Gail Simmons

Gail reports on the perils of sky-high Broccolini.

on Sep 12, 2007

I think Tom hit the nail on the head when he saw what the chefs were preparing early on and stated that if good food went into each dish, good food would come out. From the description alone, CJ's entire dish of Pan Seared Halibut on a bed of Toasted Farro with Mint Creme Sauce, Roasted Broccolini with Breadcrumbs and Mint Vinaigrette stopped me in my tracks. Regardless of how well or poorly he prepared it, I have two totally subjective issues with his dish. First off, each time I read its description I thought I was reading a preparation for lamb. Seriously, read it again and tell me it would not have been significantly more appealing if he has used lamb chops or lamb loin?

Second, the thought of fish on a plane with mint creme is just about the last thing I personally would want to eat. Deciding to make fish is, in and of itself, a bold move. Steamy, overcooked fish is a smell I have experienced all too often on planes and it does not go over well. Hung is lucky to have gotten away with it, but I am afraid poor CJ suffered a different fate. I know he was greatly admired by many of his fellow contestants and I wish I had the chance to have said good-bye to him in person. I know he has worked incredibly hard to get to this place and has overcome obstacles few of us can imagine. I have a sneaking suspicion he will resurface again soon and do something not only worthwhile and fun, but also quite delicious. Until then, let's just hope he remains firmly planted on the ground.