Dannielle Kyrillos

Dannielle Kyrrillos provides some soap dish about Erika's losing plate.

on Oct 21, 20100

Hi, everyone, and Happy Wednesday to you! I hope your week has been a cakewalk, and that you enjoyed tonight’s mid-week sweet treat, the sixth episode of TCJD. Things have really heated up in the pastry kitchen, huh?

When I talk to people about being a judge on the show, they inevitably and wonderfully tell me about their own favorite desserts, which is a conversation I like to have often and in great detail! They also like to share ideas for challenges they think would be neat to see on the show. The most popular suggestion, believe it or not, has been incorporating savory elements into dessert. It’s a trend we are seeing again and again in restaurants (spices, peppers, and most especially, bacon come to mind), but it still presents a really creative conundrum to dessert chefs. So, I hope you were as intrigued and excited by tonight’s Quickfire as I was. Zac summed up the collective panic of the chefs rather well after the savory ingredients were rolled out when he said, “I don’t cook real food…. I don’t eat real food!” Johnny Iuzzini has told me he only gains weight when he veers from his typical diet of flour, fat, and sugar!

But, they all tackled the challenge pretty marvelously, and I wish I had gotten to try all of the savory creations, especially Zac’s steamed beet cake, which looked so moist and inviting. Yigit was super-bold with his double meat elements, foie gras and bacon, and I bet it was one of those desserts you could be a bit wary to try, but after one bite would want to devour.

Do you think Zac should have tried to get more money for the immunity trade? I’m not sure what number Gail would have gone up to, but at least he bargained a little, and it seems like once confronted with the nature of the Elimination Challenge, he might have instantly regretted trading for even $10,000. Luckily for him, it didn’t end up being a real risk.

Celebrating 128 years of the Los Angeles Times was an exceptionally special evening. We got chills reading the most important headlines from throughout the paper’s history, and were reminded that it is a true L.A. institution. The guests were elegantly decked out in black and white, of course, and it was quite a swanky scene.

Now about the desserts… one of the guests said, “I don’t think we had a bad dish tonight,” and for the most part, I agree. However, it was upsetting to see Erika get so angry when I said her ice cream had a soapy taste.  Clearly, she is an extremely talented chef, and she has made some awesome dishes for us throughout the challenges. It’s not my job or my style, on the show or in life for that matter, to say anything mean or biting or negative just for the sake of it. I’m the voice of the diner, and if you had tasted that ice cream, you would have instantly realized something was wrong. I’m not sure what happened in the execution, but it was off, and that was the main reason Erika was sent home.

Danielle was certainly playful in her approach, but lacked a common thread tying the numbers together, and maybe saying “I don’t know how to cook for a palate other than my own,” might have been sort of telling.  And our most masterful guest judge, Michael Laiskonis, described Heather’s issues perfectly: she decided what she wanted to make and stuck to her guns rather than adapting to the challenge, sort of backing into why what she created was black and white “enough.” Producing a dish that meets the requirements of the challenge is akin to actually serving what you say you’re going to on the menu. The guests at the party were expecting black and white desserts, obviously.

Zac’s “Whoopie Pie on Vacation” was as fun and tasty and decadent as it looked, Morgan’s architectural columns and cubes and blocks were rich and such a smart and fitting way to attack the challenge at hand, and Yigit’s flavors were off the hook. Overall, a fitting tribute to a fine paper!

Have a super duper week and I’ll see you Wednesday, after dinner!

Follow me on Twitter @DKyrillos

30 comments
ccth
ccth

I don't understand why Erika was eliminated instead of Danielle. Danielle has been in the bottom three more than once and many of her desserts have definitely not measured up. On the other hand, Erika has made many visually appealing desserts and she has received positive feedback from the judges more than once. Danielle's Black & White dessert looked like something my 5 yr. old son could've put together. I feel Danielle, along with that permanent frown she wears on her face, should go away.

AbbyD1980
AbbyD1980

I was very confused about the comments made during the tasting and then who was on the top. Like another viewer said, there were negative comments made about Zac's dish when tasting it, but nothing but good things were said during the judging. I was expecting to see him in the bottom at judging and to see Danielle go home...

Valerie Austin
Valerie Austin

I'm with you on this one, I don't think the other ladies even won anything yet, but Erica, who won twice and was even asked for her recipes from a Top Chef for her cookies was sent home because of her Ice Cream, give me a break. She stood along side two other women who won what, NOTHING, THAT''S RIGHT, NOTHING. Make me understand that one???? I am done with Top Chef on ALL level.

pjs38
pjs38

SO TRUE!!! I thought I was loosing my mind , thanks for the confirmation.

