I thought that the whole finale was interesting. It was such a long meal and it's amazing how it was cut and how it was just like, I can have distinct descriptions of each meal because it was so good. For me that first round was Michael's. That gnocchi was something that was crave-able and I could eat everyday. It was probably one of my top three dishes at the tasting, It was really solid. He did do a duo though, and on the other hand, the other gnocchi was unevenly shaped, and because of that hey didn't cook so great; they were very so-so.
He said it was a two-part situation and he'd begun to make gnocchi with ricotta cheese but he was taught to make it with potato by his grandmother and mother.
I thought Rick's quail was cooked beautifully and the BBQ sauce was really top notch. I had no idea he grew up with that background in BBQ, totally no idea, which was cool and you didn't catch on until he took the watermelon and made the salad. He compressed it. What that does is it pushes all the flesh together. He then diced it up so you have beautiful nice cubes of watermelon. That dish was really good.
The Baekeoffe Keller made was delicious. The lamb was braised perfectly. Th dish was very rustic. I'm not a big fan of like whole juniper berries and the greens frisee and red endive were really rustic and for me the greens ether need to be dressed or cut up or cooked somehow. Overall, I thought they all started out really sharp, but my favorite dish was the gnocchi and quail the best — they were really good.
When we were filling out our cards, I thought the storytelling was important. There was a lot of storytelling behind every dish which I thought was really cool, but at the end of the day it didn't really go into it. I didn't take that into any consideration. For me it was about making food that tasted good and how it's presented and prepared.
As far as Rick's mole, I'm not a big tuna fan but I'm a huge mole fan, and it was really legit and really good. But at the same time, for me, again I really liked Michael's rabbit with the liver polenta dish. I think it was James that said he thought the polenta could have been cooked a bit more, but I don't know what the deal is between James and Michael. I really thought Michael should have won, and I've got to be honest, after sitting and eating a meal with James and listening to his comments I don't want him to come to the restaurant because I question his palate. I couldn't believe the things coming out of his mouth. I didn't think we were having the same meal. I couldn't remember him making a positive comment about Michael's food and I thought that was bulls--- because for me I thought his food was the best at the end of it all. I couldn't believe he only gave him 3 1/2 stars. I thought we were having different meals and were at different tables.