Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons dishes on the Bahamas and has a message for Richard.

on Mar 10, 20110

Bravotv.com: This week the chefs head to the Bahamas. How was that as a finale location?
Gail Simmons: It was beautiful. We happened to be there for over two full weeks, which coincided nicely with two of NY's major snowstorms this winter, so I couldn't have been more pleased to be there. The beaches were gorgeous, the water was beautiful, the weather was completely perfect, and we had a lot of fun.

Bravotv.com: For the Quickfire, all the chefs had to compete against the Top Chefs from their season. What did you think about that concept?
GS: It was a great idea and very intense. There's risks involved with doing a Quickfire like that –- you obviously want the contestants to win since there's more at stake for them. But if the former Top Chef loses, does that discredit them? I don't think it does, and I hope our audience doesn't think that either, because as you know, we judge every challenge on its stand-alone merit. You can lose one day and win the next, and that's what cooking is about. So I thought it played out very well.

Bravotv.com: And a few of them did beat their season's Top Chef.
GS: Mike Isabella beat Michael Voltaggio, which I thought was fascinating and fun to watch. Richard beat Stephanie, and Tiffany beat Kevin. It's important to keep in mind that the finalists are more in practice right now. The past Top Chefs haven't been in the game for a while. And they all had almost no resources, they barely had running water, so I didn’t take it too seriously, but I think it was fun.

Bravotv.com: It was interesting that Hosea felt like he still had something to prove.
GS: I guess there are some haters out there, but at the end of the day he won fair and square so it doesn't even matter. We know the truth and how good a chef he still is.

86 comments
Fatimaa
Fatimaa

Happy Birthday Richard ..I just rbmemeer you as the little brother!! But, I will say you were never a pest. Good luck with all your endeavors. You deserve the best. Diane

dead sea masque
dead sea masque

Thank goodness some bloggers can still write. Thanks for this blog

halfrench
halfrench

I agree completely. Unless Richard served dog-poo, Tom was going to pick him to win.

KellyB41
KellyB41

Richard was set up the entire time to win but he was just annoying to watch. I really started rooting against him and despising him! It's so frustrating that he won so now he can gloat about how he is the best. I totally agree with the others that it's bullshit that he thinks his Chicago season was his to lose. He just lost to a better competitor and that's it. The funny thing is he has said on Top Chef Masters that he was the runner-up but he actually came in 3rd!!! He conveniently leaves that out.

wadewife
wadewife

Hi! I do agree that Richard is probably the better of the two chefs remaining but his "everything I cook sucks" routine is truly vomit-inducing. To me, this is passive-agression in its purest form. Richard knows damn well he's a tremendous cook. He says his food is lousy/subpar just waiting for someone to say, "but Richard you're a WONDERFUL chef..the best..most talented...etc.etc". I feel this to be true because my husband is the EXACT same way. Everything is he does he says isn't good enough and waits for me to say, "oh, honey, you're the very best." It gets old, believe me. I feel sorry for Mrs Blais if she has to keep up the constant stroking/reassurance. Anyway, TCAll Stars is the BEST version of the show since Season 1,(I still miss Kathie Lee; IMHO Padma adds nothing to this show but a decent wardrobe). I was rooting for Carla, then Antonia, now I am on Team Mike. Rock on, Mike and thanks Bravo for a SUPER show.

Sad female fan
Sad female fan

Now that Richard made it to the finals again, beating out Antonia (again), he needs to stop bragging. We get it: you're good. I'm sad that, once again, a woman won't be winning Top Chef. Richard took EVERY opportunity to say that when Stephanie won (which was also the only time a woman won), it was a fluke because he choked in his finale. He was defending himself with all of those MANY comments, but does he realize (or care) how bad it all sounded for Stephanie? Or how much he could be pissing off female viewers? If I were Stephanie, I'd have choked HIM by now. I don't get how Richard can be so cocky and so self-depricating at the same time. I'm annoyed by the former, and don't buy the latter. Somebody cook him some humble pie.

