Gail Simmons

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

on Jan 10, 2013 And then we have Micah’s raw concept for which he went home.
GS: There were many issues with Micah’s dish and his concept. The dish as a concept, to me, was flawed. First, I understand that you can’t cut 600 pieces of fish to order for the event, so you have to make a decision: either you choose a different dish or you cut it all the night before. He chose to do it the night before and that’s fine, but he then put everything together too early, so the dish was then all squished together and you couldn’t really separate them, you couldn’t get their pure, clean, individual flavors which is what you are ALWAYS looking for with raw fish in the first place. Second, he put a million other things on the plate with it. There were two or three different sauces. The sauces may have tasted good and were made well enough, but they all just blended together on soggy greens. So it wasn’t a clean plate of food. You didn’t really understand what it was you were eating. And as far as I know, the point of raw food is to do just that. 

Then there’s his concept of a raw food restaurant. As Danny said, we all have a great point of reference for raw fish, which is great sushi. If you’re doing a raw restaurant, you’ve got to do something more than this, because this is NOT new or different in any way. It wasn’t very good raw fish—so I’d rather go for sushi. Raw meat, carpaccio, I get it. But raw can be a million different things.  Show us a great raw vegetable preparation. There was just nothing interesting about what he served to illustrate why his idea was worth eating. It felt like I was at a sushi-to-go place at the airport. 

Finally, I was worried about the sincerity of his concept. When we asked him why he wanted to do this as his concept he said, “Well, I live in Beverly Hills and the women of Beverly Hills are picky and need  diet food” (or something like that). Really? That’s why you’re doing this? Well, that’s why he was asked to leave. His idea seemed so completely superficial, there wasn’t any depth to his restaurant, and so there was no depth to his food. And just as Danny said, if you don’t cook from the heart, we’re going to know. This was a perfect example. It was vacuous from its inception to its execution. I am sure Micah will do well in the long run. He’s young and talented. He needs to figure out who he is as a chef, and when he does I will happily eat his food again.