Stephanie Izard

You asked. She answered. Stephanie Izard discloses her top three picks!

on Dec 11, 2008

Hello all, sorry to have missed last week. As many of the chefs have to look forward to, I have been doing an obscene amount of traveling and though I am sure to have enough frequent flyer miles to go to China and back a few times, it sometimes becomes difficult to squeeze everything in. No complaints though as each day is a new adventure.

It seems that Ariane is beginning to have more confidence and is moving past some of her early mistakes. It is a different environment than any chef works in on a day-to-day basis and I think it takes some people a few episodes to adjust.

It is time for the palate test. This is one of the Quickfires that finds its way into every season in a slightly different way. This year, it is set up as almost a game show as the chefs have to call each other's bluff. I found myself wishing that is had been set up a bit differently so that each chef was required to name as many ingredients as possible. As it was, some chefs were able to move on to the next round without naming anything. I suppose that is the fun of playing BS.

The sauces chosen were classically made so that even if a chef could not pick out exact ingredients, they would know many ingredients based on what sauce they believed they were tasting. I loved Carla's comment about tasting flavors in her head. This is a trait that I believe all chefs possess and I have often tried to describe it when asked how I come up with dishes. I think most chefs can taste various components of a dish in their head and know how the end result will come together. Not that this in any way takes the place of tasting everything you make, but it is a nice preview.