The slider comment in my earlier blog was referencing the fact that I remembered some sort of thing cut in half with Dale's hors d'oeuvre, and now I remember the gougere stuffed yogurt. The yogurt, though well-seasoned, was definitely not firm enough and it made the gougere soggy. I did like the fact that Howie's hors d'oeuvres were hot, and the pieces that I had tried were not greasy at all. However, I think the lack of presentation (duxelles aren't pureed, but finely diced and then cooked down), combined with Howie's willingness to send himself home and his performance in the Quickfire, added up to the judges' decision.
I think the menu was extremely uninspired due to the lack of leadership, teamwork regarding the budget, and what was actually decided on for the final hors d'oeuvres. This is where Brian failed as team leader, in addition to execution. When they actually fell behind putting out the food it was because they had attempted to assemble all of the hors d'oeuvres a la minute. Having done enough canape parties, I know that sometimes you're better off having at least 120 pieces ready to go of each thing for a party of 60. Fill 'em up and then pace it out. In any case, I stand by my comments on Howie. He's a stand-up guy, and a very talented chef. I'm very excited for the next few episodes, but for now, I have to go to sleep. (Though Beerfest is coming on HBO right now ... DAS BOOT!)