Wylie Dufresne is one of the culinary world's leaders in using innovative techniques in his cuisine. I have known Wylie for several years and have a tremendous admiration for the way that he thinks about food and drink (analytically, scientifically, and methodically, coupled with a playful creativeness). You hear the term "molecular gastronomy" and one would think all of the bells, whistles, (and foam that is sooo eight years ago), but the real definition is the use of science and technology to improve the quality and end result of your food. There is no point to making circus food that does cool somersaults but tastes terrible. Wylie and his team at wd~50 were recently reviewed by The New York Times and received a glowing three-star review up from two stars, so congratulations to them for all of their talent.
We knew Richard would be excited that Wylie was the judge. Not pee-in-your-pants-excited like Marcel, but psyched nonetheless. I sampled all of the Quickfire food (I am one of the very few lucky crew in production who gets to sample the goods, all so I can tell you guys about it!). Richard gets an "A" for effort and what I find so endearing about him is how earnest he is about his food, not to mention the fact that he is humble and very sweet. However, the eucalyptus could've played a more dominant flavor in his dish, and while I appreciate him taking a chance with the lowly chicken wing, they were really difficult to eat since he had not cut the wings at the joints.