BL
BL

I understand that cooking is an art....but it is also necessary for survival. In light of our economy ( not to mention world hunger) It is really quite offensive to waste food as frivolously and as publicly as is done on this show. Please have some sensitivity and respect...at least live up to your lofty and politically supercilious 'Top Chef' pretensions... And remember that most of us do not have the luxury of 'throw away' food. Thank you

Peggy 2
Peggy 2

I thought this show was supposed to be about who was the best chef, not who is the cockiest or who the judges like the most. Richard is my favorite and seems to be by far the contestant most respected by the other competitors. It's a shame that Tom and Gail have decided to bash him for not being cocky. I don't understand it. There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. I find Richard delightful and his humility refreshing. In contrast, I find Mike's smug cockiness grating. I hope he doesn't win, because I thoroughly dislike him. I'm rooting for Richard or Antonia. Too bad Tom and Gail have chosen to make this a personality test. (Although if they like Mike's arrogance and feel the need to disparage Richard for his humility, I don't think it says much about either of them.)

Lorr
Lorr

"I love him, but I think he could use a therapist." When did being a judge on a reality cooking show qualify you as a psychologists. Perhaps your position has gone to your head and exaggerated your scope of expertise.

TomCend
TomCend

While I admire that the judges seem to think they are judging based just on the dishes, and not the cooks, it's nonetheless distressing to see the competition come down to two men who are to me so completely unpleasant to watch. Everything 'Mikey' says makes my skin crawl, and the way he smiles about his lapses of integrity are grotesque to watch. If he wins, I'm off this show for good. As for Richard, he may be brilliant, but does he have to keep telling us so? Artists actually DON'T have to be tortured. It's a myth that they have to be neurotic. Tiffany and Antonia and Carla at least had sanity on their sides...and while Tom may claim one dish was worse than the rest, they all had problems. At this point, I think I'm checking out of the finale...I can find out how Antonia did afterwards. To me it looks like they're shaping up to give it to either Mike or Richard, and watching either of them get more air time just feels unnecessarily disagreeable...even repulsive.

INHOUSECHEF
INHOUSECHEF

I have never wrote or commented on any blog before, but after reading your blog I just have to express my opinion, I'm really surprise that as a judge in this show, you decided to express your opinion about a contestant mental state or attitude, you have been in the lime light long enough to know that any comment you make about any contestant could affect the perception the public has of him/her during the show and later on after this show is over in the real world. In this case is surprising you will willingly choose to express that a contestant needs to get therapy, which is way out of line, you seem to be a smart woman think before you speak or in this case blog. Put yourself in his shoes how would you feel... I sincerely think you owe Richard an apology.

az viewer
az viewer

Not true. When everyone was standing back Antonia was there trying to figure out how to turn the temperature down.

Mirk
Mirk

Thanks for sticking up for Richard. Isn't this all about the food? Richard is consistently excellent. He deserves to win and should. Plus I'd rather listen to him than the super smug Mikey. Talk about annoying!

SHERI WINE
SHERI WINE

I STILL CAN'T GET OVER THE FACT THAT YOU PICKED ISABELLA'S GREASY DISH OVER RICHARDS CREATIVE AND APPARENTLY GREAT TASTING DISH. YOU SHOULD NOT BE CONCERNED OVER WHAT A CONTESTANT SAYS ABOUT HIMSELF, YOUR JOB IS TO PICK A WINNING DISH.

BangkokFan
BangkokFan

It is a food contest not personality contest here. Richard brings something creative and interesting to the show. Entertaining and surprising to look the food he has delivered entire season. If you hv nothing to say about his food, bettter keep quite!.

from venezuela
from venezuela

Richard is the best!!!!! I also loved Dale, so sorry he left... Richard I wish you good luck, hope to see you win this time...

Joanne (Scotland)
Joanne (Scotland)

I agree, I also think he is one of those people who keeps pretending to doubt himself simply so that people will keep telling him how wonderful he is. Its a sneaky way of fishing for compliments. Im really surprised that more people dont see right through him.

And yes, he has helped people in the past, but we always get to know about it dont we ? Now why do you think that is ?

