Barton G., Emmys, Le Cirque & Hung

Carlos Fernandez offers up his chef's eye view.

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Quickfire Challenge

I really enjoyed this challenge. I have often sat in a restaurant and tried to recreate a dish in my head. And if it is really something amazing, I will go back to my restaurant and make the dish with my own spin. This challenge tested technique, memory and the palate. While I have not had the opportunity to dine at the current incarnation of Le Cirque, I did get to eat at Le Cirque 2000. It was a sensational meal. Laura Dern was at the bar and I swear she was making eyes at me! But that is a different story altogether.... I could tell the decision as to the winner was a difficult one for Mr. Maccioni. I got the impression that Casey's dish had the best flavor while Hung had the best technique. He chose technique. How would you choose -- flavor or technique? Difficult call but Sirio was obviously trying not to be swayed by Casey's femininity. Speaking of flavor, I got over to Barton G.'s last week for dinner. Had a fun, entertaining, and flavorful meal. The presentation could have probably worked in Le Cirque as everything is served with a comical, almost childlike inspiration. Barton, I commend you and your wonderful staff. And it was great that Joseph, the chef de cuisine, popped by the table to say hello. Much continued success!
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Elimination Challenge

This was a terrific challenge as well, and I loved that the chefs were given very straightforward classic ingredients to use. Dale, Dale, Dale. I know that the pressure of competition is higher now than ever, but take a deep breath. I'm pretty sure that Hung has a heart. It is just that he is in competition mode. Did you really expect him to give you prep advice? Really tough choice as to who should go from this one. Sorry that it had to be you, Sara. You really impressed me throughout this competition. You kept your dignity and sanity and made some great-looking dishes. You will do well.
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By the way, I had the opportunity to attend the Emmy party in Los Angeles last Sunday that was thrown by Bravo for the wonderful Magical Elves folks who produce Top Chef and Project Runway. It was a wonderful event. It was good to see Miguel from Season One, who according to Chef Tom prepared the best dish of that season -- the duo of beef. Great to see Gail and Padma and so many others involved with this show. And Lisa Parks in a black cocktail dress ... wow ... hot, hot, hot! I also hung out with Otto and his beautiful partner Mindy. It seems that Otto is going to take his humanitarian efforts overseas. You go boy! I also got to visit briefly with Ilan who popped in after working on a demo at Universal. Great to see so many friendly faces. For those of you who have questions about last season, you can also check out my Web site here. And don't forget to go to Miami Spice for my latest recipe on this week's webisode. Until next week ... Break an Egg!

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