Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons explains that no one was shocked by his elimination.

on Nov 11, 2010

Bravotv.com: We start with the Godiva Quickfire Challenge. Francios Payard is the guest judge.
I am pretty certain that every chef on our cast was just waiting for the moment that Francois Payard showed up on set. Francois is a behemoth in the pastry universe. He was the original pastry chef at Daniel. He and Daniel Boulud were
partners for years, and he is chef/owner of Payard Patisserie which was a mainstay in New York for many years. He just opened a new one downtown. Francois Payard is sort of the last word in chocolate and classic French pastry, so he was the perfect judge for this challenge.

Bravotv.com: The chefs had to make truffles.
The Godiva Challenge was very emotional for all of our chefs, and I think there’s two reasons for it: First, we obviously asked them to dig a little deeper and give these chocolates significance from major milestones in their
lives. Second, it's the penultimate challenge of the season and this is the moment where it’s really sink or swim time. You need to muster everything inside you to get through these last few days. It’s always the hardest. And unlike regular Top Chef where they get a break and return for the finale renewed several months later, these chefs have been going straight, and they are tired. The dynamic between our pastry chefs creates a lot of tension -- it seems they do not like each other very much and they have to live and work together. They were all at their breaking points on this Quickfire Challenge
day.

Bravotv.com: It does seem to be affecting Yigit rather strongly and one of his truffles doesn’t even work out. How'd the chefs do overall?
They all worked really hard to complete this challenge. It’s a really hard thing to do in two hours, especially from early conception to be able to think on your feet that quickly and also execute it all in such a short amount of time.They all did really well over all considering the pressure they were under. True, one of Yigit's truffles didn’t work out, which was a disappointment. It’s always about timing. It wasn’t because he was so frazzled. What he tried to do just didn’t set up properly. Although it would have been delicious if it had....

Morgan's advantage in this challenge is that he is super-fast. But he’s not just fast, he’s also precise, which is a killer combination in a pastry chef because you really need both. His chocolates were tempered beautifully. They showed a diverse range of flavors. They looked beautiful, especially that mendiant with the rocher filling, which I cannot wait to eat again now that it is released in Godiva stores nation-wide.

Bravotv.com: So for the Elimination Challenge we have this elderly man come in, and he puts in this request for an anniversary cake. Little do the chefs know that that’s Sylvia Weinstock’s husband. What was the reaction in the kitchen when they found what they had to do?
I think they were all thrilled! In all the different challenges we’ve given them, we haven’t actually told them to create an ornate cake from scratch. They did a wedding cake challenge for Sylvia in Episode 3, but we gave them the pre-made genoise (cake base), because we wanted them to focus on the decoration of the cake, and the exterior. So I think they were all waiting to be able to make a big cake like this. They knew it was coming. We gave it the twist of Sylvia and Ben's 61st anniversary when we heard their amazing story. I think it made us all melt, pun intended. I mean, just look at Ben. The man deserves an award for being the No. 1 cutest man alive. He and Sylvia are so perfectly paired. They are so in love. And his story was so sincere. This was the real deal. I think his energy and his story, gave our chefs the passion and enthusiasm they needed to get invigorated, get back into the challenge and get their heads back in the game.