Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito sheds light on Kevin's win. 

on Jul 28, 2011

Janet clearly has a passion for cooking. She quit doing postgraduate work to cook and has since worked with a lot of well-known chefs. Janet made Spicy Korean Barbecue Pork Chops with Kimchi, which is fermented vegetables, usually cabbage, in a pepper sauce. Fermented veggies don’t sound like the most attractive culinary proposition, but Koreans eat it with almost every meal, and nutritionists may soon be recommending that we do the same. Recent studies have found that this spicy dish may stop the replication of cancer cells in the body. But the list of the vegetable's credentials doesn’t end there. Low in calories, Kim chi is also high in fiber, and is a good source of vitamins A, B and C. Thanks again to the lactic acid formed in the fermentation process, the vegetable has more good bacteria than yogurt, meaning that it aids the digestive process and is good for the intestine walls. But I don’t think Janet’s little bits of kim chi would be enough to supply all that nutritional power. OK, nutrition lesson over, I need to add that I’m a huge fan of Korean flavors, I have to get my fix a few times a month or I’m not happy. I was in hog heaven when I found out what Janet was making for her signature dish. I didn’t like everything I put in my mouth, but her pork was over-the-top delicious.

Kevin was an interesting guy. His culinary career spanned dishwasher to chef, but not before serving our country in the Marines. He fixed a popular appetizer often served at his restaurant: Shrimp and Grits with smoked bacon and leeks. His goal was to layer the dish with flavor, but I thought it looked like a plate right off an assembly line at very large restaurant. Looks are one thing, but taste is another. Kevin’s signature dish was outstanding.

All three chefs did an amazing job, but one missed the mark: Chris. Buerre blanc is something we as chefs learn from day one, so I couldn’t believe he had screwed up something so basic. It cost him the party, and he was out.