Dannielle Kyrillos

Dannielle Kyrillos shares her Oompa Loompa-like lessons.

on Sep 14, 2011

Hi, everybody! Hope you’ve had an extremely tasty week, and were as filled with childlike wonder and excitement as I was by this nostalgic, mesmerizing episode.  

It would be nearly impossible to find many grown-up Americans of a certain age who weren’t totally obsessed with Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when they were little. To imagine being invited to a world where everything is not just beautiful, but edible, even now makes for some pretty good daydreaming, especially if your day-to-day life is dessert.  

For pastry chefs to have complete creative freedom to recreate that magic world for some of the people who were closer than any of us to seeing it as reality was a challenge they might have awaited since childhood. A dream come true, as Katzie said. I got goose bumps when Sally said the movie had influenced and inspired her not just as a pastry chef, but also in terms of how she thought about what was possible. The potential is unlimited!

Maybe I’m just a goody two shoes, but another big thing from the movie that always stuck with me was the moralizing in the Oompa Loompas’ songs. After each kid’s downfall, the industrious, playful and very, very wise little guys would remind us, in rhyme, that chewing gum is gross, eating too much makes you fat, and watching too much TV is for morons. I know they’d have pulled life lessons from this challenge… here are what some of them might have been.  (Sorry they don’t rhyme!)

It’s never just a day at the movies. Of course everyone was so relieved and happy when the GailMail invited them out of the kitchen--finally! But you have to give it to Matthew for assuming a Quickfire or some trick was around the corner and choosing his movie theater snacks based on what he could whip up out of them. That was really cute and smart.

There is such a thing as magic. When Adult Violet says seeing the edible landscape in the Just Desserts dining room for the first time was even better than what we can imagine the original was like, I almost cried. The chefs did it! They created a real world of pure imagination, filled with real treats to gobble up, to rival anything from the movie. They used 300 pounds of chocolate! Carlos’ wallpaper was even better than the movie version. I bet he’ll be flooded with calls from people (even beyond all the Violet Beauregarde types out there!) wanting their own. Amanda’s raspberry fizzies actually fizzed! Watching the kid guests’ faces as they walked in and completely freaked out at what they saw was magic itself. And Ron Ben-Israel is the perfect guest judge for Wonka, as it’s as if he grew up on the set of the movie. He is so fanciful, so wild, and lavish… he knows a thing or two about creating edible worlds.