JenniferL
JenniferL

I agree with Koko357. I have watched all of the seasons of TC and because I've thoroughly enjoyed that series, decided to watch TCJD. One thing that has always bothered me (first with TC and now with TCJD) is that a chef can produce phenomenal dishes over and over again, but have ONE bad dish/day and be sent home. Whereas a chef who doesn't adapt to the TC format well creates mediocre/poor dishes all the way through and scrapes by for 5, 6, 7+ shows. This seems off! I would rather frequent a restaurant and have meal after meal that was amazing and forgive a visit that had one lackluster dish than return to a restaurant that consistently served me mediocre food!

Lee B
Lee B

Just a thought. I think it would make more sense for the judges not to know who made what and just taste the food and then come with a conclusion of best/worst tasting dish. That way it will be a cut and dry situation regardless how well a chef has done previously. Hello somebody!

Jessica L.
Jessica L.

Wow, people are so very heated! I agree that Danielle has been consistently poor in this competition, having only been commended for her playfulness with the worms in dirt quickfire. But people don't realize that this show is based on plate to plate judging, not episode to episode judging. If you bother to read this blog and Gail's blog, they sum it up that Danielle stuck to the challenge of black and white, and although her flavors were disparate as a whole, EACH component had a good flavor. Just because things don't have a harmonious transition on the plate, does not mean they taste horrible. Whereas a dessert that is white and PURPLE, not even black to fit the challenge and tastes like soap has no saving grace. Either stick to your guns on the challenge but lose flavor, or lose flavor by sticking to the challenge. Erica did neither of these things.

Heather H was able to stick with flavors that were good albeit not mind blowingly unique, and not stick with the color scheme. But she met one criteria at the least. And when you cut into Zac's whoopie pie, it was oozing black and white on the inside, which stuck to the challenge. Even Eric's dish was a bit black/brown and judges admitted that gaining true black is hard so they gave leeway, but brown from chocolate to black is a better translation than purple.

I have to agree with some comments that the editing seemed rather disparate. During initial tasting Zac's was too sweet and Morgan's was too dry, and yet at judge's table you hear nothing but positive remarks. It seems rather left field. I guess they were trying to make it less clear cut so you could be as confused as the cheftestants when they called losers first instead of winners, but it is just too jarring. It makes the judges seem inconsistent and somewhat two-faced, which I know is just poor editing.

That being said, I'm sorry you're being attacked as much as you are for a collective decision because people like to backseat judge what they see in manipulated editing. Thanks for the blog post!

raffy
raffy

Ever since the "centerpiece" episode, Heather H. has not been saying nice things about Morgan. Talk about a sore loser! Heather H., it is your desserts that will decide your fate. Not hisses at Morgan. On Project Runway, there was a designer by the name of Ivy that accused a competitor, Michael C., of cheating. On Just Desserts, Heather H. accuses Morgan of "sabotage.'' Is Heather H. the Ivy of Just Desserts? Judge Johnny could not have said it better, Heather H. sabotaging herself; using a red color despite the requirement the dessert be black and white. Judge Michael of LeBernardin commented on Heather H.'s stubborness. Continue being bullish to Morgan shows the bully in a sour loser.

Tangeriness
Tangeriness

What in the world were they thinking to send home Erika? I just looked at all of the desserts and Danielle should have gone home.

N Johns
N Johns

I have watched Top Chef and I was wishing for a dessert show. As they be careful what you wish for this show is really elementary. The "diva" team is a big joke. I don't understand why Erica was sent home (maybe we need better judges) If there there is a 2nd season please find mature people.

Independent
Independent

Eliminating Erika was the WORSE decision ever. Sad.

lv viewer
lv viewer

I agree, they are both annoying. Heather needs to seriously grow up and Danielle should have went home instead of Erika.

lv viewer
lv viewer

I think that was the worst decision the judges made by sending Erika home. She is clearly a talented chef and even talented chefs have bad days. What about Danielle who is always at the bottom and the Heather who is a big baby. There is no reason to continue to watch the show. The judges clearly do not know what they are doing. I hope the show doesn't return for a 2nd season.

FanFare56
FanFare56

The judging on this elimination was disingenuous. Zac's dessert wasn't black and white either. It didn't look very appealing either. Erika has never been in the bottom, while Danielle has rarely been in the top (if at all). Erika's dish looked very pretty but had one component lacking. Danielle's dessert looked like a 10 year old made it. Creative? Really? It was juvenile. On top of that, you all stated that the flavors were lacking. How did she NOT go home? As for Heather's stubborness: Earlier in the season, Seth ignored all challenges and did whatever HE wanted. Yet, he was given cheers and bravos for being "outside the box"... Whatever -

csr
csr

I have to agree with comments above. I actually have tasted Erika's ice cream & she rocks! Zac's dish was not Black & White or even close, so forget about not complying with the "challenge". One of the judges said Morgan's cake was dry yet they both were on the top? I think she was sent home because she didn't stir up trouble or drama. Week after week the show concentrates on the chef's who are colorful & play the game. Apparently Talent isn't enough when it comes to TV. This wasn't a "Bravo" moment for me! Maybe name should be changed to "Top RATING Chef-Just Desserts". Erika is Amazing and true to her art/self. In real life, Talent trumps "The Game" and she's got it!!

