Bravotv.com: So let’s start with the Quickfire Challenge with the gum. What do you like in gum flavors?
Gail Simmons: I want gum to wake me up and refresh my mouth. My favorite flavor of Extra Desserts Delights gum is Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. It has a great balance of minty-ness and chocolatey-ness. I thought this was a fun challenge! We weren’t actually asking them to make gum, but it was to get them making desserts that were truly tiny, with the idea that they could be translated to a gum flavor. I have to say I think they all did an exceptional job. Their desserts were absolutely beautiful. They were beautiful little miniature desserts, even more so than a petit fours is, as these were truly full-blown desserts. Craig did really well! His flavor was thought through and very balanced. I was impressed with many of them that day, especially Carlos’ and Nelson’s as well.
Bravotv.com: Were you surprised that Craig won? Craig seemed surprised himself.
GS: Here is why I liked that he won: besides the fact that his strawberry-lemon pancakes are a very viable flavor for a gum, it proved what people sometimes ask us, and the reason the guest judge is so important on the show -- they come in having never met these chefs before, having not spoken to them at all, and after 20 minutes, they have to choose a winner. They have no preconceived notions. They don’t know that Craig has been struggling. They didn’t know who was on the bottom of the challenge the night before. They have no idea. So it’s really proof of how fair the competition is. Every day your slate is wiped clean and it’s anyone’s game. How each chef has done in the past has no bearing on how you will do the next day. And that’s why it was so great that Craig won. Because Hugh had no preconceived notions and no idea of anyone’s skill level. He honest to goodness just liked Craig’s dish the best and chose him as our winner.
What did you think of Hugh as a judge? He’ll be joining you in Texas.
GS: I think he’s great. He’s so much fun. We had a great time on this shoot together. And we certainly had fun in Texas together when we shot Top Chef Season 9 over the summer. I think he’s a great addition to our team. He’s adorable. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s snarky! He definitely doesn’t pull punches. He’s direct, and I think that was good for the show. He’s a good chef. He’s a Food & Wine Best New Chef from 2002, so he’s definitely part of the Food & Wine family. And more than all of that, he’s a fellow Canadian!
My favorite TCJD episode ever!! Avid fan of the RHOBH, and glad Chris/Amanda's team won!! Bring the RHOBH baaaaaaaaaack!!
So nice to see you be fair to Craig in regards to his winning immunity and being saved by it (and I admit I wished to have a huge plate of Craig's pancakes to gleefully devour because they looked delicious). I was quite put off by how Johnny rather rubbed Craig's failure in his face. One thing is to tell him he did badly and that he must try much harder next time, because he knows he did badly, but no need to rub his face in on it. If he's going to be like that to someone who was saved by immunity, why offer it in the first place?
I also must admit to being disappointed by Hubert's comment about preferring someone who did a showpiece over someone who did a crumble. I am personally not a fan of showpieces. They may look visually stunning, but not all pastry chefs have that set of skills, and at the end of the day, when I think of desserts, I think of something yummy I wish to eat, not a fancy sculpture of cake, chocolate or sugar. Thus, I hope upcoming episodes focus less on team challenges and showpieces, and more on individual challenges and delicious desserts that will make my mouth water.
I do not understand why the judge made a comment about the 'coffee taste' being out of place for gum When pancakes won ! LOL Allot of people drink coffee with 'breakfast pancakes' .
I see no talent even close to last year's group.
I think Gomer is being kept around for entertainment purposes. He has not done one good dish.