Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson hopes Lindsay knows that she has a lot to be proud of.

on Feb 22, 20120

They arrive at the Fairmont in Vancouver. I am “hiding” at the hotel bar. “Hiding” is drinking, but I “hide” in plain sight. The chefs go to a Quickfire at the Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie. Badass restaurant. We ate like kings there one night and then the manager approached me as we were leaving to tell me he had just cooked the collard greens from my book for their holiday party, to awesome accolades. Made my year. 

Masters level sous-chefs with Asian food backgrounds come out of the kitchen. They have been living there at Bao Bei for the whole season, so they are happy to finally see the chefs. Anita. Floyd. Takashi. Yes, Paul you are expected to win. If it was a grits battle I would be the favorite too. It has little to do with lineage and more to do with what you cook everyday. 

$20,000 on the line. The Masters start for 10 minutes and then the three Musketeers cook for 10 minutes and then Masters and then the Musketeers finish. Floyd fondly remembers never winning a Quickfire on Masters. Don’t be saddened Floyd -- you won the whole season! 

Paul: Mirugai (Giant clam) with yuzu dashi and a lot of thai chile. “Emeril and I both happen to like a lot of chile, but that’s a lot of chile.”

57 comments
Guamchef
Guamchef

Padma looked sad (her eyes were watery) when Bev got eliminated. Whether you love or hate Bev, it was still appalling to see the way she was treated.

My friends and I will boycott the restaurants (sorry mentors) of the 3 witches of Top Chef and instead will visit those of Ed, Paul, Nyesha, Grayson, Keith, Malibu Chris and yes even Bev. Paul and Nyesha--- you really showed class throughout the season!

Guamchef
Guamchef

If I were the parents and mentors of The Mean Girls (Sara, Lindsey and Heather)---I would be embarrassed. Did any of you read the interview with Lindsey---when asked if she had any "regrets" about Bev? Lindsey said NO because she knows what happened and so does Bev. Lindsey continued to go on and say that she is just a passionate person who also is used to overseeing 20 to 100 employees and have to be bossy at times to make sure the food is perfect (paraphrasing of course). Funny too---found the article on line by googling "top chef bully"! Oh and Lindsey doesn't understand why everyone is calling her a bully. I read her article and she acts so self-righteous and not even complimentary to the two finalists.

TopFanoTopChef
TopFanoTopChef

Hugh, Your blog is hilarious but also quite smart and literary. You are also the only blogger who does not seem afraid to address the mean girls situation going on this season. I hope you will continue to contribute in future seasons!

p.s. Love the unibrow challenge! What a great idea to raise some money for a good cause.

p.p.s. I agree with other commenters - please have fewer gimmicks and group challenges and bring the focus back to cooking.

sudeme
sudeme

I agree Lindsay has plenty to be proud of.

As young as she is she will go very far.

I hope she will learn that courtesy is a far better way to have other chefs admire her than contrary behavior

Rita h
Rita h

Hugh you rock. Your blg is hilarious!

If the evil bully gummy girl aka sarah wins, what does that say to our kids who are bullied everyday? What kind of message does that send America's youth? I hope she watched the show and is appalled by her behavior...and apologize to bev at the reunion. That would somewhat rectify the horrible message bravo has been broadcasting all season. Next would be heather and lindsey. Ugh.

Go Paul all the way. ATX.

Lisapurple216
Lisapurple216

How can you say Lindsay should be proud. Her behavior was horrible. She is mean and brow beat Bev every chance she got. I hope she watches these episodes and she's how she came off and is as ashamed as she should be. I can't wait for the reunion episode to see if she and Sarah own up to how they behaved. Disgusting. In a time when bullying is at an all time high and anti-bullying campaigns run rampant you would think grown women would know better. I hope their parents are really proud, I know I would be

