Richard Blais

Richard Blais shares his thoughts on the final four.

on Feb 13, 2009

I would argue that Carla’s green egg did represent molecular gastronomy. Avant garde, new school, alternative cuisine, or whatever else you want to call it. By thinking of her dish from an abstract point of view, she had inspiration that was truly her own. She manipulated the color, texture, and feeling of a simple traditional dish. She elevated it, without losing it’s soul. It’s a remix. Of course she should of somehow incorporated, "On a boat, with a goat," but I digress.

Now the challenge, they have to cook for the Jedi Council of Elders. Featuring Jacques Pepin, playing the part of the guy with the really long neck and gentle disposition. Again, literally, most of the chefs go about creating the last meal as requested. And here, I can’t blame them entirely. I would have wanted to turn the shrimp scampi into actual shrimp noodles. A nod to Wylie and something I know is more delicious then it’s traditional inspiration. It is the type of dish that if you pull off, it wins the challenge. And a difficulty level that gets you high marks even if you don’t stick the landing. But it’s a tough call to make under pressure.

Because of the pressure, creativity and authorship can get suppressed. They collectively and unknowingly bring the judges’ decision all down to simple execution. They don’t afford themselves any interpretive defense. The saving grace of "quotation marks" if you will. They want to talk French with Jacques Pepin, Swedish with Samuelsson, and whatever language Wylie’s planet speaks.

Next week, they will undoubtedly be speaking a language of "yeah babies," "pork fat rules," and "bams!" as they head to New Orleans. The regional cuisine should be a great backdrop to express themselves in the finals. As long as they don’t take things too literally! And for the record...my last meal? You’d have to ask me the day of, but a good cheeseburger or spaghetti Bolognese would always be in the running. What about yours?