I am really sick to death of this guy and pray he doesnt win. Im fed up seeing his confused look when he doesnt win a challenge. Put the petted lip away Richard and realise that you are not going to win every challenge, other people in the competition can obviously cook just as well (if not better) than you.

dottie fl
dottie fl

Richard is my least favorite. He used to be my favorite, but he's arrogant and full of himself. Go Antonia!

SJean
SJean

Richard is a tortured and brilliant chef. I hope he can hang on until the end. I really have a problem with judging this season though, "your dish was too simple", "your dish was too complex". It seemed, at times, the judging was very arbitrary.

Mike I, on the other hand seemed willing to use any and everyone to gain an advantage. Richards ideas, Tiffanys talent and ideas in the New Orleans contest. I even think he used his deceased grandmother to gain sympathy from Gail. I'm not saying he didn't love his grandmother, but this obvious ploy of emotion was, in my mind, calculated.

tevye
tevye

wow....it is amazing how completely different people's perceptions can be. When we all see the same episodes, same interviews, etc. Here's mine....Richard is the BEST. The best quality chef as well as the best quality HEART of all the contestants. My favorites have been....Richard (#1), Dale T. (#2) Carla(#3), Antonio (#4), and Antonia (#5). Loved Fabio too.....(#6). Haven't tasted any food up to this point....but loved these chefs. Period.

Mlad
Mlad

Geez. Richard's an artist. That generally involves aspiring to one's highest personal potential and thus is full of doubt. Instead of trying to turn him into a corporate smile, let him be. It's all part of the package and it's one that many artists relate to.

cjjack
cjjack

All this back and forth about Richard is really pointless. The most important part about this episode for me is that Gail looked stunning. I don't know what you're doing, Gail, but it is working! Yowza!

grammylou
grammylou

You sure did start a landslide of negative comments about Richard by your blog comments. I would think as a judge you would have more grace than that and not show your prejudice towards him.

Fan-lantan
Fan-lantan

Coming from Atlanta, all I can say is that having the honor to meet Richard in person, several times, he's as nice and generous as you see him on TV, especially with the kids.

Perhaps the pressure of being away from his wife while she's 8 month's pregnant, right after his mother and grandmother passed away, while trying to open a new restaurant, has started wearing on him.

However, I can assure you, in person, Richard is extremely confident about his food and his concepts; I'm sure this is exactly why he's comfortable helping his fellow cheftestants, like Stephanie when she didn't have a clue how to cook the beef tongue, or allowing Mike to take a peek at his notebook (we all know how that turned out, and Richard didn't point that out to the producers about Mike stealing the idea so he could take the $5,000 Quickfire prize, just us, his audience - we would have never known, otherwise).

I agree with other posters - editing can make anyone look better than they seem on screen, or worse. Mike may have had better moments along the way than shown until now, and I'm confident Richard has shown a lot more confidence than the "whining" the producers have been portraying recently. This is all being done for a reason, and none of us know what it is at the moment. Let's just see how this whole thing plays out.

OliveAnne
OliveAnne

If I was in a contest for $200 thousand and had 3 months off - I would be spending every waking hour practicing and improving on what I did right. For the chefs to be cooking poorly makes me question if they care? And how could three of them beat out the past winner and then drop the ball for the elimination challenge?? What is with that? Mike did say he had spent his time preparing. And Tiffany saying they love my soups and stews - did she ever win with them? Seems to me she had been in the bottom too many times. I have been Team Richard since Fabio left and now I too am tired of all this - beating himself up - a TC has to have confidence. Richard seems to be much worse as time goes on. Is he going to lose this one too? What did he say last time he was in the finals - he gave up that was for sure. Too bad he is the most talented and the most inventive cook I have seen for all the seasons. And he is a nice guy. I am not sure of his leadership skills. I so wish that they were tested more. The TC winner most times goes on and opens a resturant. If they do not have the skills to lead - they better hire someone who can. You cannot run a resturant as the nice guy, not that you have to be mean. You must be a take charge guy or girl. This has been interesting and hard to watch favorites PTK. Thank you, OliveAnne FloridaFan

patsy from colorado
patsy from colorado

i do not like richards dejected attitude. its not a wuality of aZ top chef. he always looks like a sour puss when he isnt the winner of the challanges. that isnt attractive in any sense. plus he actually believes he was the winner of his season! it was stephanie not him!

