Bravotv.com: Have you ever tasted Shinmin’s desserts? What is her reputation in the cake industry?
Shinmin Li is known as a true artist, and has a reputation throughout the cake world for precision, perfection, and brilliance. She works magic with her ingredients and like a sorceress, conjures them into stunning pieces you cannot believe are actually delicious cakes. I drool over her website, www.IDreamofCake.com, and marvel at the jade Buddha toasted almond cake, chocolate reproduction of a famous painting, and sugarwork shoes. Unbelievable stuff.
Bravotv.com: Why didn't anyone taste the edible bouquets?
The edible bouquet Quickfire was actually more about creating a visual masterpiece, a showpiece to delight guests as decoration at a wedding or party. Yes, the bouquets needed to be edible, but they were more a feast for the eyes. This tested the chefs’ ability as visual artists, which is a skill they’re often called upon to use for events.
Bravotv.com: Zac has soo many great one-liners. Is there one in particular that you remember?
Who can pick just one Zac-ism?? Would it be his description of Shinmin, “She may be pretty but that girl breathes fire!” Or, how about, “A flower blossoms at the disco!” I think maybe this week it was when he poured a gallon of melted butter into something and cooed, “Just a little bit of butter. Just a liiitle butter.”
Bravotv.com: Which arrangement would you have chosen to give to your husband?
I would have picked Yigit’s tropical roses and leaves. They were mysterious, romantic, and otherworldly. A lot of my husband’s favorite treasures are imperfect but character-filled pieces from our travels, and the exoticism and personality of Yigit’s piece would fit right in.
Bravotv.com: What went through your mind when Morgan accidentally broke Yigit’s sugar vase?
Some of Morgan’s comments throughout the season have driven me crazy, but I think in the case of the vase he actually felt terrible, and it was a total accident. I admired the way Yigit handled it, focusing on moving forward with his work rather than yelling, and I felt awful he had to do without the delicate, almost creature-like vases he’d envisioned.
Bravotv.com: What celebrity couple would YOU have picked? What dessert would you create?
I just watched, probably for at least the 34th time It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, so I am inspired to go with Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt. Sure, they never actually got it together as a traditional couple, but come on, they’re eight, and they clearly love each other. What do you think all that football business is about? We only tease the boys we like.
So since Lucy is such a pain in the tush, I’d make mini-mini lemon meringue tartlets. They would be bite-sized, delicate, and ladylike enough for a tea party, but as tart as Lucy’s attitude, round, with light and flaky crusts (an homage to her flaky football-holding ways?) Our man Charlie Brown is always a little blue, and blueberries and lemon are a delicious combination, especially appropriate at a tea party, and I’d want my treats to complement each other perfectly. So for him I’d do a version of a honeyed yogurt and blueberry bar with a crumbly ginger crust I learned in Food & Wine magazine, in a shameless attempt to kiss up to Dana Cowin!