Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons reacts to Danyele's Judges' Table confession.

on Dec 13, 2012

Micah had this really grainy, celery root puree that was so odd--- and again he knew it wasn’t great, and I wish he had had the foresight to just leave it off, or to improvise and do something else with it. When you see afterwards, that they’re struggling with that ingredient, and it’s the exact thing we point out, obviously we’re goning notice! If they notice, we notice. It was just disappointing because I know he can do better, and he had done quite well until now.

And then finally, Eliza. You have to remember, we’re judging everything in relation to all the other dishes. So you’re only as good as everything else that’s served that day, and comparatively, Eliza really missed the mark. If her dish had been stand-alone, it might have been passable, but compared to the great dishes we had from Sheldon, from Brooke, from John, from Kristen... there were so many great dishes, it was just completely, almost amateur. The elk was sliced too thinly that it sort of fell apart. It wasn't cooked well -- it was a little too pink in the center for some people. You want it rare, but it was so rare that you got no flavor. You got no texture at all -- it was just kind of mealy and mushy. And then the carrots were so strange—the spiced carrots were just sort of an afterthought. They also had a strange mixture on them—they weren’t cooked consistently or evenly. And they had nothing to do with anything else on the plate—it was as if the three different components weren’t talking to each other, and they could have been served separately. Her huckleberry sauce was great, I will give her that. But unfortunately, that’s just not enough to pull you through. And what did you think when Danyele broke down and you said maybe she’s not cut out for this competition?
GS: I think that people come to TC, they always think it’s going to be easier than it really is, and every chef works differently, and there’s always a few people who get to TC and realize, "Wow -- I thought that I was a competitor, but my style of cooking doesn’t lend itself to competition in this way. I’m a think girl, and I do things slowly and methodically, and I’m not cut out for the exhaustion that overcomes us." They really are working so hard, and for days on end -- it’s not for everyone. And how can you know that? And she made it clear that maybe it’s just not for her, but she’s still in it, and she obviously has some great cooking experience—she’s worked for Steven Pyle, she’s worked in a lot of great kitchens. She knows how to cook, and we don’t doubt that, or she wouldn’t have made it on the show.