Cast Blog: #TOPCHEF

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

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

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Episode 9: Who knew BBQ incited so much sexual innuendo?

I'll wait till I get to end of the recap to go into it, but were there a lot of sexual and slightly creepy moments in this episode, or was it just me? Maybe just me, but stay tuned.

First, let's start with the Quickfire Challenge where the chefs are forced to do homework. They're handed -- and by handed I mean, gently presented on wheels -- a copy of Modernist Cuisine. Uh, yeah, that book is not only heavy, but expensive, so that was kind of exciting to see everyone -- and by everyone I mean Chris Jones -- get so psyched to see it. The chefs would study up on the techniques in the book and then create a modern dish for the author, and former Microsoft chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold. If you have a moment, you might want to look at his Wikipedia page -- the dude's amazing.) While my mind and apparently many of the chefs' minds jump to molecular gastronomy, some chefs just admitted they didn't know much about it, or that wasn't how they cooked. Also, that's not necessarily what modern cuisine means. While the chefs were cooking, I literally said out loud, "Please let Chris Jones win this." I didn't want the judges to "let" him win -- that would be unfair. I was pleading with a higher being. Unfortunately, although Chris was in the top, he didn't win. Ty-Lor did with his delicious-sounding watermelon/oil dish. I felt really bad for Chris Jones, though. This was his challenge, and he was so passionate about it. Unfortunately Ty-Lor's execution was just better. And Ty-Lor not only wins the book volumes, he also picked up immunity.Sidenote: I was stoked to see Edward's salmon belly sashimi because I just had a delicious salmon belly sashmi dish at Catch on New Year's eve courtesy of Season 3 winner Hung Huynh. I also recently enjoyed a dessert tasting at Nougatine by Johnny Iuzzini before his last day on December 31st. I'll be posting a separate blog about my foodie adventures over the holiday break later in the week, so keep your eyes on this space.

Padma tells the chefs that they'll finally be cooking BBQ! In Texas! And they'll be doing it at The Salt Lick. I was first introduced to The Salt Lick on an episode of Man vs. Food. I honestly can't remember what Adam Richman's challenge was, but I remember the establishment's giant smoke pit. The chefs were separated into three teams of three and told they'd be cooking all night. We're obviously not kidding around with the "slow" part of "low and slow." The cooking process became an interesting one when weird tensions started to arise between Edward and Sarah. After some comments back and forth, their relationship came to a boiling point when Sarah was forced to go to the hospital for heat exhaustion. Edward certainly was concerned, but when Sarah finally came back during service, Edward was, well, salty (pun intended) towards her. Sarah didn't feel guilty for taking it easy, and she shouldn't. From everything I've heard from everyone who was down there, the heat was unbearable. And as someone who really can't handle heat, I probably would've been in Sarah's shoes too. From what we've seen from Sarah so far this season, and how much control she enjoys, I don't think it was easy or preferable for her to leave Ty-Lor and Edward in charge of the execution of her dish. Ultimately, though, their team was safe. Chris C., Chris J., and Beverly, not so much. Their dish was just too salty. I was actually surprised that Tom and Gail didn't embrace Chris' use of Dr. Pepper. I actually didn't know that till I did some state research at the start of the season. This isn't a plug at all, but I love Dr. Pepper. Love. And although Hugh posits in his blog this week that he thought the BBQ sauce sounded gross, I thought it had potential. A few seasons back, our chefs actually made quite a few dishes using Dr. Pepper, so it can be done! Chris was ultimately responsible fo the seasoning that made his team's dish too salty, so he went home. And then we have the winning team, led by Paul. I think it said a lot about what Paul's colleagues think about him that they allowed him to lead. I think Lindsay and Grayson have very strong personalities, but they trusted Paul's vision, and it worked! I know I've already said I have a crush on Paul, but this episode put him over th top. That cutoff shirt with the tattoos?! Sigh. Their team took a risk by using Asian influences in their flavors, and I couldn't help but wonder (sorry.) what Heather would've said about that idea…. I kid, I kid!

OK, now onto the part you've all been waiting for -- the part where I reveal that I have a mind of a 13-year-old boy! Here were just some of the hilarious/creepy quotes and moments from the episode.:

1. "I would love to visit your basement." We know you admire Nathan, Chris, but, um, let's keep that one to yourself.

2. "Did I put it in the right hole?" Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris. Sure, Crary was just making sure he was executing Jones' beer can chicken correctly, but still. (And, yes, I know -- I need to wash my mind out with soap.)

3. "It's gonna be like sex in the mouth." Oh Grayson -- we get pretty punchy when we've pulled an all-nighter too.But even with those three comments, Chris Crary still raised my brows the highest with the revelation of his naked painting collection in his home. Although, I don't think any of us were surprised with that one.

Anyway, let me know what you thought of the episode. Was Edward too harsh on Sarah? Until next week, have a nosh!

P.S. I forgot to mention Beverly's interesting fire prevention skills. I really wonder what would have happened to that mobile kitchen had the smoke detector not gone off.

P.P.S. I leave you with this because, well, it was awesome:

Make George's Cravable Breakfast Sausage

George decided the best way to satisfy New England Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski  was with a hearty breakfast. Make it for yourself at home.

Pork and Veal Sausage Patty With Sunny-Side Up Egg and Potato Hash

 

Ingredients
3 lbs pork butt
1 lbs veal
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp coriander
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 bunch chives
1 bunch parsley
1 Tbsp fennel seed
Pepper (to taste)

 

Directions
1. Grind prok and veal using medium dye, reserve and keep cold

2. Toast cumin, coriander, and fennel seed in a sauté pan until aroma is released. Grind in spice grinder, reserve

3. Chop parsley and chives fine, reserved

4. Chop garlic super fine, reserve

5. Mix meat with spices, smoked paprika, herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper

6. Test a small batch in fryer. Taste and adjust seasoning

7. Form into patties, place on grill, then finish in oven