TeamBlais
TeamBlais

I have to agree with EJane. Richard has always been quick to help someone, like with Antonia's beef tongue, and is rarely in the bottom. I don't get why he's being judged on his personality rather than his food, but everyone likes Mike for being obnoxious? As an Italian from Jersey, I can't stand Mike. He's arrogant and cocky, yet he doesn't get judged for his toolbag personality and plagiarizing Richard's recipe? I have loved Richard since the day he set foot on Top Chef and want him to win so badly, but I would bet all the money in the world that Mike wins. It's obviously what the producers want you to wish for, and they're setting him up to be the underdog who overtakes everybody in the end, starting with the last challenge. I just wish they would stop focusing on Richard's personality and start highlighting his food. Also, how can you overlook how caring he was with his wife?

EJane
EJane

I would just like to remind everybody about Richard's consistent generosity with his fellow chefs -- offering help, advice and sharing his knowledge and talent even with his competitors. The sign not only of a true professional, but a kind and generous spirit.

Surely we can overlook his insecurity. He has, it seems to me, the "Imposter Syndrome," which afflicts a large number of very smart, very talented, accomplished but insecure people. Give him a break.

Debbie Mc
Debbie Mc

I was thinking the same thing about Richard. The last couple episodes I have noticed he always has this serious worried look and it's getting old. I liked him in the beginning but now I am rooting for him to leave. Carla was my number one favorite and still is but since she's gone I'm rooting for one of the girls to win.

Cat in the Hat
Cat in the Hat

Richard to me is the typical tortured artist, by turns a bit full of himself and then filled with self doubt. He is brilliant however and wildly creative.

Steve from Edmonton
Steve from Edmonton

"Richard, Richard, believe in yourself." He is such a great talent, I'm hoping he can focus and handle the stress. His dishes are always unique and and he continuously challenges himself on every test and he never does the same thing twice, he is a master at improvisation. He is the most genuine and skilled chef of all the contestants, he just needs to overcome his perpetual self-doubting.

Sorry to see Carla go she was a real gem and good person. Mike, not much good to say about him since he pilfered Richards recipe a few episodes ago. Go Richard!

jaderabbit
jaderabbit

I agree that Richard's anxiety is wearying to watch, especially when set against his more confident statements. That said, I thought he was the hero of this episode. He was the one who lidded the fire and kept it from getting out of hand. The cut was so fast, my husband missed it--but I went back and watched. Everybody else was standing around looking confused, but he saved the day--and maybe that restaurant.

I will miss Carla. I wish her the best.

FoggyNotion
FoggyNotion

Wow! All the Richard hating all of a sudden.

Stop being fooled by the EDITING. Don't you see what they are doing? They are setting up that story line by cutting to his frowns, just like they are playing up Mikey's brash, arrogant testimonial moments.

One game I play while I'm watching is to pay attention to the editing and consider the narrative they are trying to set up. Given his and Mikey's comments about how they prepped, and how they are playing up neurotic, whiny Richard and the loud, arrogant Mikey, I believe the final will be a showdown between those two.

Go Richard!!! Now that Carla and Dale have fallen, there's only one choice left for me now.

Green Pea
Green Pea

Team Mikey!!!!

2nd Choice: Richard or Antonia

BEST Season YET!

CTina68
CTina68

I agree with you 100% about Richard. He is tiresome to watch and seems a completely joyless individual. For that reason alone, I hope that he loses, so that he can genuinely have a valid outllet to pour all of his negative energy into.

Top Fan o' Carla
Top Fan o' Carla

Very good points on that of Richard's loveless dishes. There's still a part of me that routes for him, but his dishes seem to be about technician over love and passion. This is why I was Pro-Carla and still am!!

DCViewer
DCViewer

I'm soooo tired of Richard's schtick. He's clearly talented, and I find him pretty funny at times, but he's also either really insecure or a spoiled brat who needs constant affirmation that he's the best. Give it a rest, already, Richard! It is possible to be a really great chef, and have other equally talented peers. I was rooting for him to win until a couple of episodes ago, when I started to realize "this guy is really bringing me down." Go Mikey!!!

