This week Charlie Palmer was the guest judge. I haven't worked with him but I've eaten at Aureole. He's a badass and he's really legit. I thought the whole thing with the Voltaggios and Charlie was pretty funny. It's like the family triangle. I think Charlie set the pace early with them. If I had someone I worked with before judging me I think I would have been more comfortable than nervous.
For the elimination they had to work for Charlie's "Pigs and Pinot" which I thought was a great event. I've never been. I love pork and I love Burgandy. I probably would have done some kind of pork belly with a vanilla gastrique paired with a Burgandy if I could.
I think people who had a braising item had an advantage because they had something that you can cook and keep it warm. If you have something like a tenderloin or a chop you have to cook that a la minute. You have to cook those to a proper temperature. If you have a braising item you just have to make sure you don't overcook it and dry it out.