Harold Dieterle

Harold Dieterle explains why this episode is one of his favorites.

on May 7, 2008

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The Quickfire Challenge reminded me of how chefs can be in any kitchen. When you have some downtime, every once in a while you have a few people start hosing each other, saying who can do this or that faster than anyone. I remember this one line cook who was very arrogant and cocky. He used to pick on the interns, and then I would get involved, and tell him, honestly, that I could do anything he was talking about better and faster blindfolded. And so we had a little competition where I was blindfolded and he wasn't. I won. Luckily. Otherwise, I wouldn't be telling this story right now. But these types of things are common, and it was cool to see. The thing about it, though, when speed is on the line, things can get a little dangerous.

What Andrew did with the artichokes was smart. I mean, that's why we have peelers. So, it's a pretty common move, and I'm just surprised that Spike didn't take that route, either. You use a spoon to get to the inside, but for the stem, you use a peeler.

Would I have chosen the bride? I think Richard made a very valid point in that he's going for it. That's one thing you have to say about the guy: He doesn't sit back and take a backseat. Ever. He puts himself at the helm every single time, and there's something to be said about that. Where, on the opposite side of it, you have someone like Nikki who said, "I am by no means the executive chef." You're not going to win this competition if you don't step up. It doesn't work like that. You have to say, "I want it."

The bride wanted meat and potatoes, and I think the team did a nice job. Obviously, our wedding team plan didn't work out so well in Season One, so who am I to really say? I think certainly exhaustion sets in, and I knew what they were going through. I think that everything they made looked good. I didn't think it was incredibly creative, but I don't think it was supposed to be, on either side. They're catering a wedding for four people each, so they're making food for 125 people. One thing I will say that was a hell of a lot easier than what we had to do was that it was buffet service instead of a sit-down dinner. And that sets you up to succeed a little bit more. You're doing five courses of 125 people sit-down, it's just brutal. I remember that, it was like round after round of plates ... is it ever going to end? You're looking at the food going out, and I didn't think any of us thought it was that good. I think the buffet style was clutch. You shouldn't make a chicken dish that's supposed to be crispy if it's going to sit in a dish for a while. I'm not a big chicken fan. The only time I'm leaning towards chicken is for a family meal. That's when I like to serve chicken.