pjs38
pjs38

Morgans dish looked Gold and was also said by the judges to be to sweet? I know what I heard. I have wanted a pastry show on Bravo, but I think you need better judging, it leaves me confused when a winner or top 3 , has dessert 'gold in color and too sweet'.

shellybot
shellybot

This show is a Reality TV show and TPTB have to keep the show interesting. Clearly someone who’s been constantly on the bottom and made a dessert that wasn’t really a dessert that tasted bad, should have been eliminated before Erika. Danielle is still there for 2 reasons, 1) the remaining cast and viewers doesn’t believe she deserves to be, but her presence makes for good TV and 2) she did make a “black and white” dessert, where as, Heather and Erica used color in their desserts. Heather was saved because she is a part of “Team Diva”, which means Erika is the odd chef out. I could make arguments for reasons why Morgan or Zac could have been sent to the bottom and why they were not. Zac didn’t make a “black and white” dessert. Once his dessert was breaded and deep fried, the dessert was no longer “black and white” He wasn’t sent to the bottom because he’s a part of “Team Diva” and because of his over the top personality. Morgan did have a dry cake, but Heather and some of the other chefs, like “Team Diva” doesn’t like him. This creates more drama for TPTB.

ccjs
ccjs

I don't understand why Danielle wasn't sent home. Essentially each challenge she has not come up to anywhere near the other contestants creations. Maybe they are keeping her on for her "entertainment" value. I think she is just silly and not a very good pastry chef.

Krissy R
Krissy R

i really don't like many of the chefs on this show. they're so immature & moronic about things. like on the preview of next weeks show Yigit makes a comment that all of the good chefs are on his team & all of the crap chefs are on the other team. HOW OLD ARE YOU?! and team go diva...way to make all of the other chefs feel like you're in high school - & Heather H has been on the bottom very frequently! these people unfortunately annoy the crap out of me and it's hard to watch it based off of their 5 year old mentalities.

kjf
kjf

Congratulations. That was the single worst elimination decision I've ever seen.

jjgg5
jjgg5

It's too bad that Erica was sent home. She was the show's only likable contestant.

Viewer aspen
Viewer aspen

i am just surprised that erica was sent home instead of danielle. after all she has been on the top more than the bottom, unlike Danielle..... I think erica was a stronger pastry chief than danielle...

MaggieSC1
MaggieSC1

I have an issue with the judging. You called out Heather & Erika for having veered outside o fthe black & white color scheme, but Zac ends up in the top 4 with panko crumbs on his dessert that were neither white nor black, but a pleasant shade of gold. How does he rate a pass when Heather & Erika do not?

Viewer12
Viewer12

Heather and Danielle are SO annoying. Heather is as arrogant, in her own way, as Morgan. She was ridiculous about the accident in the Quickfire.

Danielle is just SO annoying in her interviews. I don't want to have to listen to her anymore.

Koko357
Koko357

My question for you is how would you know how soap taste? The ice cream might have been bad, although Johnny just said it was off. I would think as a judge you would be mindful of how you come across on television. Although, Erika was upset at what you said. I think she was more concerned about the impact your comment would have on her future.

**As most people know, it is not what you say it is how you say it. These contestants have careers just like you do. Think before you speak, because it is not about you.

I am also tired of watching contestants that are never in the bottom be sent home. Wow how can you even compare Erika to Danielle. I like them both but Danielle makes to many excuses for her poor work. She was just in the bottom last week. lol I think the rules need to be if you're in the bottom three once then the next time your out. If all three of you have been in the bottom it comes to a judges vote. Keep track with a board by each week! That way someone that stays in the bottom or middle doesn't end up winning like on Top Chef!!!! Not fair!!!! Thank God Zac and the Baker are still there so i will still watch. *Change the Rules* So that the best of the best win.

Kenneth
Kenneth

Very interesting challenges, and pastry chefs seem to be an eccentric lot given the view we see here. I enjoyed the savory challenge, and the other day was joking with a friend who lives in Wisconsin that they needed a desert made from bacon, apples and cheese, and of course cream.

Danielle appeared very intelligent, thoughtful and composed, with a heart too pure for some of the competitive tactics.

The first thing I thought when they said Black and White, and it was the LA Time, was, Black and White and Read all Over. So I was less surprised by the fact that some had red in their deserts than by the fact that no one said it. Although maybe they did and I did not catch it. Good episode, thanks.

ANNE CALLAHAN
ANNE CALLAHAN

Just because you did not agree with ERICAS' expression, doesnot mean she was angry. If this is the case every contestant should go home. The other female contestant has contiunously bottomed out. This does not make sense. Respectfully, ANNE.

Deb T.
Deb T.

I wish Heather would have at least had a sense of humor about her dish and mentioned that old joke, "Black and white and read all over." Just like the title of your blog. Ah, well.