windycitygirl
windycitygirl

your sense of humor is probably the best thing that's happening this season. Being a huge fan of "Top Chef", i have to say that i'm very disappointed this season. Not only the show has gone "gimmicky", the worst part is that they let Sarah through the final round! she doesn't deserve to be there just because of her mean spirit! and the frozen sauce? i don't get it. I know Tom usually doesn't care much for the catty fight, and always claim that he is big on "execusion" and he would let someone stay if they cook really well, but this time i think he totoally lost his judgement. I have a terrible feeling that Sarah is going to win and she will be the worst top chef winner ever! like i said before, i live in Chicago and i will never ever go back to Sarah's restaurant again just because i really really don't like her. she is such a hateful and mean person, how could she not know that there are millions people out there watching her lying and faking. is she stupid or what?! if Paul doesn't win, i think i'm done with Top Chef!

layladiva
layladiva

Gotta love a chef who quotes the Meat Puppets!

sigh
sigh

I am watching this sorry rendition of Top Chef just so I can fully appreciate your blogs. I've watched this series from the beginning, but the descent into ridiculousness of this season has ruined it for me.

Ralpho
Ralpho

I stopped watching after the last episode. I am only reading the judges' blogs and comments. As a result, I have regained joy.

Atlanta fan of Hugh A
Atlanta fan of Hugh A

I can't wait until the next season of Top Chef!

Don't tell anyone but I have inside scoop on some of the challenges ;-).

First ,we have the Medieval Times challenge. The cheftestants will have to joust for their food and then cook it while they are decked out in a full suit of armor and riding horses. The only food they will be given to prepare will be giant turkey legs. That way the viewers don't have to worry about figuring out what the chefs are actually serving.

The second challenge will be the (insert automobile sponsors name here) and orange juice challenge. Cheftestants will each be given a car to drive in a closed arena ( hey - we have to use the Medieval Times venue) and a bag of oranges. Think of a giant bumper car challenge. Maybe they'll mix it up by throwing in some grapefruit!

Finally, in the last elimination challenge, we find that the cheftestants will be cooking against kids! The only ingredients allowed are peanut butter, jelly and bread. Juvenile behavior will not only be accepted but encouraged. The winner will be announced and after a few minutes of celebration, the title will be revoked and randomly given to an audience member.

Sadly, Hugh will not be able to return next season. His insightful comments, witticism and honesty just don't fit the bill. Thanks Hugh & Paul for being the only breaths of fresh air in this embarassing season of Top Bully. Oops, I meant Top Chef.

Paul - I am rooting for you! I look forward to sampling the food at Bev, Ed & Nyesha's restaurants. Would also love to see the host chefs have tastings of the cheftestant's winning dishes at their restaurants.

ChefJan
ChefJan

GO PAUL!!!

If Sarah wins and if Hugh doesn't return next season to judge, I won't ever watch Top Chef again. The show needs more Hugh.

GO PAUL and GO HUGH with your bad ass self!

ChefJan
ChefJan

GO PAUL!

If Sarah wins and if Hugh doesn't return next season as a judge, I will never watch the show again.

GO PAUL AND GO HUGH, with your bad ass hugh-nbrow self!

Lame Season
Lame Season

GET BACK TO COOKING NEXT SEASON! NO ONE TUNES IN TO WATCH A CHUBBY LADY RIDE A BIKE.

Walt's Wife
Walt's Wife

I hope that Paul wins...he's earned the title of Top Chef. Sarah has not. Go Paul!

nysuziq
nysuziq

Hugh- Love your blogs! Love your judging! Please, please get this show back on track. No more gimmicks! I said when Josea won that I didnt want to watch anymore but stuck with it. If Sarah wins Im done. Fork in me DONE!

Happyfirefly
Happyfirefly

Name game: if one person says Hillary Swank, the next person has to say a name starting with the first letter of the last name of the person said before. So the next person would say, perhaps, Steve Buscemi...then Billy Wilder, William Defoe, etc. Extra points awarded for one-word names like Cher or Q-Tip.

Elizabeth in NO
Elizabeth in NO

Chef, I love you on the show and I really do love your blog. You have absolutely the best sense of humor.

