Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons discusses Jamie's demise and explains why this was her favorite challenge of the season to date.

on Feb 4, 2009

Editor's Note: Gail couldn't get to a computer this week, so we had the pleasure to speak to her on the phone and get her take on this week's episode.

You have the great Eric Ripert as a guest on this episode. Let's talk about him a little bit.

First off, I think that this elimination challenge was the best challenge to date this season. I'm really jealous that I wasn't there, not only because Eric Ripert is one of my favorite people, but also because he's one of my favorite chefs. What I loved the most about this episode was that we really learned something. We learned a lot actually. I really learned a lot too.

To me, the most important thing about the challenge they were given, re-creating a dish they had eaten once, was not only about skill, but was really about palate. It was about understanding your palate and about tasting, and then re-creating those flavors from memory. That is such a difficult thing to do. Such in italics. It's especially hard tasting something only once that is so sophisticated. The beauty of Eric's food is that it is simple and light-handed, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The word simple does not mean easy. I was really impressed with the outcome from all the chefs. I didn't think that any of them would come as close as they did. It appeared as if most of them passed the test. They may not have been spot on, but they really understood even the more complicated techniques that he used. I thought that was awesome. I thought the whole challenge was really excellent.