Johnny Iuzzini

Johnny Iuzzini reveals what he thought about the chefs' critiques of each other's dishes.

on Oct 6, 20110

Bravotv.com": Going home for a donut?! The live poll this week was whether or not going home for a Quickfire is fair. What do you think? 
Johnny Iuzzini: I think sometimes the "easiest" tasks are sometimes the hardest to get perfect. The chef's all had use of their recipes and could make whatever they wanted. Some spent too much time making accompaniments. I think a dessert should be all-inclusive with the flavors either in the topping, glaze, or filling. It isn't a question of whether it is fair. We need to challenge the chefs skills at every level, sometimes it is with a large sculpture, sometimes it is by having them create a bakery, other times we need to test their building blocks, the basics if you will. A savory chef must first master his knife skills and understand the basics of sauces and soups etc before he/she may move on to become a great chef. It is no different for pastry chefs. If you do not have a strong foundation and are a master of the basics then you will never be that strong- you will never be a master of the trade -- period. 

Bravotv.com: What are the key things to remember when making a donut — knowing there are a couple different kinds. 
JI: You know, I have eaten ton of doughnuts throughout my lifetime, in all parts of the country and the world. Some are light and airy, some are dense and heavy. There are many types of doughnuts -- most common are yeast-raised and cake doughnuts. There is no absolute right or wrong way to make a doughnut. The problems arise when they are not proofed properly; they can be rubbery or dense. If not cooked properly they could be raw in the center, or dry or greasy. Maybe the flavors are not strong enough or glazes, fillings, and toppings are not the right texture. A doughnut may seem simple in many ways, but it also complex and easy to over-think. 

Bravotv.com: The moment you couldn’t get Megan's donut off your plate, did you know she was dead in the water? 
JI: Not necessarily. There were still a few chefs to go and there were problems with a couple of the prior chefs' doughnuts as well. Megan's doughnut didn't have bad flavor. In fact, it had more flavor than Orlando's doughnut. Megan thought the glaze was too runny, so what happened was, she overcompensated by recooking more sugar to tighten it up and actually cooked the sugar so much that it became a hard crack caramel. She didn't realize it because when she glazed her doughnuts the glaze was warm and she was down to the wire. Once that sugar cooled, it was hard like glass and had adhered itself and the doughnut to the plate. In the end, this one mistake was worse then all the other chefs' mistakes simply because that hard glaze made it almost impossible to eat. 

17 comments
lilbaker20
lilbaker20

I don't think it was fair that Orlando had to much to say about everyone elses desserts when he didnt even make his own dessert. The nerve of some ppl. he was soo worried about trying to beat chris that there really wasnt a team effort from that group. so how can that TEAM win when he didnt even make his own dish??? completely unfair!!

Cookie Crumbs
Cookie Crumbs

I agree that since Orlando did not complete his own dish, that this should have been taken into consideration. Though he and his team made the winning desserts based on taste, one of the rules as I understood them, was that each cheftestant make their own dessert in addition to them making a showpiece. It appeared as if he got credit for something he did not make. I also think that if Chris had done the same thing, he probably would've had a better dessert and perhaps made a more colorful or whatnot, type of showpiece. However, Chris made his own dessert And did the showpiece which Orlando did not; I just think that really should've been factored in the decision. Also, though it is a competition and the cheftestants critiquing their competitors may not have been the best format, it does allow for a better assessment of their abilities- to recognize mis-steps in other desserts. Still, Orlando and Chris should have been called out on their unprofessional demeanor. Granted, egos are part of any business but it should not be allowed to slide. Perhaps calling each of the guys out would give them the wake up call, to really "explore the space" if you will, with their techniques and really open competition up to another level. I have to say I enjoyed watching last season's contestants more in terms of technique and the "delicious factor" of what they created.

GrandmaT
GrandmaT

Johnny is great. They invite the comments so the contestants can reveal their true characters. Without the asses, we would have no drama!

MaggieSC1
MaggieSC1

The phrase is generally rendered "If you don't have something NICE to say, don't say anything at all". Perhaps if you'd heard it correctly you'd be a little less arrogant yourself. Pretty interesting hearing you diss Orlando for lacking respect for his fellow chefs - pots & kettles, Johnny. Pots & kettles.

eazibreezie
eazibreezie

I think quite often on top chef the chefs help prepare another chefs recipies Im thinking of Resturant Wars where the front of house person is not in the kitchen so the other chefs prep or execute the recipie- either to their triumph or detriment.

My favorite quote from this episode was "doughnut is not a flavor." Ha! Loved it Johnny! Love the show!