As many of us have stated in the other blogs, we certainly hope that next season will be about the food and not the Survivor-type challenges. Not only were these challenges ridiculous in Texas, but they were off-the-hook crazy in Canada. Between these challenges that have nothing to do with cooking and the bullying of Bev by Sarah, Lindsay and Heather, this has been the worst season of TC.

Top Chef fan
Top Chef fan

If I was not such a big fan of Top Chef,I would not watch the finale....because of Sarah....she is so mean-spirited and awful. If by some fluke, she does win....ugh....is all I can say.

Billster
Billster

Sarah won 30,000 in cash "just in Canada". She knew It would be Paul and her in the final. I hope they pay her in Canadian money. If I ordered a pasta entree in any restaurant and the sauce came in a frozen brick on top, I would send it back. Have I missed a trend in the culinary world these last couple of years? A frozen, but flavorful block of sauce on stuffed pasta makes it to the final? Lindsey got to cook her Halibut dish by herself. Wasn't such a good idea during Restaurant Wars and evidently still not a winner, but that was Bev's fault. Bev had a voodoo doll stuffed halibut (bought in a back alley from a Gypsy fortuneteller/master chef) and put a curse on it before the semifinal. Payback is a b#$@

Go Paul.

Picket fence
Picket fence

It's a toss up for me, do I love the show or your interpretation of it more, hmm... Living in the beautiful Puget Sound, Vancouver and Victoria, are favorite weekend getaways for my husband and I, and yes the food is great. I'm still in Paul's camp, his food looks beautiful, well thought out and inspired. And I still can't believe a frozen Popsicle on pasta won over Lindsey's dish! Tom, listen to Gail and Hugh!

Picket fence
Picket fence

It's a toss up for me, do I love the show or your interpretation of it more, hmm... Living in the beautiful Puget Sound, Vancouver and Victoria, are favorite weekend getaways for my husband and I, and yes the food is great. I'm still in Paul's camp, his food looks beautiful, well thought out and inspired. And I still can't believe a frozen Popsicle on pasta won over Lindsey's dish! Tom listen to Gail!

Picket fence
Picket fence

It's a toss up for me, do I love the show or your interpretation of it more, hmm... Living in the beautiful Puget Sound, Vancouver and Victoria, are favorite weekend getaways for my husband and I, and yes the food is great. I'm still in Paul's camp, his food looks beautiful, well thought out and inspired. And I still can't believe a frozen Popsicle on pasta won over Lindsey's dish!

kmohawk
kmohawk

Hugh, love your blog and your candor. You're awesome!

Just gotta say, although hopefully this point has been raised before, that I was so sick of everyone pigeon-holing the chefs who cooks asian as if that were a flaw. Are people really comparing a continent of a billions of people to the cuisines of Italy...France...the US? I mean, please have some non-bigoted perspective, people. Heather, Sarah, and even Gracyn were guilty of these comments (like, Gawd, is s/he cooking Asian again?!). Um, are they really cooking the cuisine of one tiny country again? This season was pretty entertaining and I hope Paul takes the win, but I do find some of the underlying comments about ethnic cuisines and stereotypes to be offensive. Hopefully the show addresses these issues somehow, perhaps in the reunion.

cardslover
cardslover

Love your blog and you on Top Chef! I hope you're back next season and maybe they could have you come up with some better challenges... I totally agree with the comments about how hateful Sarah and Lindsay are and as Viewer79 said, "hopefully the producers finally take a stand against the level of hostility and unwarranted hate these two (and Heather) expressed against only one particular chef".

PrettyDarkEyes
PrettyDarkEyes

Hugh - you the man! Loved your blogs more than the show itself, HA HA!

colin
colin

@ Billster. Perhaps "BAM!" is owned by food network in which case "BAM! BAM! BAM!". I'm now expecting a bill in the mail. How else can you explain the lack of Emerilism's throughout.

Also, thanks for the old (tribe) AND new (tyler) hip hop references. You got the hipster/foodie group on lockdown! Now, how to reach a group that doesn't find a unibrow and random hip hop references ironic?