Adrian Cheong
Adrian Cheong

Hi Gail, this is a Top Chef fan from Singapore. I'm sorry that I'm adding this comment here, but I think I posted sometime ago but it wasn't put up.

Chef Dale Talde is Top Chef in many of our minds and hearts. He gave us a reason to watch Top Chef and now that he is gone, I'm hardly even interested to know who will win. Win, eliminated, not eliminated, no one eliminated...who cares! I'm telling the truth. I tried watching the last episode yesterday (the one where no one was eliminated) and I was bored stiff and was left uninspired. And I just watched the first Bahamas episode...oh my, boring, sad and a bit painful to watch. Previous episodes I can watch even in the middle of the night!

I must add that I feel that the reason he was voted out was because of the male guest judge (John Folse?)...It was clear that the other lady judge (Paula Deen) even probably liked Dale’s food (except for the potatoes). John Folse probably was some mega male who needed to have his final say, and Paula probably let him have his way, so did Tom and Padma to my dismay.

Come on, Paula said Carla's dish "DID NOT MAKE ANY SENSE"...and that got her through? I repeat: "DID NOT MAKE SENSE" equals getting through to the next episode. Don't get me wrong. I love Carla on TV too, but hey, a bad dish is a bad dish. No one said Dale’s dish was bad (except ego male John Folse), just some people who could not take a bit of mustard? I LOVE mustard. And I'm so happy to hear that you like it too...to bad you weren't around when Dale was judged.

AND I'm sorry but bringing the past cheftestants back is way STUPID. AND too bad Dale got Angelo...he's not a strong contestant, even if he must be quite a good chef in his restaurant.

And among the top 5 who got in? Sheeesh. All this means that the show is no longer about looking for the Top Chef, but "Average Chef".

Tom, Gail, Padma (all 3 of whom I do like), Bravo, you hear me? Change your show to 'Average Chef' for goodness sake. Mike Isabella has 2 quickfire wins and Tiffany (whom I love as a person) has no wins? But both are in the finals....UNBELIEVABLE. The show is called TOP CHEF, not TOP 'SO-SO' CHEF, not TOP 'STAY-IN-THE-MIDDLE' CHEF, not 'NO-WINS" CHEF...I could go on.

Heck, I was just beginning to revive my hope in this show after one of the good chefs (I think Jennifer) was booted off way too early (even before Jamie!). And now I've lost all hope. I write this only because so many of us care for the show and don't want it to be become another 'blah' show on Bravo like the god-awful "Fashion Show - ultimate crap collection".

Oops I think I got carried away. This post was supposed to be about Dale. So Chef Dale, no worries that you did not win the TV show. You are a Top Chef and you know it. Thanks for giving me a reason to visit NYC one day.

And I must say that I liked Dale even way back in Season 4, and could see his passion about his food. So while we are happy about your growth and development as a chef and person, it didn't really matter to me, but yes, I think you have shown yourself to be a TOP CHEF (skills and personality wise) this time round. And nothing can take that away from you.

Someone should start a petition to "Bring Dale Back"!

To quote the 'old Dale': "THIS IS BULL...S#@T!" (complete with crotch grabbing act)

Disgruntlepated
Disgruntlepated

Echoing the many comments I've seen here so far. Richard is an egomaniacal jerk who's only putting on an act with the 'woe-is-me' attitude. While I already disliked him, the fact that he said he would not be there for the birth of his daughter just sealed the deal. He does not have his priorities straight. He's not there to win money so he can better support his daughter -- he's there to boost his own inflated ego. TV time and settling some self-perceived 'grudge' over not winning his season is more important than being there for his girl? Give me a break.

Also, remember all his blogs previously posted here? Even though they were supposed to be about the show, they were All About Him. I will not be sad to see him go, and I truly hope he does.

Separately, as much as it pains me to admit it, Carla was the right choice. She was my favorite to win, but the judges -- sadly -- made the right decision. Keep rockin' chicky. We'll miss you.

