Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons might not have been there, but she loved watching this week's episode from the comfort of a couch.

on Oct 22, 20090

Bravotv.com: What did you think of the Quickfire Challenge this week?
I thought this was really difficult and clever. I think it proved the point that to build up to Restaurant Wars you have to understand the importance of relying on your team and trusting the people you work with. Ultimately, as much as this competition is about one specific chef, running a restaurant is about a team. If you don't have a team you can rely on, you're lost. The challenge was a really fascinating way to prove that point in the extreme. I think it really woke up the chefs. It forced them to understand how vital that really is. At first I thought it was ridiculous, but in the end I thought it was a smart exercise.

Bravotv.com: Jen's team wins and they have the choice to keep the money.
I'm sure they regret their choice but I'm glad they did it because it's a game and what's the point in playing it safe? You gotta be in it to win it!

Bravotv.com: What did you think about Rick Moonen as a guest judge?

Rick has been cooking in this country for a long time and he's a champion of sustainable seafood. He's a seafood guy first and foremost. He was the chef at Oceana for years and really brought that restaurant it's fame and glory. Now he's in Las Vegas with RM Seafood and he's been an advocate for sustainable seafood in America. It's easy to find out what fish is the best choice locally and aren't on the brink of extinction due the human hand, and make those choices accordingly so we can eat and live better. You want to choose fish and seafood that's good for you as much as good for the earth. I thought he was a good judge for this challenge and I thought it was great that they highlighted that. 

Bravotv.com: Let's talk Restaurant Wars. This year they didn't have to be in charge of the décor or building the restaurant itself.
That was something that needed to happen. They just get too stretched to the maximum when they have to concentrate on building the actual restaurant. If we could give them a week it would make sense, but every year that becomes the issue that takes too many cooks out of the kitchen. The point is to have them work on the line with a concept and to build a menu together and serve it to a room of staggered service. That's way more important. Having it take place in an established restaurant with all the facilities had the same effect because you still had to direct service, manage reservations, seating, and everything in the front. You did not have to deal with building the physical space, which has nothing to do with the real competition.

Bravotv.com: Let's start with Revolt. First of all, what did you think of the name?
The name was horrible. I understand that it signified a revolt or a revolution but everyone else was just thinking of the word revolting. Revolt is revolting. You're not judged on your naming abilities though.

Bravotv.com: First course was Michael's Chicken and Calamari Pasta and Smoked Arctic Char.
They loved the chicken dish. It sounded delicious! People get down on chicken but it's making a comeback. In the time where people are looking for simplicity, chicken is a satisfying choice and it's a versatile meat. Don't be hatin' on the chicken! They did a great job. The char seemed a little bland. Yes, that was Eli's dish, but he didn't plate it and that's the complicated part about being in that role. This is exactly where their Quickfire came into play.  The same thing may happen when you are on the line in the heat of service. There are going to be moments where you need to relinquish control a bit and let someone on your team finish your dish even though it may not come out exactly how you would have liked. You have to trust the people you are working with and communicate so you are all on the same page for the end result.

12 comments
jraven
jraven

Thanks for an "expert viewer" reaction Gail. It's nice to see that the judges who know the process so well have some of the same reactions we "normal viewers" have to the edited version of the decision making.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had the same thought I have - that Jen really seems to have lost focus the past 2 shows. First she overcooks her protein in the quickfire challenge last week, and then she misidentifies the protein during the tag team challenge this week. I wonder if there's more going on than we see?

Hurry back Gail. We miss your perkiness!

mmc
mmc

To the blogger who said Gail should stop ending her sentences with infinitives...what does it matter?That's just Gail and why should she change to please someone. She's a classy Lady with a lot of knowledge and we like her as is.It's the Chefs we're here to critique, not the Judges.

Hate the name, love the team
Hate the name, love the team

Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how they came about their team name. Even if "revolt" had ten different positive meanings, the only important connotation is the negative one people associate with food...that it's disgusting. Regardless, Revolt was my favorite team and they deserved the win. Definitely the best Restaurant Wars ever!!! Gail, can't wait for you to come back!!

Joe2485
Joe2485

Delphi, my guess is that none of the chefs explained that to the judges or if they did explain it at judges' table, that bit was left on the cutting room floor.

Lynda S
Lynda S

People for better punctuation: this is not a grammar lesson here. Gail is probably answering the questions on the phone. It's her conversational style. So, please get off your soapbox.

Gail, Your opinions on this dynamic RW are greatly appreciated. I was so surprised by Jen's lack of usual cool in kitchen. I thought she would repeat her leadership qualities from the military challenge. Laurine was a lost lamb (no pun intended). Tom warned her during his walk through, that the FOH could be sent home for a poor performance. She should have paid attention. As for REVolt staff. The name is based on the team members names and could also mean being against the grain... I didn't find the name ugly. Their menu did seem more appealing than their competitors. Good for them to win the 10K that was forfeited by Jen's group!

Another Viewer
Another Viewer

Infinitives are verb phrases starting with the word "to", e.g. to sing, to dance, to cook, etc. The previous viewer is correct that words like with, in, on, at,... are all prepositions.

I also miss you every time you aren't on the show Gail. I love the show and always have, but I think I'd be happy just watching you smile for the entire hour. Your husband is a very fortunate man.

delphi
delphi

Gail, we miss you and come back. My only comment is, why has no one noticed that REVolt is a combo of the teams names? Robin, Eli, the Voltagio Brothers? It's been driving me nuts.

Bzycoll
Bzycoll

Hi Gail,

I'm kind of wondering why everyone is missing the point of REVolt's name. It's pretty obvious it's an amalgam of all the team members' names: Robin, Eli and Voltaggio. When you put them together, you get "REVolt".

a Viewer
a Viewer

Those are prepositions, not infinitives boke1. And I miss you every time you aren't on the show Gail. The judge's table needs you. Toby? not so much.

Whoa
Whoa

I completely disagree with you in regards to Robin establishing herself. After several times of watching Top Chef, one of the most common comments is that a Chef needs to take charge of their dish and do something if it isn't going out to their satisfaction. So Robin puts her foot down and insists on replating her dish and she is the one in the wrong? I wonder if people would have the same perception if she was a man - say for instance, Bryan, telling Michael to back off his dish - and if that move would have garnered respect instead of degradation? I'm surprised and really disappointed to see that none of the judges have commented on these harsh comments against Robin - as if it is okay to bash on someone because she is an "old lady" as Eli, Michael I and other contestants have said. If you are over a certain age and a woman, you are not to be respected in the kitchen?

I just wonder what Robin was supposed to do? The show has highlighted how adamant she has been about putting her stamp on her work - if something is getting taken away from you in the heat of the competition, do you wait until the end to have your say? Or are there just different rules for women in the kitchen?

mmc
mmc

Loved Restaurant Wars last night.It's true that the name Revolt was horrible.I think sometimes the name sets the tone of a restaurant.There were some great dishes and some not so good...Jen and Kevin were off a little last night. It just proves that even really good chefs have off days too.I was glad to see that Robin got recognition for her pear dish.I still like the fab four( Michael V., Bryan, Jen, and Kevin. the others have some good dishes too so I'm not betting money just yet.

boke1
boke1

Gail, you are great and are also an extremely fair and non-condescending judge. (Hi, Tom.) However, on you blog I respectfully request that you stop ending your sentences with infinitives! With...in...on...at....MUST stop. That said, I would like to know of your personal restaurant employment experience. You seem very knowledgeable and I would like know from whence that came.