Curtis Stone

Curtis talks about how great it was to meet Mike and Antonia's families -- and to eat their delicious food.

on Aug 20

There is really nice, natural banter between Mike and Antonia, which is probably due to the fact that they are actually cousins. They found out they were related while filming Top Chef. Isn't that a totally bizarre place to find this out? They even bicker like family.

Antonia's rice ball challenge was totally down her street and her absolute specialty. However, in my opinion, she almost messed it up due to aggressive seasoning. If there were three more grains of salt, it virtually would have been inedible, and she would have lost the challenge. But luckily for her she didn't, and the rest of the dish was constructed beautifully. The flavors were really on the mark.

Mike went the adventurous route and put a Middle Eastern spin on traditional rice balls by incorporating raisins, pine nuts, and a rich sauce. All in all, his dish was not quite as good in the end.

Mike was pretty damn cheeky with his challenge. He really tried to play on Antonia's weakness -- the way that family do! You could feel Antonia's frustration boiling over this. You bet there was tension in that kitchen. It took Mike about 10 minutes to complete the mise en place -- that guy had some speed under his knife that's for sure. Really nice of Mike to give Antonia the one fish that she clearly didn't want to work with -- evil haha. But a competition is a competition and you gotta be in it to win it, and that means playing a little dirty sometimes. So, that was a double low blow for Antonia -- not only did she have to work with mackerel but she also had to open up this crazy amount of seafood to no avail. You can tell there is a lot of love between them so it was kinda nice that they each walked away with 10K. Sharing the love a little -- way to go guys.