Gail Simmons

Brooke's oferring hit close to home for Gail Simmons.

on Jan 10, 20130

Bravotv.com: We start with the ginger Quickfire Challenge…
Gail Simmons: Brooke’s looked the best, and I assumed it tasted the best too, so it won. I feel like we’re getting down to the wire now, with eight people left, it was a tough one. 

Bravotv.com: Wolfgang had some harsh words for the bottom chefs. Is he the toughest judge?
GS: His comments were harsh. I think he’s just snappy. The man is a walking sound bite; it’s unbelievable.  His tan is really amazing too. I adore him, he’s a teddy bear at heart.

Bravotv.com: On to the Elimination Challenge, which ended up being the first part of Restaurant Wars.
GS: It was more like Restaurant Concept Wars. I thought it was a really good way to introduce Restaurant Wars. It gave them a little more time to create their concepts, and think about a signature dish to base their concept around, which really helps finalize and tweak what your concept should be. I think Danny Meyer was the perfect person to guest judge as he’s been a trailblazer for 30-plus years in the New York restaurant world. He created Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern with Tom of course, and now owns everything from to Shake Shack, which makes the best burger in New York City, to The Modern at MoMA. He does fast-casual and he does fine dining at the highest level. He is not a chef, but he has a mastery of hospitality, understanding what customers want from a dining experience, and what keeps them coming back. He taught me so much I have to say, even in just those four or five days we all spent together in Seattle. It’s hard to believe we’ve never had him on the show before.

Bravotv.com: On to the dishes! We’ll start with Josh and Bistro George, a sweet concept to pay homage to his father.
GS: Compared to a lot of the other concepts that our chefs had, Josh’s seemed simple. But, a restaurant doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles to be great. There are many different reasons people go out to restaurants: of course for special occasions, but people also need to have restaurants in their neighborhood that are casual enough that they can afford to eat there often, but nice enough that it’s not something you could just make at home; more expertly-made. Most importantly, people need restaurants that make them feel like they want to eat there several times a week, or at least a month, where you can be a regular. A perfectly-run casual restaurant is such an important thing in a local community. I think Josh really was able to, in one plate, give us just that.  We understood it -- he knew what he wanted, it came from the heart, he kept it simple, and he knew when to stop. He didn’t feel the pressure to do a German-Thai fusion, for example. He knew what people in HIS neighborhood would want, he knew what his father liked, and he had the sense to stay true to that. At the same time, the rib-eye was cooked perfectly, seasoned perfectly. It was delicious. The cauliflower puree was great, the mushrooms had tons of flavor, the sauce was velvety and rich.  It was a great plate of food and that doesn’t go out of style. And I would go back there, weekly, if it were in my neighborhood, and that was EXACTLY his concept.

15 comments
dcPhilly
dcPhilly

Can't believe two weeks in a row Josie was chosen, this week over Kristen...are you crazy. That was the defining moment for me I'm done with top chef forever!

TondalayoSchwartz
TondalayoSchwartz

I expected to read more about Brooke's dish.  Was something edited out?  I wasn't offended by anything Gail said, I never am, but then I wasn't offended by using a matzoh ball with a pork product.  I believe one of the more popular dishes in Ilan Hall's restaurant is bacon wrapped matzoh balls.  Since they are akin to dumplings from so many other cuisines, I don't feel mixing the two disparate ingredients is the shondah Gail does.  But I'd really like to know what Gail said here.  Call me.  We'll do lunch, Nate 'n Al's, on me.

Libinski
Libinski

Gail: arbitrary dietary prohibitions based on the belief that your deity disapproves of, or even cares about such things, has absolutely zero to do with morality. Those of us who reject elaborate superstition have kind of an issue with that from a reality standpoint.

singingscallops
singingscallops

Speaking of sushi, Micah might be unfamiliar with a Japanese dish called chirashi.  It's a beautiful assortment of different types of fish, each sliced thinly, all arranged atop sushi rice.  A squeeze of lemon and the acidity of the rice complement the very subtle flavors of the fish.  Not sure if Micah was going for a Mediterranean spin on his dish, but whatever his take, he could have based it on chirashi.  Maybe substitute pilaf or couscous for the sushi rice.  A salad of peppers, spinach, and sliced artichoke could accompany the fish.  Simple, clean, beautiful.  Like chirashi.

koshermom
koshermom

Watching you scarf down pork every week on National TV is much more offensive to your people than a dry matza ball.

parker85
parker85

I don't know why he said that about women in Beverly Hills. I think he thinks that it would sound better as a concept if he made up this story. In the episode though he talks about how he had been on a raw diet before coming on Top Chef, and lost weight and all that stuff. i don't know why he didn't share that with the judges, especially when Meyer said that the concept should come from the heart. That being said I thought the concept was terrible (one that would be difficult to win restaurant wars with much less create a restaurant with) and thus he deserved to go home. 

shysharon
shysharon

come to my house for matzoh balls, we'll be shvesters for life!!

Beesbad
Beesbad

How many times does Josie have to be on the bottom before you put us out of our misery?!

motherhubbard
motherhubbard

 @TondalayoSchwartz Gail's issue wasn't with the "unkosher" aspect; it was with the poor texture of the product. What was offensive to Gail was Brooke presenting a "take" on Jewish food that was badly made.

 

And as a matter of fact, Brooke used duck, not pork, which is a perfectly acceptable meat under Kashrut.

penk18
penk18

 @koshermom I guess I'm one of "your" /Gail's people, and I am NOT offended that Gail chooses to eat as she does. But I assure you that your comment about "your" people is offensive on many levels. 

coocoo64
coocoo64

 @koshermom "YOUR PEOPLE"?   I think that folks would find THIS as more offensive than all of the others..........

TondalayoSchwartz
TondalayoSchwartz

 @parker85  So agree.  Other chefs have failed to "cook" dishes and have lost or gone home.  When will they ever learn?  Contestants: do your homework before you go on the show!

brentwolgamott
brentwolgamott

 @Beesbad Agreed! Josie is so bad, and this is her SECOND chance, and you guys keep letting her slide through, with a pork chop that you could use as a hammer.  I would at least think, after being in the bottom this many times, and contiually having issues with her timing, which IS part of the challenge not to have a line out to kingdom come, that you guys would have told her to pack her knives and go.  Josie has literally no shot to win -- Micah did.  Wrong person sent home. 

motherhubbard
motherhubbard

 @coocoo64  @koshermom I Jewish but not kosher by choice. Besides, a Jew invented the Reuben sandwich, a true example of Jewish food gone awry. When Gail said Brooke had offended her people, she was speaking from a purely cultural standpoint. We expect something from our matzahballs, and Brooke didn't deliver.

Vickis
Vickis

Yeah, I"m sick of Josie. She has added nothing this season and I agree, better chefs are being sent on.  Besides, I find her personality offensive.  I cringe everytime she opens her mouth.  Perhaps she can't help it, but Tom seems as offended by her presence as others.  I thiink CJ and Stephon both realize the level of chefs is very high and they have a LOT of competition, she seems to still feel 'better than the other chefs.  She really needs to go.