Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi reveals her favorite comort food, why she loved the TGIFriday's challenge, and why cooking with kids in mind is key.

on Nov 1, 2006

Is there anything more scrumptious than a heaping bowl of your favorite ice cream? I was very curious to see how everyone would fair in this week's Quickfire Challenge. Ice cream is such a universal food, one that gives great pleasure to so many of us. I love making homemade ice cream and was surprised to learn that not many of the chefs had actually made it before. But ice cream isn't hard to make, and I thought they did well ... for the most part. I couldn't believe it when Marcel told me he made avocado and bacon ice cream. I appreciate his wanting to create new flavor profiles and be innovative, but part of being a great chef is knowing your audience. In this case, I told them they would be going to Redondo Beach where it was a hot summer Sunday, and that there would be a lot of kids.

I was amazed by how good Carlos' avocado and marshmallow ice cream was. It tasted sweet, smooth and delicate, and the soft pillows of marshmallow melted in the heat of my mouth becoming a swirl of creamy, sugary goodness. I thought Michael's Elvis ice cream was interesting and I was glad to see him put some thought into his dish and be a bit more creative. And I must admit, the bacon in Elan's breakfast ice cream with waffles and maple syrup was intriguingly delicious ... but if I had to order one flavor again, it would be Josie's peach cobbler ice cream. Peaches were at the peak of their season, ripest of all the fruits when we filmed and I could smell them from two feet away on the table of items they chose from. In the end, the textures and taste of Cliff's ice cream beat all else out, getting the most votes from the crowd.