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Bravotv.com: The guest judge this week, Pichet Ong, also works for Jean Georges. Do you work with him? What can you tell us about him?
Johnny Iuzzini: Actually he worked for Jean Georges years ago. He was the pastry chef at the restaurants 66 and Spice Market. We never worked directly together -- all the restaurants are quite separate. Pichet focused on Asian-style desserts as that was the theme of those restaurants, as well as his personal heritage. Although, he didn't know how to make a fortune cookie and I, the Italian/French kid from the Catskills taught him how to do it. Go figure. Pichet has a unique approach to desserts, often reflecting Asian techniques and flavor combinations. He tends to reinterpret classic dishes, often with a more modern style.
Bravotv.com: For the Quickfire Challenge, what do you think were the most important elements to remember in creating a candy bar?
JI: A candy bar is meant to be a snack on the go. It should be portable and easy to eat. It should not be messy or incredibly fragile. Normally a short shelf life or requiring refrigeration would be a deal killer. Candy bars should pack a flavor punch. In my mind, its about big payoff in every bite, since the portions are usually quite small compared to a plated dessert. If I were making a candy bar i would focus on strong pronounced flavors and unique textures to set my candy bar apart.
Bravotv.com: What’s your favorite candy bar?
JI: I have always liked candy bars with a crunch or texture. I am a big Snickers fan, Milky Way, Krackle, Aero bar, Chunky, Twix, and Kit Kat. Just to name a few favorites that is.