Bravotv.com: Let’s start with Josh’s dish, the Roasted Garlic Sourdough Soup with Sockeye Salmon & Black Olive Croutons.
GS: I remember thinking that the idea for the soup was perfectly wonderful, especially for the cold weather. I also have a very distinct memory of the dish being very garlic-y. If you put garlic in soup, that’s OK, but when you’re mixing it with something as fatty as salmon, it gets very aggressive and tends to overpower the rest of the dish. The black olive croutons were wonderful because they gave the dish a little texture, which balanced out the fat really nicely. It was a rustic dish, a dish to curl up with on cold nights with a fire. Josh’s cooking is very direct, which I like, but when you’re balancing soup with salmon, you need to really pull back and sort of restrain.
Bravotv.com: Sheldon's bread didn't seem to work, and he got comments about the smokiness of his salmon.
GS: I really admire Sheldon for taking two ingredients that are so far from the ingredients that he usually works with and trying to infuse his own style and personality into them. Adding the matcha, too, was a valiant effort. I totally get what Sheldon was trying to do. That tea was already very tannic, and so it was too sour with the sourdough bread. I just think they didn’t really play well together. I just want to say, of all the breads, it was made very well, but the matcha wasn't a necessary choice.
We also gave Sheldon a hard time for using chum, because as we said over and over again, chum is what you feed the dog. But, you know what?! Lobster was something that they fed the dog for many, many years, until we discovered that it tastes good too. The type of salmon didn’t bother me. The smokiness really went well with the green tea and the salmon; it was really bright and fresh, and because it was warm, it felt appropriate. And the soup was so smooth and bright green and beautiful. Delightful overall. I really enjoyed eating that dish.
Bravotv.com: And Brooke won with her Sockeye Salmon & Seafood Broth with Mustard Seed Caviar & Dill Sourdough.
GS: Whereas the matcha was a clash with the sourdough, using dill with the sourdough really enhanced it. I love dill and it really goes well with salmon, especially with that little hint of savoriness that the dill added. And her dish was just technically so finessed. The mustard seed with salmon, obviously… the broth took a lot of time to reduce, and there was a lot of flavor in that broth. There were just a lot of beautiful little touches and detail in her dish, and I think she was nervous because Tom gave her a hard time. There was nothing we could say about Brooke’s dish that wasn’t complimentary because she did a really terrific job. For bread and for salmon, she nailed the challenge.