It took time to get to see and understand each of their cooking styles, their strengths and their weaknesses, and how they interacted with each other. At the end of the day, it is our goal to not only challenge them, but also put them in situations where they can excel. It does no one any good, both cast and production, if the challenge is unreasonably difficult, and they are set up to fail.
Which is why this episode is such a heartbreaker. Watching this brings back a lot of good memories of production. As with the Thanksgiving episode, we had to recreate the holiday season in the dead heat of August. The idea of getting in the holiday spirit is always fun, but so much more so when you actually get to do it twice in one year.
The Quickfire challenge evolved from just creating a drink using Baileys, to actually creating a food and drink pairing, which we all thought made more sense. Producing a food pairing would take a great palate and some creativity, and with the pressure of only twenty minutes, I think they all did a phenomenal job, as it was almost like two challenges in one. The contestants were allowed to taste all the varieties of Baileys before going shopping.
Betty was right on when she said the difficulty in making a successful food pairing is that Baileys is cream based and also slightly sweet. I thought the contestants that used the Baileys for a savory pairing were really innovative. Cliff's Beef with Baileys was great, and so was Sam's French Toast with the savory apple, onion, and rosemary saute. I also love that Midge did well in the Quickfire (don't count him out just yet....).