I love breakfast and I was very curious to see what everyone would come up with. I thought it said a lot about all the contestants that they pitched in and gave Mike some eggs at the beach. That spurt of goodwill was started by Betty. But how can you lose or forget a main component of your dish when so much is on the line? Mike seems to do better when the challenge to is make basic food. I have to say that Elia's dish was the best for me, hands down. It was delicious, sweet, savory, had the right proportions, and textures. It was warm, filling and satisfying, and felt like a guilty treat, not food that was good for you. It was really the best thing she's made thus far. Her mushroom soup from Thanksgiving was tasty, but unlike my co-judges, I didn't think it executed the "cutting edge" factor of the challenge at all. I did say so but that, like many things at Judges Table, didn't make it into the edit. But the three other judges thought it was good enough to win, and indeed it was a tasty mushroom soup.
I thought Marcel truly took the challenge and ran with with it. If he had poured the gravy on top of the roulade it would have cut down on the dryness, and if the proportion of his cranberry gelatin had been reduced, he probably would have won. All in all, in spite of the fatigue and long hours, this episode was one of my favorites, and as I sit here in cold, windy New York on a December night, I am longing for a bit of that sweltering summer heat.
For those who are interested to read more articles by Padma, please go to the press room on her website padmalakshmi.com, and click on articles by Padma Lakshmi.