KR
KR

I was a big Richard fan for most of the season, but I agree with your comments about his psychological issues. Why does he have to swing wildly from one extreme of thinking he's always the best, to thinking he's always the worst? He needs to get a grip, because he really seemed like a nice person - that's why I was rooting for him in the beginning.

Now, I'm thinking I like Carla and Antonia the best. I know Carla went home, and that's totally understandable - you guys have made it clear all season that everyone is one bad dish away from having to go. I thought it was amazingly fair that you let all five contestants even GO to the Bahamas in the first place!

Antonia is professional and focused, and while she may occasionally have something negative to say, its never unconstructive. She had a bad night, but I'm beginning to hope she wins it all. Mike may have brought his "A" game, but his attitude is so cocky! Every time he opens his mouth I want him to shut it.

bitesize
bitesize

Re Richard -- I agree with you!!! That was great. Also -- you looked like you had spent some time under the sun. Did you? Your light tan looked wonderful on you, just so natural.

Viewer in NJ
Viewer in NJ

While I certainly agree that the Top Chef should be the one who consistently makes the best food, there are certainly other characteristics that make a chef a real star. I, for one, would never frequent a restaurant where the chef was sullen, nasty and a poor sport. I would not go to one where the chef showed misogynistic tendencies time and time again. In other words, strength of character and kindness, combined with culinary talent, are what a true Top Chef should be.

Ever since Richard lost his season, all I've heard was that it was "his to lose", and that "he choked". Stephanie beat him, fair and square. I keep getting the feeling that the only purpose for this All-Stars show was to give Richard the title, and nobody else was ever truly in the running. And that would be a shame.

bitbet
bitbet

I, too, really like Carla and am sorry to see her go. That being said, she prepared served undercooked meat. Overcooked shrimp, though unpleasant, can be eaten. Raw pork is inedible and a health hazard. That is the difference between Antonia's mistake and Carla's. The judges made the correct decision, even though it made me sad.

In defense of Richerd. The contestants have several cameras in their face all the time (what a nightmare that must be). The producers choose the shots to show in each episode. They are choosing to present shots that lead us to think someone feels a certain way about something. I even wonder if the shots of Richard looking unhappy were taken at a different time altogether and clipped in when the producers thought the shots would be more provocative. Cut Richard some slack. I am sure similar reactions of other contestants just have not been shown. Richard has shown his generous nature many times over, so get over your whining when he shows his disappoint over his not meeting his own expectations.

GinaFan
GinaFan

I think that Richard is the best chef this season...hands down. However, he has evolved into a professional athlete...say a baseball player...that is in a hitting slump. It doesn't take long before he is over thinking and trying to hard. He comes out of the slump when he steps up...and...just does naturally what he is good at. Slump over. Richard needs to set aside the clever techniques...and....just cook. If he does...he will be an easy winner. If he continues to over think it...look for a "trick"to help him stand out...he is in trouble...not only on Top Chef...but...in his career. He needs to just step into the box and swing...if he does...he will hit it out of the park. If he stands there analyzing the pitcher, studying the ball, scowling at the umpire...he is in big trouble.

Does it seem to anyone besides me that some of the challenges this season leave to much to chance...that negatively impacts the chefs...and...makes it something more than a cooking competition? Such as the whole "cooking for royalty" thing.

Just my thoughts...

Foodie from GA
Foodie from GA

Gail -- I totally agree with your comments about Richard. Richard's lack of confidence really saddens me, especially since he is such a brillant chef! It is my sincere hope that he doesn't psyche himself out. If he can go into the rest of the challenges with more confidence, he can win it all!

christimalia
christimalia

You know I worry about Richard too. He looks miserable most of the time (except when Fabio was there) and at Judges table he looks faint. last week when they pretended he was bing sent home, that was just cruel. he looked like his heart had stopped. I understand about perfectionism but , jezz, he might need a bit of "help" to bring back the joy.

Janice S.
Janice S.

Tom said his was undercooked, too.

Zita
Zita

Gail,

You look FABULOUS! I agree with your comments about Richard. It's hard to watch...he's so talented and yet so not confident. His comment, "I hate everything I make!" was tough to hear. He really does need some confidence....or a filter to present a different face to viewers and potential future investors!