Bravotv.com: I think some viewers might have been surprised Craig didn't go home. What would you response be to that?
Well, if Craig had been on the losing team then there would have been a strong chance that he would have gone home. But, all in all, Craig's team was not the worst that day. After all it was a team competition and not an individual one. This is one of the benefits and flaws of team challenges. A team challenge, in a sense, may protect the weak because it then becomes an average of total talent. We never really know what people are capable of until the only person they can rely on is themselves.
Bravotv.com: The episode stressed how creating showpieces is a different skill set. Is it something taught in pastry school? Where would one hone their showpiece-making skills?
Showpiece work is one of many specialized skill sets within the vast genre of pastry. More often than not chefs who are really great at showpieces work in either hotels or schools that allow for lots of practice as well as extra space. Chefs that work in hotels are constantly making showpieces for decoration for buffets as well as amenities for guests rooms. Pastry school is great for a foundation and introducing you to basic techniques, but it is really up to the chefs to practice, practice, practice and refine their techniques. Restaurant chefs and bakers traditionally do not make a lot of showpieces (there are always exceptions of course).
Bravotv.com: Which desserts and showpieces blew you away for better and worse?
I think Chris and Orlando are definitely two chefs with the most experience in that category, not only in that they both compete on a regular basis, but that they are both in positions in the industry where they get the opportunity to practice their craft often and work on their chocolate and sugar techniques. I really enjoyed the small details that Chris and his team thought of that did not stand out, you had to look for them a bit. Like the claws of the wolf, granny's glasses, and the fact that they made Riding Hood out of sugar. They also made a very tasty blackout cake dessert. I liked the idea of the pipette for their bomboloni too. I have no idea what a pineapple dessert was doing in the story of Hansel and Gretel. The ginger really blew out the delicate pea flavor on Jack and the Beanstalk, and Megan's cakes really were very bland -- again probably because she had to correct Craig's mistakes. Also the carbonated drink and chocolate cloud were all-ill balanced and just not delicious.