Gail Simmons

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

on Jan 10, 2013

Bravotv.com: Lizzie was on the bottom…
GS: Lizzie’s idea was really lovely, but her dumpling was too heavy and dense. And the sauce sat too long, so instead of being gooey and runny, which would really have made the dish different, it sort of just sat like a piece of American cheese on top, and formed a skin, which was a little unappetizing. The idea was nice, but the technical execution wasn’t there.

Bravotv.com: Josie’s pork was dry, but she also couldn’t get her food out.
GS: This was a repeat of our experience at the berry farm, and we were all totally stupefied. She just has to get it together—she’s a bit of a mess these days. I KNOW she can cook. But she’s too much in her head and too much about the Josie Show—about talking and not about doing. Cooking needs to be about doing first and foremost.

Bravotv.com: Onto Brooke’s soup, which produced maybe your best line ever…
GS: Ha! Well, I had a couple of issues with Brooke’s duck confit matzoh ball soup: First of all, doesn’t that sound great? It’s like a no-brainer; I loved the concept of her dish. Loved that she made that rye bread. But, the matzo ball was POOP. So heavy and gummy. It wasn’t cooked enough. I’m very particular about my matzo balls! I like there to be some levity. Add a little seltzer. 

I also had an issue with her concept, and I know it’s hitting a little close to home here, but I have kind of an issue with it from a moral standpoint. Duck isn’t unkosher—duck can be a kosher meat. So, I don’t know why she kept calling it “unkosher.” Maybe she was going to have more items on the menu -- bacon-wrapped whatever, and I know its supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. I’m not kosher by any means, but I respect the reasons for keeping kosher by Jewish law. There’s a trendy hipster thing of wrapping Jewish foods in bacon and , but, first of all, she didn’t execute that in her dish, so the dish didn’t illustrate her concept. And ff she was just doing elevated Jewish food, like then it shouldn’t be called “unkosher.” That signifies something specific and she didn’t show that to us. It could have been very kosher and it could have been very beautiful, but I felt that her food fought with her restaurant concept, so I wasn’t sold.