Bravotv.com: Your brother won the Quickfire, but you said he sometimes relies too much on techniques (molecular gastronomy presumably), were you worried that he did that here?
You know that was a clever move. I give him a lot of credit for pulling out the nitrogen first. Scares the rest of the group who has never even seen it, proves to the rest this guy has been around. And with something so simple as gazpacho, he elevated it to the next level. He deserved the win.
Bravotv.com: Onto the Elimination challenge, what did you think of the whole concept of Battle of the Sexes?
Mike I. seems to be the expert on this topic, ask him. (Editor's Note: Ha!)
Bravotv.com: What was the concept behind your dish? How often do you make it?
The macaroon is something that I use at my restaurant a lot as part of my canape course on my tasting menu. The idea is to create a very light flavored shell that is crisp so layers of texture can be achieved with a smooth puree or pudding. Using the idea of a margarita and chips and dip came from the bride. She said one of her favorite places in L.A. to eat was a restaurant with authentic Mexican cuisine. Naturally I thought, "How can I take the tequila shot and change it into a margarita with my dish?" Furthermore, why not add the thought of tortilla chips and guacamole; the combination is classic. I must say that normally these macaroons in the Mid Atlantic using a dehydrator takes about 10 hours to prepare; I took a huge risk trying to pull this off. I relied on the environment, being in the desert to dry the macaroons overnight.
Bravotv.com: Were you worried at all the play on “chip and dip” wouldn’t translate?
I was at first; there was a lot of explaining to do here. But I then thought if I just make it taste good and pair well with the tequila then if the concept did not go over well at first, then maybe I would get a second chance to explain at Judges' Table. That is the goal anyway — the food should just make sense and taste good.
Bravotv.com: Traditionally, food is paired with wine — how familiar are you with pairing with cocktails or liquor?
I like the idea; there are so many different things you can do with a cocktail and liquor. Take bourbon for example, the toasted wood, caramel notes, vanilla, so many flavors to build from. At my restaurant we have a 21-course menu. The table has four seats and is literally in the kitchen. The opening course is a cocktail that changes with the season which is typically built around a classic food flavor combination.
Was this aspect difficult?
No, I thought the challenge was a lot of fun. You had to think out of the box a bit.
I am your #1 fan. I have been following Top Chef since the very beginning but have never been more excited to see what a chef turns out as I am with your creations. You are extremely talented, intelligent and creative! I have a twin sister and completely understand the sibling-rivalry!!! You want your brother to do well, but are focusing on your strengths and attributes at the same time. I also love that you support local agriculture.
Good luck to you! Libby from Ohio
I am very proud of you guys. I use to work at the front desk of the Holiday Inn FSK many years ago it is cool to see how far you both have come and pursued your dreams and now a little Hollywood doesn't hurt.lol Fan from Mayland area.
I have a question about the word "macaroon" that you're using...macaroon is a coconut cookie and what was shown on the screen and described by you is clearly a "meringue" ...why wasn't that mentioned? or did Bryan never use the word "macaroon" in front of a judge?
So happy for both Bryan and Michael!! You are both very talented, just excellent, excellent work thus far. This season is shaping up to be my all-time favorite. Why? Because you both are representing my hometown! Michael-- I know you're in LA now, I've been out in So Cal for 12 years now but I'm a Middletown MD girl first. Bryan--can't wait to hit Volt, downtown Frederick is very fortunate to have such a hip spot (great menu and concept, btw). So proud of you guys; and I am rooting for you big time! Good luck!
My wife & I (sorry Ashley) are enjoying the "brotherly" rivelry! In fact, we're hoping it comes down to the two of you going head to head in the finale!
You and your brother should both be very proud. I can already tell you both will likely make it to the top 5. Your parents must be ecstatic! A little healthy competition among brothers is great, and will only inspire each of you to do your best. I know that in the end, you are pulling for each other but realize only one of you can win. I think you are both handling this with dignity and respect.
I think you are a fantastic chef as is your brother. Too bad there can't be two winners! You indicated that you are each other's biggest fan, but can't you at least act like you like each other during these episodes?? I don't see that respect come through at all. Shame on you!