James Oseland

James Oseland explains why it paid to take risks in this challenge.

on Jun 2, 2010

Rick and Jonathan, on the other hand, took the safe—too safe, if you ask me—path when it came to their improvs. The only way in which Rick’s dish evoked the word “angry” was in how it made us diners feel when we realized how utterly undercooked the pork was. Still, he impressed us with other elements: the beautifully poached oysters, the creamy cabbage, the smoky bacon. Jonathan, on the other hand, served us a family-style supper when he should have dazzled us with more of a spectacle. I know he has the skills to deliver something more creative, something that would have popped and excited rather than sated and soothed. If that’s just his cooking style, well, fine—but at this point in the competition, he should have been pulling out all stops.

And Marcus sure did just that. It’s true that his dish looked like it had exploded on the plate, but it was brilliant, truly brilliant. Who knew that caviar could be turned into a sauce? Each fish was cooked to the temperature that best suited its flavor and texture: warm salmon, raw and buttery tuna. The dish was smart and well executed and the epitome of the word he was trying to evoke: “pleasure.” Bravo, as they say.