Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Exhausted.

Gail: Mei's Menu Was Almost Flawless

Make Top Chef Mei Lin's Winning Dessert!

Richard: "Gregory Had the Better Ideas"

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Hugh: Mei's a Chef's Chef

Richard: "Winning Is Overrated"

Make Mei's Sushi Style Guac!

Gail: I Wasn't Surprised Doug Stayed on Top

Get Doug's Masterpiece Brisket Recipe

Gail on Innovation (and George's Failure to Push It)

Make Melissa's Seared Duck Breast Dish

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

Exhausted.

The Culinary Games were hard, you guys!

I don't even know if I can get through this recap. I'm exhausted from even watching this episode! Going to school in Rochester and Syracuse, I'd like to think I could handle the snow, but Whistler seemed unreal. I've also never skied and am afraid of heights so this week's challenges would probably have been my worst nightmares as a cheftestant. Having the mental fortitude to get through these challenges is something for which all four finalists should be commended.

We start in a parking lot as the final four arrive in British Columbia. If my memory serves, it was about a two-hour drive to Whistler. Thanks for driving, Paul! The chefs are greeted atop the mountain by Tom and Padma, donning just plain fabulous winter wear. The chefs are told that they'll be competing in something of a culinary triathlon. First event? Cooking in gondolas! I don't know why we didn't just have them do it in a chair lift? Gondolas are child's play. I'm kidding, of course. Because this sounds crazy to me. I feel for Paul who is apparently afraid of heights. I am too, Paul. We're obviously soul mates. Anywho, the chefs will have to get out of their gondalas mid-challenge and add an ingredient to their half-completed dish. In the end, Paul was on the bottom and Lindsay pulled out a perfectly-cooked fish. Way to go, Lindsay! This meant that Lindsay was done for the day and moving on to the next episode. My only other note about this challenge is that Beverly made a cold dish, which i thought was an interesting choice. I honestly don't know how I feel about that yet, but I will say that Gail's point about Bev's knifework is exactly what I was wondering about. If you're not going to really cook anything over heat, the technical work on the rest of the dish should be impeccable. Apparently it was!So, Beverly, Sarah, and Paul move on to the next challenge, where they had to cook a dish from ingredients locked away in ice. They had to hack at the ice to get them out. Bev and Sarah had a little bit of trouble, but Paul, the Southern gentleman, helped them out. I basically swooned as Paul ribbed Sarah for being a Chicagoan instead of a Texan. Those two really have a bond. Despite the fact that Paul's wine sauce didn't work out, he got the win and moved on to the next challenge. 

That leaves Beverly and Sarah to duke it out in the most exhausting challenge I've ever seen. First, they had to cross-country ski, then shoot bullseyes for their ingredients (Bev actually seemed to do better on this part despite Sarah's shooting experience), and finally cook their dishes. There were flaws with both dishes, but ultimately Sarah's hearty rabbit stew won. And Beverly went home.

I hope Beverly is proud of herself. She literally did everything she could to come back to the game and win it all. And although it wasn't enough, she should take solace in that fact.

So, we're down to three! Until next week's challenge, Have a Nosh!