Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

No One Makes Marmalade

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

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

What Danny Meyer Taught Gail Simmons

'Top Chef' Goes to Hog Heaven

Gris Gris Boucherie Ya Ya

Brian and Travis' Dud Spuds

No One Makes Marmalade

Hugh Acheson echoes Beverly Kim's comments about karma.

 

The chefs have eaten through the sweet potato fence of the last episode and here we are still in Dallas. 

Beverly is bringing in the karma police to do battle with her arch nemesis Heather. A life-sized voodoo doll is in the works. While furiously making egg rolls in the future “Asian” battle, Heather will suddenly get stabbing pains in her side. Beverly will laugh in a maniacal way. 

Onward to Austin. Paul will be at home but is “sweatin’ balls” right now. These are his words, not mine. We learn, and this is unexpected to me, that Paul was a pot dealer with a messy apartment full of dog turds. Now he is the chef of Uchiko, one of the leading Japanese restaurants in the nation. Youth of today, take note: there is life beyond the dog-pooped apartment you live in. 

Toyota Sienna wagon train time. Hopefully they don’t go via the Donner Pass… these chefs would eat each other faster than any other expedition in history. Heather is looking for a man, a tall man with wavy hair, and would gladly make etouffee with John Besh, as long as he left the Asian fusion out of it. This in lieu of $5000. I love Besh, but I’d take the greenbacks. Matchmaking is the chatter in both vans. Malibu is exposed. It’s been a while since Crary has been to the YMCA to sport his spandex chef jacket. 

I think they have no idea what’s about to occur. Hell, I have no idea what to expect. Tom and Padma are the Quickfire tweet judges. I still have no idea what to expect here. Bacon it is. I would love this. I am thinking Edward is going to excel in this. But no, they aren’t happy just with the simplicity of the bacon, here come the tweet twists: 1. Now its got to have hash. Paul is good for this one from his weed-dealing days. 2. Everyone has to hand off an ingredient to another chef to use. Sriracha for Slingblade. Maple for Malibu. Crary ain’t got no manners. And refuses to open the hot condiment for Lindsay. I love writing Crary and hot and condiment together. 

• Beverly is up first with her belly and hash.

• Moto Chris makes a salty dish with scallops. I am having déjà vu. 

• Heather makes General Tso’s quail. Just kidding. I wish someone had given her soy though. Her dish looks pretty yummy though, for white people food. 

• Ed makes crab with sriracha and potato and cocoa nib and something hash. He will not be pitted in this Asian food thing! 

• Sarah cooks a crisp squash blossom with burrata. Looks great.

• Malibu Chris makes a beauty monkfish dish. His plate looks great but his hair looks fantastic.

• Grayson, German/ Wisconsinite, has made a light and fluffy puff. 

• TyLor has made glazed belly with bacon and kale hash. 

• Paul made clams. With bacon. Landscape of sea and earth. Boy is killing it. 

Bottom tier is Grayson, Moto Chris, and Ed. 

Top tier is Beverly, Sarah, and Paul. 

Winner is Paul. Killing it. He wins in Austin! $30,000 in his wallet. Drinks on Tom at the hotel bar. And in walks in Patti LaBelle.The soul goddess belts out some tunes. Gitchi Gitchi Gitchi . Yeah yeah yeah. Spoiler alert, no one makes marmalade for Lady Marmalade. 

Sarah is crying a lot this episode. Get it together girl. You can do this! 

Whole Foods. Food stories. Moto Chris is going to cook his steaks, but the steaks will look like his grandmother. Modern. 

Beverly has been away from home too long. She tapes a cosmic note of hope to the mirror. It reads “KILL KILL KILL.” Edward looks exactly like his grandmother and doesn’t cook vegetarians. I only cook vegans. They taste good. Like earthy grass. I do think he’s on to something here though, in the fact that the dishes are usually very meat-centric and a veggie dish could easily stand out. We’ll see if it's good. I see an homage to Korea coming soon to a plate near Edward. 

Paul is cooking a Filipino adobo influenced by the Texas Hill Country. I think of Whataburger in another language. Heather is cooking Beef Stroganoff and having some issues with tenderness. She has a lot of issues with emotional tenderness as is fully evidenced in previous episodes. Karma police are in full effect.

Judges like Chris’ idea, but worry about the sauce. I think great food sometimes, but the reality can be a bitch. He is looking a little less styled and manscaped, and the stress may be getting to him. Heather is getting some bad reviews on her Bigfoot meat. You have to really braise Sasquatch for a long time to be tender. She should call in a member of BFRO, Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. It exists, I s--t you not. Paul’s quail with ginger rice and salsa is pleasing all soul singers. Emeril is coming over to Patti’s house. “With bells on.” My grandmother, Freda, rest in peace, used to use that line all the time. Sarah is cooking sausage again, but this time it's singin’. Looks great. 

Beverly has cooked short rib with edamame and mushrooms. Her short rib is treasured. Top 10 on the R&B charts. Crary has a salmon with a carrot puree and confit potato. The dish is a little convoluted and brings the ire of Tom. 

Edward is cooking Bibimbap. Crazy veggie move!I like it. Lindsay is cooking for two grandmothers, Greek and Southern. It’s a trout spanakopita with trout roe. Emeril and Patti have eaten caviar together before, but Emeril thinks the dish is too butter-rich and blasts out the other flavors. Ed’s egg dish is loved. Nice play, Mr. Lee.

Grayson has meat 'n' potatoes. Ribeye with veggies and potato salad. Wisconsin style may be a little big for even Texas. Ty-Lor has chicken fingers with peaches. They love it. They all want crayons and a word find game though. 

Good golly, Padma is looking hot. Crary is speechless. Low tier is called first: Heather, Crary, and Grayson. I have a certain Radiohead song in my head. Tom takes a swing at Heather with Beverly’s successful pressure cookery. Tops: Ed, Beverly, and Sarah. Ed is so genuine and fun. Beverly is relieved. Sarah needs to drink some water as she has cried a lot in the last few days. All of them rocked this episode. Sarah wins. Well=deserved. She is a smart cook, who shines through with a perfect happy personality to run a happy kitchen. You want a great chef? She’s right there. 

Heather goes home to work on her tenderness. Karma Police. This is what you get when you mess with Bigfoot. 

 

Make Doug's Winning Mussels

Doug's mussels pleased the palates of the superfans -- and the judges. Try having them at home.

Chorizo-Marinated Mussels With Sweet Pepper and Cauliflower Relish

 

Ingredients 

5 lbs mussels

5 lbs pork chorizo

1 head cauliflower

3 sweet pickled peppers

EVOO

2 cups white wine

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp parsley (chopped)

2 Tbsp Chives (chopped)

 

Directions

1. Start a pan with chorizo. Render and carmelize lightly.

2. Add garlic, parlsey, chives, and mussels.

3. Add white wine and cover. Cook gently till the mussels have just opened.

4. Clean the mussels and strain the liquid over them. Cool.

5. Cut the cauliflower into small peices and roast hard until they have lots of color and are crispy.

6. To serve: Plate cauliflower, top with mussel and pickled pepper. Pour a little of the liquid over the mussel and garnish with pickled pepper and lemon preserve.

 

Lemon Preserve

Ingredients

5 lemons

Water

Salt, to taste

Sugar, to taste

 

Directions

1. Peel five lemons and thinly julienne the peel.

2. Blanch in boiling water five times till tender and not bitter.

3. Add juice from the lemons and season with sugar and salt to taste

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