Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Great Steak-pectations

Gail Has No Problem With Blood

Make George's Cravable Breakfast Sausage

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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

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'Top Chef' Goes to Hog Heaven

Gris Gris Boucherie Ya Ya

Brian and Travis' Dud Spuds

Great Steak-pectations

Grayson shines, Ty-Lor cuts, and Heather annoys.

 

Sup, muthaaa, aka Mother sauce? From the comments left on this recap last week, I know a bunch of you weren't feelin' the last challenge, so I was happy to see this week went back to the basics, and hopefully you loved it as much as I did.

I thought the Quickfire was exceptional -- as a viewer I love seeing who really has the basic skills to pay the bills. Creating a sauce is such a crucial part of cooking. I've had some amazing sauces in my life, but for some reason, whenever I think of the best sauce I've ever had, I always come back to this Daurade (my favorite fish) dish I enjoyed at a fish restaurant in Caesar's Palace. I honestly don't even remember what the dish was, but it was ridiculous.

I think sauces can be the most memorable part of a dish. Sure, you'll remember if your protein is cooked correctly, but I always remember a dish for the flavors, which usually come from some sort of sauce. So, the chefs selected from four "mother sauces" as dubbed by Escoffier. i was amused that Paul was back in his school kitchen. That must've been a little weird for him. The chefs tried to put their own spins not he classics to varying degrees of success. A couple chefs admitted to guest judge and tough cookie Dean Fearing that they hadn't made a roux. Many chefs don't make roux, and there's so much debate about the proper color of a roux, I was nervous that this might send one of them out. Luckily Paul's dish was perfect without it! But ultimately Grayson's dish won. I believe I said this after a previous episode, but I think Grayson continues to make the most beautiful dishes of the group. The colors on her plate, specifically the deep blue created by her blueberry sauce, were just gorgeous. Way to go, Grayson!Onto the Elimination Challenge! The chefs broke up into groups to create three-course steak meals for the Cattle Barons' Ball. Um, i need an invite to this event next year. I looove steak. I grew up eating a lot of red meat, and a nice steak is something i was fortunate enough to eat often. This challenge was a tough one. Creating 200 steaks at the same doneness -- medium rare --  for an event of this size is challenging. Also, this group has a lot of expectations about what steak should taste like and what it should go with. I think the chefs struggled with keeping their dishes traditional while still putting their own spins on the the food. 

The appetizer course, a gaspacho, was OK. The light soup made sense before a heavy steak meal. Beverly got called out by her group -- specifically Heather -- for not working fast enough. Beverly then brought up that deveining that number of shrimp perfectly was a big task. Maybe she's slow, but i'm going to go with her on that one. It didn't seem that other people's elements suffered because Beverly was unavailable. She was looking after the dish's protein after all. 

We'll get to the actual steak in a minute. The dessert was seemingly the best course of the night as exhibited by Heather's win. She used Edward's sponge cake recipe… again, and twisted it to make a peach cake. It looked really delicious, but i was a little bored again. Tom and Hugh debated the sweetness of her cream. Like Tom, i don't love super-sweet desserts but i need a little confectioner's sugar in my cream. Sorry, Tom!One sidetone about Heather. Apparently everyone's turning on her. As a super-loud and bossy female, I didn't find much wrong with her attitude, but it would've been nice to see it result in the proper cooking of the steak. And that brings us to her bestie, Ty-Lor.

OK, onto the steak. Ty-Lor was mostly responsible for the actual protein. Unfortunately while getting out all the marrow on prep day, he sliced right through his finger. And it was bad.

See where Ty-Lor ranks among Bravo's biggest foodie klutzes of all time.

Like any badass chef, Ty-Lor kept working, but eventually had to get stitches at night, so he didn't really sleep before the event. When the steaks actually had to be cooked, there was a bit of a breakdown in communication and they were fired t the wrong time, resulting in unevenly and inconsistently-cooked steaks. The protein was basically ruined. The saving grace of the entree was Nyesha's sauce. She redeemed herself from the Quickfire Challenge. Yay, Nyesha! Luckily for Ty-Lor, Whitney made a weak potato gratin. Some of her potatoes were raw, and the judges were tasked with deciding which was a bigger offense -- poor protein or raw vegetable. I felt for Hugh, remaining objective while obviously hurt that his mentee was facing elimination. Don't worry, Hugh! She has another chance in Last Chance Kitchen. And Ty-Lor lived to cook another day.

Did you agree with the judges' decision? And how do you like your steak? If you don't say medium rare, don't worry.