There are many things that make Diner en Blanc spectacular. The sea of white and the astonishing level of organization that’s needed to pull off a flash mob in a public space are stunning enough. But to have that mob come together over a shared love of food and a passion for dining was just extraordinary. While our chefs worked hard to make the best three-course picnic for 300 guests, I was glad that they had a chance to sit down at the table, talk to the diners and experience the joy that Diner en Blanc brings.
But first, a little on the Quickfire Challenge. It was a lesson we’ve seen a few times this season. How well do chefs have to communicate to create delicious food? For my money, I think communication is one of the most important skills a chef can master. Cooking is dramatic, but it doesn’t have to be a drama.
Chris and Patricia once again proved they are a fantastic team. Working together in the past meant they knew how to organize, keep their cool, and support each other. Kerry and Lorena, on the other hand, seemed to be speaking different languages. I don’t know if the sticky rice would have pulled Lorena’s seared salmon dish together or not. But the incomplete plate wasn't the biggest loss. Knowing that Kerry didn’t have her back was probably a greater disappointment.
Diner en Blanc presented an interesting challenge. The food at these events, called chic picnic, needs to be elegant and elevated but still portable and somewhat easy to eat. Chris and Kerry both created dishes that actually got better after sitting in the fridge for the evening. Chris’ Pork and Liver Pate with Hazelnuts and Truffles was perfection and Kerry’s Haricot Vert, Orzo and Mozzarella with Pesto was bright and flavorful. Unfortunately Patricia and Lorena struggled. I can understand why Lorena would want to up her game at this stage in the competition, but the sweetness of the Jerk Chicken Salad with Mango and Caramelized Pine Nuts and the touch of spiciness in her Jalapeño Chocolate Mousse came off more confused than edgy.
I would love to have sampled all of the picnic lunches. The chefs were so varied in their approaches. The Diner Blanc concept is one of the more fun ones this season. I have to say though, that one of the reasons I enjoy the Masters series so much is the professionalism and teamwork that these men and women, at the top of their game, bring to cooking. I really don't understand the attitudes towards Lorena, who is always super positive and friendly. So she only cooks food with Latin influences and flavors? Takashi only cooks Japanese, and no one talked trash about him. Kerry looks like a talented chef, but he doesn't appear to work well with anyone. He has added an unpleasant aspect to the competition. Several bloggers commented that Patricia has appeared to be tiring under the stress of the challenges. Maybe that's why she has made so many unpleasant comments about Lorena. It is difficult to comprehend why such an obviously fun and talented personality has been treated with such disrespect.
I totally agree. The anti-Lorena idiocy doesn't make any sense. Patricia may be a good chef, but she's come across as a nasty person with arrogant, unkind things to say about a fellow chef. Some professional. The trio of Yeo, Heffernan & Cosentino (major toady) have spoiled the show for me, all 3 quite obnoxious.
Patricia shouldn't have been sent home. She cooks outside the box more often than Lorena. I'd like to see more from her. No more Latin cooking.
Did not like the outcome at all. Lorena is not a better chef than Patricia and I am disappointed with her going home.
Who has Kerry worked well with? It appears he only cares to be a one-man show. He almost got Patricia sent home on the restaurant challenge, ran over Clark & now was an ass to Lorena. He'd be the last person I'd want to work with.