Krista Simmons

Krista Simmons explores the similarities between cooking and burlesque.

on Aug 31, 2012

It was unfortunate to see Kerry and Patricia, who are both such pros, come to blows, but those sorts of communication meltdowns are classic on a first night of service. That's why critics wait at least a few weeks, if not months, to review a restaurant. The Masters didn't have that luxury. 

Some of them, however, gracefully executed dishes akin to Saipin's at the Lotus of Siam. Her Northern Thai dishes toy around with sour, salty, sweet, and spicy flavors. Like a great burlesque tease, they are never one note, and always leaves you curious, yearning for more. Having lived and farmed around Thailand, I would have loved to have been there to sample Kerry's winning dish, or Lorena's pisco-spiked tom ka gai. But considering how much I admire Saipin, I might have ended up tongue-tied like Curtis at the judges' table.

Sadly the Masters interpretations of her cooking weren't all winners. Art played it too safe. If you were to liken his chicken dish to a strip tease, his seemed downright Victorian, barely showing the slightest bit of wrist. But look, it's a tough challenge to cook regional cuisine with a minute's notice. Saipin has been working on that craft for a lifetime. 

All in all, I think the Masters did a good job presenting their talents to two very well respected women at the top of their game. It was undoubtedly an experience to remember, or in my case, envy.