Hi, I am Eric Ripert. I am at Le Bernardin discussing Episode 3 of Top Chef. I was very happy to see Gail and Johnny hosting the Quickfire Challenge and to learn that there is going to be a Top Chef: Just Desserts.That was great news, and I can’t wait to see the series starting.
The fact that they had to make a pie I think was a surprise because usually they don’t have to make desserts, and I think making a pie is not something overly complicated. It’s kind of the ABCs of learning how to become a chef, to know a few tricks. So the challenge, although was a surprise, was not that difficult. Everyone should have done pretty well on that challenge. Kenny won with the Bananas Foster deconstructed or reinvented. I thought it was a good idea, and it paid off. I would have loved to try that Bananas Foster pie! Tracey was definitely challenged; it didn’t look good at all. Just seeing it from the beginning I kind of anticipated the sad end for her in that challenge, and obviously she lost with that terrible pie that we saw.
So for the Elimination Challenge, which was grilling, I was surprised to see many chefs who didn’t know how to light up their BBQ. You should be able to cook with a real flame coming for charcoal or wood. They were a little bit lost. I mean, Arnold again was looking, desperately actually, for some help, and it was looking nowhere because there were no chefs or sous-chefs who were going to help him, and during the entire challenge he seems to be a bit lost without the help of someone. Arnold, despite the challenges of not having a team around him, actually won. And the best dish was the lamb. I would have loved to try that dish because it looked delicious and it was a good idea. Kevin tried to do some Puerto Rican food, and I can tell you one thing, my wife is Puerto Rican too. I don’t think in Puerto Rico they would be happy to see the rice and beans cooked like that. Puerto Ricans are very, very animated and passionate about their rice and beans, and to do good rice and beans is actually an art, so he definitely messed that up. The meat looked good on the screen, and the sauce seems to be fine too, but that rice and beans, Kevin, don’t try that in Puerto Rico.
Tracey went home, unfortunately for her, and it didn’t look good at all. When I was looking that the images you could see it was almost crusted with fennel seeds, which is very overwhelming. It was just a piece of baguette with some kind of a dry sausage in the middle. I don’t think she deserved to go further. I think that she knew that she made a mistake, and she paid the price for that mistake, but that’s part of the game.
So we’re evolving in the season, and there’s more pressure on the contestants, and we’re starting to see their real personality more and more, and we’re starting to see different behaviors, and I find that highly entertaining of course. If you have some questions please do not hesitate and I will gladly answer them next time.