Kaori
Kaori

I think Orlando is getting a raw deal here. Each chef was supposed to be responsible for a plated dessert and he did that. He conceptualized a dessert, had recipes for them and as a team Sally and Carlos agreed to help him make it so he could focus on the showpiece. This situation is completely different to that of Craig's when Sally basically taught Craig how to make his own dessert in the Willy Wonka episode. What Orlando took a big risk if the dessert didn't work out the way it did. Should Orlando go home because he decided to focus on the showpiece? No. In that case he should have gone home in the Pink Villa episode where he didn't even bother to put forth a dessert idea and wasn't even judged on that. I think it is unreasonable for everyone to expect one person to create a showpiece and make an elegant dessert. Chris did that, yes, but he suffered for it because his dessert was basically an after thought.

Lori66
Lori66

"I guess his mama never told him that if he doesn't have something to say then not to say anything at all. " Perhaps your mama never told you not to invite trouble, trouble has a way of finding you. At what point did you believe that inviting competetors to the table to critique another's dish would be a good idea? If you don't care for cheap shots and nonsence, then ax the format.

Viewer92
Viewer92

I agree with thee other two posts about Oralando not making his own dessert. I think it was totaly unfair. What got me was the fact that he actually stood up there and said "For my dessert, I made such and such and such", and he had nothing to do with it. I think he should have been called out on that.

patrickallen
patrickallen

ENOUGH of these stupid challenges that force trained chefs to use ingredients and cook in places they would NEVER in real life. Not only are they demeaning to the chefs and the intelligence of the viewers, they do nothing to separate the best from the rest. The Top Chef could go home because they randomly had to use radishes or peas in a dessert. What totally idiocy! I want to see the chefs make great food that inspires me, not get tripped up by trick challenges. If I were any one of the judges I would be totally NOT wanting to be a part of and contributing to the the dumbing down of a show with a perfectly good premise. You must feel pretty stupid taking these outrageous challenges like they are really meant to be serious. I mean, get real!

2nd, We saw how much footage of the centerpieces being made...and then what did we hear about them in the critique? SILENCE. What WAS the point, then? By the way, the one with white flowers was much nicer. More fluid, better craftmanship where the pieces were pieced together. And none of this was even critiqued. These are showpieces that are meant to 1. make a showy statement and 2. invite the viewer to look up close at the workmanship. An opportunity to give the audience some information they may not get to see very often was totally missed. It was either bad editing, poor judging or poor planning. Overall, a VERY disappointing show this week!

patrickallen
patrickallen

I really hate these challenges that require educated chefs to be degraded by forcing them to make desserts out of mashed potatoes or radishes. Johnny needs to ask himself if he would ever do some of these childish, outrageous challenges. I want to see the chefs make great desserts that inspire me, not do strange challenges in places and with ingredients they would NEVER be doing in real life. Continuing this trend demeans the chefs and disrespects the intelligence of the audience. PLEASE STOP IT AND SHOW US GOOD, INFORMATIVE programming.

2nd, after all the work of the centerpieces of the chocolate challenge. They were barely mentioned, let alone giving the chefs who produced them credit for some incredible work. (By the way, the curved one with white flowers looked much more sophisticated and the craftmanship looked better where the pieces connected.) Anyway, it didn't make much sense to spend so much time showing the centerpieces being built and then not even a mention in the critique. It was either bad editing choices or poor judging, but it certainly didn't make sense. VERY disappointing week!

synapses
synapses

There's a way to show a chef's downfall in the dish they prepared that may be slightly humorous or cleanly objective. Colicchio knows how to do this. Johnny does not. His way (like holding Megan's donut to prove that it was stuck to the dish) comes off as mocking. Between Gail's fawning and Johnny's belittling, Johnny is, to me, the worst judge in the TC franchises as well.

Anita G
Anita G

I just finished watching. What I do not understand is the challenge was to make the showpiece and each chef had to make a dessert. Orlando, did not make his dessert. Carlos and the other one (i can not remember her name) made it for him. Why was he not even spoken to about this??

Tania
Tania

You had to make the "mama" comment? Really?

Ralph-o
Ralph-o

Why do chefs maek desseerts with no chocolate when the challenge is to make something with chocolate? The successful dessert chefs used chocolate in their chocolate desserts. The unsuccessful one couldn't cube a square cube squared.

TGM122060
TGM122060

I'm confused. Wasn't each contestant supposed to make their own chocolate dessert? How did Orlando get by, with his two teammates making his dessert? He's a schmuck, and DIDN'T complete the challenge!!!!!!!

PaulainVa
PaulainVa

Johnny is, perhaps, my least favorite Top Chef judge ever. In the more savory/standard cooking versions of this series I have come to expect a professional, incisive, thorough standard of judging. Even if I am shocked at the outcome, I have an understanding of what led up to it. In the Desserts show, I am usually left baffled. I don't understand anything about what was good/bad/indifferent about any of the dishes. This program leaves me with a major case of the "blahs". So sorry to say that; but, it is the truth. I am usually DYING to see the next Top Chef, and watch the blogs, critiques and videos more than once. This series leave me cold.