The oyster with lemon horseradish and crème fraiche pearls with salsa verde was really bright, and it went together. I don't necessarily associate dairy and oysters, so it wasn't necessarily what I would choose, but because it was crème fraiche it had a sour note that went really well with the cold oyster and made it feel really fresh.
The hamachi with fried veal sweetbreads, Asian pear, pickled radish, and garlic mayo was my favorite dish of the competition. It was so delicious and gutsy and bold. It really made a statement when we tasted it. The raw tuna was beautiful, and then it had those fried sweetbreads. So it was this raw, clean fish and these fried sweetbreads, which countered it. There was also some spice to it, there was some heat there, with the chiles, the Asian pear, the pickled radish. They all really cut the fat of the fried sweetbreads, and it came together beautifully.
Bravotv.com: So this was your favorite dish from the entire season?
GS: I have to say it might be, yes. There was a lot of great stuff to be sure, so it's definitely top five.
The pork belly with the black cod cutlet was also a great dish. I had a little problem with the cod cutlet, but no one else did, so I have to believe it was just my piece of fish. Mine was a little bit watery and mushy, but no one else had that issue. Otherwise the flavors were great, and it was the most exciting piece of fried fish I've had in a long time. He treated it almost like a veal medallion or chicken fried steak. And the bone marrow and pork belly, I mean wow, super rich, but really the kind of food you want to dive into.
The beef short ribs with mushrooms was really well executed and technically a very strong dish. However it wasn't the most exciting dish I've seen from Richard, especially coming off the two before it. I know his point was that he wanted to show us his more classic side and his technical savvy, which I appreciated for sure. It was a comforting, very classic dish. At this level of the competition though, I want to see something on your plate that I've never seen before or a new combination. It doesn't need to be smoke, mirrors, and magic tricks by any means, and in fact I'm against all that. I just want to see people do things that I couldn't just get anywhere else which proves them as a chef, and I didn't actually see that in Richard's dish, especially again in comparison to the dishes that he just served us, which were so extraordinary. I had never seen anything like them before; I had never eaten those combinations. So from an excitement standpoint, I found it the least exciting for sure. But you couldn't really argue with it technically from an execution standpoint. It tasted great, and it was just a beautifully braised short rib. The mushrooms were great. The cabbage marmalade was lovely. I thought it was interesting that they both had cabbage in that course. The celery root was very sweet so that was excellent, and the horseradish had acidity which helped with the fattiness of the ribs. It was really nice.
You got me so excited for the pepperoni sauce. Any chance you can post the recipe? Or is it now a top-secret phenomenon...If so, it is well deserved. I liked Mike. THE PEPPERONI SAUCE SOUNDS AMAZING!!
Gail, have you thought much about retiring? Or perhaps changing professions? You would make a great restaurant critic. I hear Mikey is opening a new restaurant which could keep you busy for the next year or two.
I agree...the pepperoni sauce is the ONE dish that I would like to make myself and serve...please post it and give us suggestions as to what to serve it with.
Gail, Thanks for your in depth comments. Your description of the dishes has made me hungry... I'm certainly satisfied with the outcome of THIS contest. Finally - the chef I wanted to win - WON! It's about time.
Gail, Thank you Sooo much for a woderful show and PLEASE give Padma Our Love!!!! Question: Is there ANY way that Fans Can Get hands on this Isabella's Pepperoni's Sauce? Perhaps it can be on the Next Top Chef Book? Thanks!!!
Didn't Richard make a "Vitello Tramonto" with hamachi and crispy sweetbread nuggets in the High Steaks episode of Season 4? What was so different about this season's dish?
Richard was great! I'm so glad he didn't choke like before. He deserves the title of Top Chef All Stars! Are there going to be any more Top Chef? How do you top this seasons all star cast? My aunt (Phyllis Hanes) was a food critic, wine taster, and the food editor for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston. She once told me she had the best job in the world! Will Gail continue being a judge and food critic? Any more Top Chef-Just Desserts in the making?
Sweden here... How you gonna top "all stars" for season 9? I already suggested Marco Pierre White from UK and Rene from NOMA, but BRAVO keep eating my posts. I´d love to see Marco Pierre White in that environment...Marco has charisma and scares the "you now what" out of even Gordon. Ohh, and he´s a Michelin-chef. "Make it work"...:) Obviously season 7 was weak, and "all stars" was a strong season. So now what? And just for the record, I have a little crush on Gail..think sweden, vikings, Thor, Curtis Stone 2.0 from scandinavia..I´m yours Gail....:)
I understand a little bit why you got rid of Elia but out of the competition that was up there I mean Stephen is a garbage chef and he had no business even being there you should of got rid of him and let Elia stay on to prove herself.
Then you send up Jennifer who is one of the most skilled chefs there for bashing you guys and I don't care what you say you sent her home because she spoke her mind and you guys didn't like that. You should of hands down sent Jamie home the girl can't cook and she ducks out on every challenge.
Getting rid of Casey kind of didn't make much sense either, You guys set up the challenge to have 2 people come up and say oh I will expedite food and I will rely on someone else to do my dish, I mean someone has to do it because you guys put that into play. Casey's dish would of probably been better if she was cooking it and I know you might say oh well she offered it's tough well I probably can say with a guarantee that anyone who did that was probably going home. I mean that challenge everyone did garbage and you sent Casey home who showed Antonio how to do it and she couldn't do that and handle her dishes and sending her home was stupid! Jamie did terrible and you just let her stay on and makes no friggin sense at all.
You mine as well just tell them no one be a team leader , no one offer to help cook someones dish while they're out in the front of the house or doing this, I mean is it the producers who are stupid or the judges that just don't take anything into consideration?
Then of course you send Tre home who cooks Risotta different and you keep Mike who italian for christ sakes and he couldn't even cook pasta lol and the challenge was based on him doing pasta lol ss LOl. Like where is your brain LOL?
You judges just don't have a brain, You send Angelo home and he is one of the best chefs on the show and you could easily of sent home Tiff or Carla because they honestly don't have the level to cook at a top level chef,
Then of course you send home Dale and let Carla and Tiffany sit back and continue to do crappy and you keep giving them friggin chances but you don't give the acutally good chefs the chances you should of gave them way back before, I mean how many times do Carla and Tiff have to be at the bottom lol I mean use your brain.
All in all I was happy Richard one but his competition wasn't that great, The final five should of easily been Richard-Angelo-Casey-Jennifer-Marcel