumbs to bind the cake there was a crab tuille. It did work at the end of the day. The crab element was very so-so, but the tartar was very well done.

Kevin won with his deconstructed mole. They loved it and mole seems to be very popular. Ron went home for the paella, which was not deconstructed at all. Paella is very difficult to time properly. There’s a big discussion about crust on paella because of Michele Bernstein’s suggestion to utilize it in the deconstruction. I’ve cooked in Spain and I don’t have the recollection to go back and say where in Spain I’ve had crust and where I didn’t, but the ingredients in Paella differ so much depending on where you are. They are ridiculously different. If you’re down South, it’s all shellfish. Up north, you can have pork and rabbit. I remember the ingredients vividly, but I don’t remember the crust or where they had it exactly. I almost never order paella. It needs to be done in a large quantity, and individually it’s not the same. It’s one of my favorite things to cook for a dinner party. You have to baby it, and it takes time, but it’s one pan and it’s done.

That's all for this week!