Bravotv.com: In this week’s challenge for the Quickfire, we have the legendary Sylvia Weinstock as guest judge. What kind of challenge is that, to create for her?
It’s super exciting to have someone of Sylvia Weinstock's caliber. She’s legendary. Everybody who’s anybody in the industry knows who she is, whether you’re a wedding cake designer or not. You’ve known that name, you know her look, you’re familiar with the glasses and what that symbolizes. To have Sylvia Weinstock judge you in a wedding competition is hard enough when you have enough time.
And then you’re given an hour and a half to make a filling or glaze, or to frost, or wrap a wedding cake and then fully decorate it to the best of your ability and be creative to stand out amongst the other chefs is really hard. Even my jaw dropped when they said an hour and a half. I couldn’t believe it. In situations like that, you have to maintain restraint. Because you have to say, OK, chances are something’s gonna go wrong, so if I think that I can't get everything done, simplify. Like Coco Chanel's famous saying “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”. Meaning- sometimes less is more. You can’t stop the clock, you can’t start over again. They have to plan well, be organized, and move fast. As they’re making one thing they have to be three steps ahead in their head.
So for an hour and a half to do what they did, some people really stood out, and other people, like Seth, surprised me by being stubborn, and didn’t want to adhere to the challenge, when its no harder to make a little engagement cake like he made than to do a larger version. I was really disappointed. I’m a restaurant guy too, like Seth is a restaurant guy. I make a bunch of wedding cakes a year, and even if I didn’t, I would try. Eric’s not a restaurant chef, but Eric’s doing plated desserts so what’s the difference? Step up to the plate a little bit, ya know?
Bravotv.com: It seems like people usually go traditional for their wedding cake fillings, and all these fillings seemed very untraditional. Is there a new trend that we should be looking out for?
I think this would have been a great way for Seth to stand out because he has such untraditional flavor combinations, and that would have been the thing that caught Sylvia’s attention. Everybody else is doing mocha and all those traditional flavors, like you see citrus and everything else. If Seth would have done something a little bit different and interesting maybe it would have made up for weak decorating.
I love all the additional comments you make on each of the desserts for both the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenge, and I wish there was a teeny bit more of this during the show. I understand it's not a How-to show, but in your blog post you gave a tip on how to keep cookies more chewy (increase sugar) and if you dropped little hints like that every once in awhile, it would be invaluable for lesser experienced cooks. (coughcough-me!)
I'm over the Seth drama, but what I found most disappointing was the fact that he completely disregarded the rules for *both* challenges--because he didn't feel like it--and yet, was allowed to stay. I get that his little sponge cake tasted perfect, but that's so not the point here.
This is a competition. Period. Will he do the challenges as specified by the show or not? Yes or no? It's that simple. If he won't for whatever "reason," then he shouldn't be allowed to compete. End of story. You can't have one set of rules for the other contestants and another set for him, because he has the hugest tantrums on the planet. He needs to put on his big boy pants and get with the program or go home.
I've enjoyed your input and your judging on the show, but I might just love your hair the most. Not many people could rock that 'do like you!
Hey Johnny I really love and enjoy your blog! Please continue to blog for Just Desserts I love how you run through each dessert! I absolutely wish I could go to Pastry school but I don't have money so I'm stuck doing an MBA! Blegh! But maybe one day I'll get to visit New York City and meet you! I wish!
I literally "lol" when you took a bite of Zach's marshmallow cupcake and got stuck and he asked if it was in a good way and you said "That's debate-able"
I use that phrase a lot now! LOL! I bet you are a funny guy in real life aside from all the seriousness on the show
You are my favorite judge of all time. Very constructive criticism while being very encouraging at the same time, I watch just see see what you would say.
I love your commitment to quality, precision and discipline combined with your creativity and whimsy. I also appreciate your common sense and insistance on stuff tasting good ...it's FOOD and you get that. I am not a fan of trendy technique and presenatation that lacks the the yummy factor. Your comments on the blog are so insightful;I wish you were featured more in judge's table and when interacting with the chefs.
You are my favorite judge as well! Your opinions and advice make a lot of sense and your hair...just gorgeous!!!!!!
Sethy gets to stay because reality shows have nothing to do with reality, and everything to do with drama and conflict and characters. This has got to be the most boring bunch of people ever assembled for a show. Send Seth home and it's a big snoozefest. And from what I've seen so far, they're not so talented as cooks either.
Oh, Johnny, Yigit's dessert was the least successful, tasted the worst (by burning the back of the throat) and sold the least amount at the bake sale. While Heather's cookie was deemed dull, it didn't hurt anyone and appealed to the "customers" by selling more than the scorching ginger crap. Meanwhile, Seth ducked the QF twice in a row. How is that HE gets to stay even when he won't play the game? Either sad Seth or Yigit should have been eliminated. It shows that the contest is not fair.
Hi Johnny, I really enjoy your blogg as well. I think you provide great and structure feedback. You are factual and try not to drill holes in the contestants. That's very coll. Oh and yes, the hair is great but I love the tatoo :-)
Are there anyways to make deserts vegan? I would love to try to make my pies vegan this year for the holidays but am haveing trouble with finding substitues for the dairy. I know I can substitute soy milk for milk but would soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk be better and for what confectionaries, and how would I substitute the eggs and butter? Any hints