Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons breaks down the early competition, and gives the scoop on some of her premiere fashions.

on Aug 24, 20110

Bravotv.com: What makes the new season different?

Gail Simmons: Johnny and I were raring to get started with the new season, and right off the bat you’ll notice a number of differences: One, Johnny lost the pompadour. By choice. He looks fantastic -- although he always looks fantastic. And, the other thing you’re going to notice is that we demand a lot more of our chefs this year. The M.O. for this season is make it bigger, make it better, make it sweeter, make it taller. Although the first Quickfire might seem deceptively easy, the results weren’t that impressive. And the Elimination Challenge really turned our pastry chefs upside-down and made them realize this season is not just going to be about plated desserts. It’s about showing all your skills at a really high-level. And the talent this season is up for the task. 

Bravotv.com: Well, let’s start with that disappointing Quickfire Challenge. The chefs had to recreate or make soda shop desserts.

GS: We met them on the pier in Santa Monica early in the morning. I had a bad cold and was wondering whether I may not sound like myself. And it was colder than I expected, which is why I’m wearing a jacket.

Bravotv.com: We loved that jacket!

GS: It was one of our producer’s! I was wearing a silk blue shirt underneath and we kind of got out there and it was freezing cold, so, I literally took that leather jacket off of Casey Kriley’s, our executive producer's, body, and wore it on the show! 

Bravotv.com: But we digress…

GS: So, we thought this would be a fun way to start off. We put them in a very traditional soda shop atmosphere and asked them to create a dessert based on a classic soda shop treat, but using all of their creative skills, and their imaginations. What we didn’t want was seven banana splits. And what we got was five banana splits and two other desserts. A bit disappointing. We were so surprised that the chefs we know are so capable of blowing our minds, gave us pedestrian food. The first challenge, especially when they’re in this very cramped little space, is always very difficult. But we had a few desserts that we liked. 

Carlos and Rebecca’s cereal bowl milkshake was fun. It had great texture, and it was different because they made a shake, so, it was just refreshing to see something in another format other than just on a plate or in a sundae bowl. 

14 comments
4merRose
4merRose

I also have to agree that it wasn't fair for there to be 2 teams with 4 and 2 teams with 3 people in them. They should of had the chefs that won do give their opinion of how each team did or hve the teams with 4 chefs do an extra dessert to make it fair.

kimoutre
kimoutre

I'm so glad to see Gail allowed to be her own attractive and charming self. For the first season, especially in the advertising, it felt like they were trying to force her into the mold of Padma, who is an entirely different person. Go, Gail!

Morgan>Yigit
Morgan>Yigit

The two losing teams had less people and it really affected the outcome of the challenge. I think the two that won the quickfire should have been excused from the elimination challenge and the other twelve should have been split into 3 teams of four. I'm just glad Lina left she was annoying, lacked creativity, and had a weird facial expression.

FanFare57
FanFare57

I find the show piece interesting to a challenge. However, it takes tons of time, thought and energy away from what the judges actually care about: flavor. Therefore, it's more of a hindrance than a help in judging ability.

zinfindo
zinfindo

The two teams that won had four members each. The two teams that lost had only three members each. The two losing teams "ran out of time." So the fairness balance was completely out the window right from the start. The judges, however, got it right! They eliminated the least creative lump of the bunch. Not to put even one candy cane or lolipop on the gingerbreadh house was truly astonishing!

SR02138
SR02138

Don't you think it was unfair that two teams has three chefs, and two teams had four chefs? The teams that won the elimination challenge had four chefs. It seems the other two teams should have had more time, or something to account for their lack of manpower.

efw
efw

I wonder why team Hansel & Gretel didn't compromise and make a gingerbread/candy facade on the front and the evil chocolate cake on the back. Loving the challenges and look forward to stunning and inspiring desserts. Good luck!

Topchefer
Topchefer

Welcome back, Gail! I am looking forward to a great season.

artperk
artperk

There was an inherent unfairness in the fact that with 14 individuals at this stage in the competition there would be 2 teams of 4 and 2 teams of 3. The teams of 3 had the opportunity to create/cook over a maximum of 30 hours while the teams of 4 could create/cook over a maximum of 40 hours, or 44% more. How did this affect results? The 2 four-person teams did the best and the 2 three-person teams the worst. Why didn't you wait until you had 12 chefs left to do this challenge? I blame the producers, which according to the listings includes you, Gail.

Krystlrose
Krystlrose

In a way, I think that the two with immunity should have been allowed to either observe during this challenge, or help any team that needed it any time during execution. It was not at all surprising that the two higher teams had FOUR chefs each. That essentially gave them more man hours to put into their showpieces. This really wasn't fair. The two lower teams could have had completely changed their ideas or had more ability to complete their showpieces with an extra person.

Buddy Q
Buddy Q

Does anyone else think it was unfair for two teams to get an extra team member? Not surprisingly, those two teams were the top two teams. I think team challenges should be kept to a minimum, and then used only when each team competes on equal terms with the other teams. Giving two teams an extra chef was patently unfair to the other teams and represented a HUGE advantage to the two winning teams.

C'mon, people! At least make the challenges fair and balanced!!

Tommy T.
Tommy T.

Great episode and the season looks to be fun and challenging. The only comment I'd have is the two best teams both fielded 4 players (because the Quickfire challengers got to choose their teams) and the worst teams fielded 3 players.

Wasn't that a bit of a competitive disadvantage?

ccjs
ccjs

Yes! Called that one. Just because one wins a cupcake competition in Austin does not make you a chef and then to think you can boss everyone around because you won a cupcake competition is pure foolishness.

Next Craig.

cjcs
cjcs

Lina can go home right now, closely followed by Craig(?).