I would have liked to cook a rabbit course for Joel. I love cooking rabbit. That would have been my number one. I’m pretty bored with lobster and beef tenderloin. It’s not very exciting to me. You make lobster with Sauce Americaine and it’s like lobster with lobster sauce. It’s not something I really care about cooking. I also would have really loved to do the trout with the béarnaise. Just because you’re in a French restaurant doesn’t mean you need to make the sauces classically. The deconstructed béarnaise was a little different, but everyone else cooked the sauces very classically.
I’m surprised Mattin did what he did. Making a straight-up veloute to me is pretty much the most boring thing you can do. I’m not really into starch thickeners. So, you make a chicken stock and you make a roux and you put them together and you cook it down. I don’t really want to eat that and I don’t think the chefs want to either. That is one of the most boring things in the world. Maybe I didn’t pick it up, but I could have sworn Ashley said to put asparagus in it. She did something. He said he didn’t remember. But, it was terribly boring. I respect the fact that she didn’t throw him under. I like her. She’s my dark horse. I was really impressed with her.
Everybody except for the two top teams went very classical. What I loved, which nobody commented on, with Bryan and Michael’s trout dish was soufflé at the end. If you were watching the plates go out you see what they did. You take the potato and you cut it in little rings, you take it out, you let it cool down, raise the oil, and then blanch it again. It creates this soufflé and you could see the little potato discs puffed up. That was sexy. None of the judges commented on that. It was tight.