Cliff's mac and cheese and fish sticks were great but unlike the other judges, I felt that one less cheese -- like leaving out the strong gorgonzola -- would have improved it. The best dish I tasted that day was actually Sam's fruit salad. It was so much more than just a fruit salad, it was savory and sweet, and tart and light and had a great balance of flavors bursting in my mouth all at once. But it wasn't substantial enough to offer as a dish on a casual dining menu, especially as an entree, as was the case with Elan's smoked corn with bacon which was lip-smackingly good. That corn would have been a great side dish, but not enough to win this week's challenge.
All in all, this week was about appealing to the child in all of us. Something a chef should always think about.