Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons makes the case for canned food.

on Jan 15, 2009 What did you think about the Team Lamb?
They fell into that fussiness trap. They got too up in their minds about it and just took it too far. Keep it simple -- you're on the farm, you don't need to butterfly it and stuff it and do a million things. Just roast it, season it, use fresh herbs, and nothing will be more delicious than that. I think that there's a time and place for what they did but they just got too fussy. People always ask me how I judge food because it's so subjective. Certain foods are not subjective. Is it butchered well? That's the first step. If you have an animal and you hack it up in the process of preparing it it's going to show. You can tell it's messy. That's the first step, so if that doesn't go well then it's downhill from there. If you use the best ingredients then you need to use them in a way that you're respecting them. She hacked it up and that was just step one. Good ingredients plus good technique equals good food and that didn't happen. Butchering is huge and butchering a piece of meat takes practice and that's an issue that a lot of chefs have. There were wrongs on both ends of the scale here. Ariane should not have had that job if she wasn't confident with it. I don't understand how she became the one for that job. On the one hand, why didn't she say she wasn't confident? On the other, why did they trust her with that responsibility? The tying was only part of the problem. Leah did help, but she didn't do it very well. I think that's also because the pieces weren't butchered properly so they weren't even. They're all sort of to blame. You all have to put your strengths in. It's easy for Hosea and Leah to say they could have done it and that they've done it a million times. They gave it to Ariane and she screwed up. Then why didn't they do it if they've done it so much? It's easy for someone else to take that fall. Do you think Ariane deserved to go home?
I think she did deserve it because ultimately she was the one who messed up. She didn't really say that she wasn't comfortable with it. She took it on and didn't do it properly and that's your fate on Top Chef. If you screw one big thing up we can't look at your history and say, "Well, you've done it well before, so you're safe." When it comes to the plate, whoever is responsible for the flaw is the person who goes home. We can't base it on what should have happened.