Bravotv.com: So this week we start at Pike Place Market—do you want to tell us a little about the market?
Gail Simmons Pike Place is sort of the most iconic, food-related place in Seattle. The Pike Place Market is the first place I go every time I’m in Seattle, for lunch, for snacks – there are so many great products. It’s just a really unique, historic market, that’s unlike anything else. Right on the water, beautiful views. There are some sort of hokey touristy things there, but there’s also some really great food, really amazing vendors that have been there for years and year. The very first Sur la Table, which we featured in the episode… that’s the original store. There are so many lunch counters: everything from Chinese strong cheese to Greek food stalls, and obviously, amazing fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and seafood.
You spend all this time living in a hotel, and you have a little kitchen, and I would go there every few days to get beautiful flowers to make my hotel feel more like a home. The flowers there are so cheap! I couldn’t believe it, coming from New York. You can get an incredibly bouquet of peonies and dahlias for like ten bucks! And they last forever -- they’re just beautiful. And of course fresh cherries and peaches and berries and vegetables and meats. It’s just a really unique place. I went there for lunch all the time.
Bravotv.com Do you have any favorite vendors that people should check out?
GS: Yes, I love Chukar Cherries, actually, you can see them in the background, in the episode. They’re a cherry farm. They do all these beautiful things with cherry and berry products. They have amazing chocolate-covered berries and fried cherries, all natural, really delicious. I don’t know the names of a lot of the farmers’ stalls, and fish and vegetable stalls. There’s a great restaurant called Matt’s on the Market; there’s a great lunch place where I went to for a sandwich a few times, which was this old-school lunch counter called Three Girls Bakery. There’s a great crumpet shop that unfortunately our losers used for a really mediocre pork burger, but otherwise the crumpets are really great.
Bravotv.com: For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs are tasked with making breakfast for these vendors, but it has to be on a stick. What did you think of that?
GS: It makes it a little bit harder, make it more of a challenge. Or then, it would just be kind of, too obvious. So, putting it on a stick makes it easy to eat because there was nowhere to sit, and you want it to be fast for all of the vendors who are working in the market. I actually thought that they did a really creative job -- some of them. You know, Lizzie and Danyele’s QF was lame, but I thought that there were a couple successful ones—that Green Forest breakfast that Bart and Sheldon made looked great. I thought that Eliza and Josie’s looked good… the Croque Monsieur -- they were all really good ideas. So I was impressed from afar.
I think Gail hit the nail on the head. I think all the chefs were tired, and they also didn't work very well together. They had great ingredients, two hours, and none of them came up with something that could be called good. It happens. I, for one, am sorry to see CJ go, I like him, but he knows the format. His dish wasn't good and he paid.
don't worry, on Tom's page they were all pissed CJ went home and on this page they hate him!
Dear Gail, Eliza and Josie made a layered pancake concoction that fell OFF the stick. Stefan and Brooke made the Croque Monsieur. I can't understand how Josie and Eliza weren't given their ticket to the bottom 3 after serving you rocks and sand with their clams... I am glad the CJ and his large ego were sent off. Maybe, he'll learn to zip it, if he returns again.
You won't get a complaint from me. CJ deserved to go for lame execution and a questionable at best idea,and Tyler deserved to go for following.
I'm bummed every time I see the opening. They shouldn't have changed it, now it just looks rushed and cheap.
Also, Gail, why is it that chefs from most states aren't casted to be on Top Chef? The state that I'm from, Minnesota, has gotten no representation on Top Chef and it has a lot of great chefs.
CJ deserved to go, Gail. You made the right decision. He was so cocky and he had it coming.
I think they should've just put all their stupid artisanal ingredients in one big pile, run it through the food processor and served it on crackers. The sweet would've balanced w/ the sour, w/ the herby, w/ the fishy, etc. The judges would've thought it was so ingenious. This was some dumb episode and the chefs deserved to be treated better.
I am a long time Top Chef viewer. I have noticed that over the years the challenges have become harder - less time, harder ingrediants, harder situations. It's like each year you are trying to top the year before - at some point you hit the end. The challenges get less entertaining as it seems like the chefs are set up to fail and then get yelled at for doing so. In this episode, the chefs were up at an exceptionally early hour and did a pretty decent Quick Fire. Then you gave them 2 hours for the main challenge, with an ingrediant that they had to taste before they could even start to plan, in a team so they had to coordinate with another person and having to get their ingrediants from a market they are not familiar with - and you were surprised you had wide spread failure??? I work in a school district - if a teacher gives a test and everyone fails - it's the teacher who is looked at for the problem. Maybe you - the judges, the producers, the writers/planners - need to look at your game plan. I think it's time for a change.
Great comment. The judges even say its TOP CHEF but then dont give time for TOP MEAL.
I would like to see Tom make a great dish in 2 hrs with those ingredients! He is the biggest smug ever!