Guest Judge Stephen Bugarelli asked the chefs to create the next "Wow TGI Friday's entree that my consumers would crave." Only four of thirteen contestants served anything close to what I would consider satisfactory, let alone a winning meal. I would think having the opportunity to cook simple comfort food would present a chance to have a little fun. Sadly, this was not the case. I understand that at the Fire Station kitchen provided a less than perfect work environment, but it was not the lack of facilities that made the food inadequate. (A good workman never blames his tools.) In my opinion, it was purely due to their bad ideas.
For the most part, I thought the food we tasted was unappealing and uninspired. It is a sad state of affairs when people competing as top talent in the food industry have no clue what the real world wants to eat. I am truly sorry to be so hard on our chefs this week. I know how protective blog readers get when I criticize our chefs, but I really did want them to blow our guests away. Still, most of the food was just not very good! My reaction to Emily's dish spoke for itself. As soon as I bit into her (not so) Slammin' Surf & Turf it was clear she was at the bottom of my list. I regret not having the chance to get to know her very well, but I am confident she is capable of stronger cooking than this. So what was at the top? The single best thing I tasted at the Fire House was Ilan's Bacon Smoked Roasted Corn Side Dish. It was not necessarily appropriate for a TGIFriday's menu, nor was it an entree (i.e. main course), as Chef Bugarelli had asked, but it was so rich, buttery and "craveable" that I could not help loving every bite.