Harold Dieterle

Harold Dieterle on Jennifer Coolidge, cooking leftovers, and why chicken's feet are tops.

on Nov 15, 2006

As for Marisa, I thought being a pastry chef was a disadvantage, and she never really did anything for me. Even in the pastry competitions. I don't know what those girls were thinking when they put that whole odd citrus plate together. When I see food, I want to see something that's going to make me hungry. And that plate did not do that. At all. Tom is not wrong. He has very cut and dry opinions. He's very clear that he doesn't want all those options. That he wants the contestants to focus on something that's going to be really exceptional. And I didn't see a lot of that, aside from the paella. I have to say, it looked incredible. It looked like something I would have torn into and eaten every bite of. And it was good to see Mikey on the winning side instead of his usual droopiness at the judges table. It's like that guy has to put on a Kevlar vest every time he goes in there. So I thought that was cool.

One of the thing that really pisses me off, having been a part of the show, is watching the guest judges just tear apart the contestants. First of all, these kids are getting thrown in to a new kitchen every single contest. There's no sense of familiarity. They're just getting thrown in. They had two hours to pick a dish and bang it out, and when you're cooking for that many people, to hear a guest judge say: "Oh, I would have done this, I would have done that. ..." That's the challenge I want to see. I would like to see some of those judges have to pull off something like this. I'm convinced that these contestants would give them a run for their money.