Kathi F
Kathi F

I really hope and pray that Sarah doesn't win--she just can't let go of the Bev thing and it is disgusting. I mean, Bev was gone and she still took swipes at her. Mean spirited all the way. It is too bad that Bev can't be brought back again to cook in the finals and wipe the floor with Sarah! Maybe Sarah is just jealous of all the things Bev is--wonder how Sarah's fiancee likes how she came off?

dam yankee
dam yankee

"Tender prom queen ribs" hee heee heee heeeee!!! Love it :)

Viewer from MIchigan
Viewer from MIchigan

Hugh, thank you for your wonderful summing-up of Sarah's and Lindsay's treatment of Bev. It was perfect. If they ever re-cast the movie "Mean Girls," the agent knows who to call.

Let's hope Paul wins--he certainly deserves to. If Sarah is somehow rewarded for her eye-rolling, snarky, childish behavior (could you believe it when she tried to claim that Bev had gotten more bullets than she did during the biathalon!), I don't think that I could stomach it. Literally.

QQ
QQ

My newest favorite phrase:

To the Google!

Thanks Hugh - you make watching Top Chef pleasurable this season.

MissyPoo
MissyPoo

Agree that Hugh's blog is the highlight of the season so far. You rock it Hugh! Last Chance Kitchen was a total flop, IMHO - Nyesha practically beats half the team and Bev wins 2 and gets back in? Not the way it should have worked. If having skills and a good personality was an important part of being the Top Chef, Hung and Michael Voltaggio wouldn't have won, that's for sure. I hope the trend doesn't continue though. If Paul doesn't win, I am officially over this show. His consolation prize will be he's won more cash/cars/trips than anyone else who didn't win THE title. I think he's up to almost $100K if you include all the cash, the car, etc. If indeed that happens, I hope its some solace for him. Then he can come back to the next round of All-Stars and whoop some butt.

Shiba
Shiba

Yay, Paul! One down, one to go.

Chicago-an
Chicago-an

Terrific blog! Will be rooting hard for Paul in the finale, even though Sarah lives in my building in Chi-town. I've seen her in the building gym a few times working out with her personal trainer and she actually seems semi-friendly, even though her persona on the show is different. Live down the street from Chuy's restaurant Chilam Balam and am a big fan of that place. My favorite Mexican restaurant in Chicago, although honestly that doesn't say a whole lot. Planning to check out Aria (Beverly) and Moto (Richie & Chris J's place) in the next couple weeks, and maybe Spiagga (Sarah) sometime. Not so much Sable (Heather).

sephigirl
sephigirl

I have to agree w/ others here - if Sarah the Mean Girl wins, it'll be up there w/ Hosea and Ilian (sp). I know it's a cooking show, but I'd like my Chef to have class and/or professionalism too. Funny that Sarah didn't complain about cooking asian around the pros. One good thing about Top Chef--it lets me know whose restaurants I want to give my money to. And Sarah's & Lyndsey's will be added to the list. They stayed mean to the end-even after Bev was gone.Glad Paul's in the finals because if it had been the mean girls, I would've skipped the finale. Hoping Paul takes it!

reggiedog
reggiedog

OMG the reference to Miami Vice and understanding the metric system is spot on and too funny! Thanks Hugh for being so stinking funny and spot on with your critiques. I know the season is already over but will be beyond disappointed if Paul doesn't win. He seems appreciative, humble and respectful of others. Something Sarah desperately needs to learn. Ditto on comment made by tangodoodles, Hosea was and is one of the worst winners, Sarah would outshine him as the worst if she wins...... I can't help but wonder what Tony Mantuano thinks if he watched this season. He may be proud of her cooking but not her mean girl routine.

Thanks again for your kick'n comments. BTW - Hope you are able to get up there again and see some northern lights! I would love to see you and Tony B in a weisenheimer-off to see who had the funniest comments!

