That's what Eric Ripert said about his learning some "molecular gastronomy" from Richard. That was my favorite moment.
This week was quite clever in that the show kicked off by pairing the three finalists with three very reputable chefs and (in the case of Eric Ripert) legends.I did find it interesting that they chose such a range of chefs. The spotted pig is wonderful, but at war, I'd want to be working with Eric Ripert above all any day of the week.
So the challenge starts out with April from The Spotted Pig, Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin. I loved the creativity of having legendary chefs humbled to be sous-chefs. It was so great to see these chefs back to their culinary roots in the guts of the kitchen. Stephanie got Eric, Richard got Dan and Lisa happily got April. I didn't like that anyone got an edge in this. Not that it mattered, but I would have preferred random selection at this stage of the game. In the end, it didn't really matter who the sous-chef was. It was every man for himself in the end.
Richard charted his personal journey through his food (which was creative), however he always has to go for the fireworks and the convoluted dishes using his molecular gastronomy. Now there's a shock. I've said from the beginning that his "tricked out" food is over-the-top and sometimes less is more. I also have said that very recently he has not been at the top of his game.
Stephanie was off to a good start, and their discussing her menu as balanced and simple was a foreshadowing of things to come. That is a simply a mirror of her personality. She truly is calm, cool, and collected, and although she must have great passion, you don't really always see it. She seems nonplussed. It is just rare to see in a chef, and it probably makes for fewer fires in the kitchen.