I thought the Quickfire was good -- I thought both challenges were really good. They did a pretty good job. The difference between people who have experience and people who are just starting to cook is about restraint. I know when I first started cooking I found myself just putting tons and tons of ingredients in a dish, and the next thing you know the person you're cooking for is looking at you like, "What the f*** is this?" This challenge was about restraint, and which chefs know how to take a minimal amount of ingredients and make something tasty out of it. Overall, I think they did a pretty good job.
With Mark, I think he learned what the judges said about the last challenge and composed a dish instead of deconstructing everything, and I think it paid off for him.
I like Wylie. I'm a big Wylie fan. I think he totally thinks outside the box. It's not the way I cook, but I appreciate what he does and some of the other fellas who are doing that style of food. If Wylie thinks something's good, he's going to say it's good. If it's not what he's looking for I think he's a pretty straight shooter. Elimination was another really fun challenge. If you're going to get involved in this kind of competition, you need to know a few things. There are going to be restaurant wars, there's going to be a cocktail party, and you're going to have make a dessert at some point. You need to have a game plan of how you're going to do these things somewhere down the line. It's just preparation.
Anytime you use pastry or something that's supposed to be hot and you have to leave it out for an hour or two you're probably going to run into some trouble. Blini don't work if you cook them ahead of time and then try to serve them. Unless you can cook them now you're probably going down the wrong path.It boils down to what the worst dish was. I can't really go out on a limb and say whether the right person went home. I'm still trying to figure out the mushrooms with the dried blueberries -- that just sounds absolutely disgusting to me. That's just me, though. I love blueberries and I love mushrooms, I just don't get how those flavors go together. Dale goes out of his way to say he doesn't give a shit about putting flowers or all this other stuff on the table because he only cares about how the food tastes, and then he goes and puts this cheese on the mushrooms that doesn't taste good.
It's a lose-lose situation. Tom's walking out of the kitchen and he's asking what you're doing, he sees you making these dishes, and if they're not served he's going to ask why. There's got to be some sort of rationale as to why you're not serving.
Andrew's a loose cannon. He's got a lot of energy. In the team they talked a lot about what dishes they were doing, but I think ultimately they were each responsible for the dishes they made. They were each making their own dishes. I thought his glacier was really interesting. It didn't look very appetizing to me, but I thought there was continuity behind it with the penguin theme. The calamari, on the other hand, looked really nice. I think he did a really good job. I wouldn't have made a glacier, but I don't know what I would have made.They're making foams already. It's cool that they're bringing some of their own equipment, he had an immersion circulator -- that's pretty cool.
Even though she didn't do well, I think Stephanie's alright. I like Stephanie. I think Richard's going to do some interesting food, so I'm waiting to see. He seems to be able to articulate his ideas through food, which I think is interesting. It's not someone who thinks they have great ideas but can only half-ass it -- I'm not going to name any names. He seems like he knows what he's doing.