Sapphiegirl
Sapphiegirl

GO PAUL, WIN IT ALL!

tangodoodles summed Sara up perfectly: "Beverly-Only-Cooks-Asian-But-Hypocrite-Sarah-Only-Cooks-Italian" ROFLMAO TANGODOODLES!

Viewer79
Viewer79

Oh - the behavior of Lindsay and Sarah reflect poorly on their mentors. Wouldn't be surprised if they've also lost a few fans by association.

Viewer79
Viewer79

#Firesign - hilarious! Let's hope Paul stays strong through the finals and takes the title.

I hope the nastiness of Sarah and Lindsay get addressed at reunion and the producers finally take a stand against the level of hostility and unwarranted hate these two (and Heather) expressed against only one particular chef. And even after she had left. Not even the notorious Marcel received the same amount of hate.

If Bravo TV won't do it, the judges should or they risk looking like people who condone this behavior.

Lowell
Lowell

Hugh, there is no crying in the kitchen and I bet the only tears in your kitchen are from laughing so hard! Love your wit and sarcasm!

mamajhall
mamajhall

Love Your Blogs Hugh! It is so nice to hear someone in the "mix" sees the same things as the rest of us :) Thank You for the laugh!

Gerry in CT
Gerry in CT

Your blog has been the best thing about this season. (Except when you are actually on the show and making pertinent comments...) You rock, Hugh!

pa lawyer
pa lawyer

You know guys, maybe Bev was just miserable to work with. Why are you all feelling sorry for her? I think that a double standard is being employed. Men have acted this way and are given a pass as being competitive. Just enjoy the show.

debs20
debs20

Worst..season.ever. contrived, mean spirited, gimmicky. Sad.

ZacharyLeow
ZacharyLeow

DID HUGH ACHESON REALLY JUST POST ABOUT TYLER THE CREATOR LOL

A Viewer
A Viewer

I've missed you Hugh. Your blogs have been the best part of this season of Top Survivor. Thanks for the laughs and old school music references. It's been grand.

Chocolate girl
Chocolate girl

Good call selecting Paul to go to finals. Had it been those two women, I am convinced this season's finale would have had the lowest rating in the history of Top Chef. When a chef's nasty attitude leaves a bad taste in the viewer's mouth, amazing tasting food they prepare doesn't even matter.

Billster
Billster

It was nice to see Emeril as a guest judge again. I am glad he dropped the "BAM!" thing. I can imagine him sitting at the judges table with a bowl of "Essence of Emeril", annointing his and other judges plates."This dish lacks seasoning BAM! here try this Padma, BAM!" Restraint is everything in modern cooking. Less is more. Emeril has shown us this. Ed got eliminated for losing control.(the kitchen sink approach) Peewee Herman was a little out there for me. I like episodes where panels of food industry heavyweights show up. Eric Ripert, Joel Robuchon, Kat Cora to name a few. Hugh Acheson has been a great addition.When these types of guests are judging I learn a lot, not so much if Peewee is judging. Give these chefs some time to cook for these guys and lets see what they can really do.Let them have 4 or 5 hours to really cook correctly, more time to plan and purchase food.The final is usually some thing like this format, but I think more episodes in the season should be of this pattern. PS... Still think Ed and Nyesha got less than fair treatment. Nyesha was eliminated for a teammates' error, then the old switcheroo was pulled on her with her ingredients in LCK. Also, Ed didn't get Last Chance Kitchen.

okay
okay

The real finale should be Paul, Ed, Nyesha, and Bev. Let them just cook their hearts out, and let us viewers discover and decide see who's the best most creative chefs. Nyesha was eliminated twice based on other's mistakes, yet she won over 5 other chefs eliminated. That's a definite threat, she deserved to fight for top chef. Bev deserves to cook her absolute best in the absence of hate, bullying and racism. Paul is not immune to all the bullying and bullshit, he deserves to just cook from his heart in peace. Then THAT is a real showdown.

Christine Raczkiewycz
Christine Raczkiewycz

I love reading your blogs about Top Chef. They are insightful, and frickin' hilarious! Rock on:)