I was happy to see Rocco DiSpirito on this episode. He is a friend, a very talented chef, and quite easy on the eyes. I love breakfast so I was curious to see what the Quickfire would bring. It is definitely a recurring theme that Jeff takes on too much. It is definitely better to do one thing well than several things just OK. Daniel's zucchini flowers confused me, and even the cornflakes notwithstanding, I would have no interest in this dish first thing in the morning.
Stefan is quite the pro with that eggshell cutting technique. I have to admit that I was dead wrong about Ariane. She has caught her stride at least for the time being. She kept her dish simple, tried, and true (her kids love it) and the stuffed french toast were a Rocco favorite.
Jamie made a nicely layered breakfast sandwich despite her aversion to breakfast. To me, it seemed a bit like a lunch bite though especially with the drizzle of balsamic. Leah's bacon, egg, and cheese bite was the winner. Two weeks of immunity. I agreed that Fabio's amuse bouche was dessert-like but he's so cute and sweet, who even cares.
As for the TV segment, this was a creative task. There are so many aspects in the cooking field, and having a few moments to talk, prepare, and serve is an art in itself. Having done morning television segments several times, I was watching to see who would know to choose something simple yet somewhat impressive. Daniel's idea of steak scared me, but the taste and his engaging personality got him by. Tom was right about smoking out the kitchen. Have you tried to grill a steak on a stovetop grill. Turn off the fire alarm and wash your hair straight afterwards. Otherwise, you'll smell like you've spent the night at Benihana. Speaking of fire, I think they needed a fire extinguisher for Melissa's dish. I'm no Jean-Georges, but to this day I haven't had someone spit out my food. The horror!!! I thought that Jamie's idea was too complicated and intimidating and she had a negative TV presence. Even Julia Child kept us entertained when she would practically cut her finger off. It's not always in the content but in the delivery. You must commit. Most people wouldn't even attempt to buy a duck egg. People watch TV to learn something they'd actually make. Rachael Ray has made millions because of this. Ariane's idea was fresh, simple, and interesting enough. Good start. Alex completely choked. He chose something complicated, not all that interesting, and made the mistake of striving to be unique rather than good. Jeff's dish seemed too complicated in name, nature, and in everything. However, the judges seemed to enjoy it. He needs to learn that less is more.
I agree that Stefan's soup was sensible and I liked the smooth swap out. I also agree that he lacked personality, and these days chefs need personality since the competition is so fierce. Time seemed to be the biggest challenge in this episode. That 2.5 minutes flies by like lightning. Thank god Leah had immunity because she literally died on the vine. Also, don't admit that you don't want to be on TV or that you're not charismatic. Why shoot yourself in the foot? It may be true but every angle matters. Come with your whole A game. On to the Today show. I was surprised. I thought Fabio would take this one, but I agree with the outcome. Good for Ariane. Again, I was wrong. The Kathie Lee Gifford spitting incident was a horror. First of all, she didn't need to be so dramatic, but second of all, it really needs to be bad for someone to spit it out. One of the less profound things I've ever heard was Melissa saying that "the scariest thing about failing is failing." Um OK. I also didn't like others judging whether Alex wants to be there or not. Perhaps his head was elsewhere because of his imminent wedding. That said, people need to show that they want and deserve to be there not just try to be the best in convincing the judges with their words. In the end, Alex was sent home because his disaster was bigger. Melissa's dish was executed but way too spicy. His dish was a total flop, a bad choice, ill-prepared, and he had no TV presence. I agree with this decision.
All in all, I still thinks this whole group needs to take Melissa's lead and spice it up. Aside from Fabio and Daniel, the characters are boring me.