Let's dive right in. In the 5th episode the Quickfire ingredient was chosen by the audience and it was cactus. I definitely would have preferred to cook with cactus on that one. I would definitely not do snake. Snake is really hard, especially if you haven’t cooked it. I look at cooking rattlesnake the same way I look at cooking something like something like calamari. It’s tough and you have to cook it either really long or slice it really thin and cook it really quick.
I thought it was silly when we did something similar in the first season. I think we had to cook octopus and we were only given half an hour. I understand it’s challenging, but don’t set everybody up for failure!
I would have loved to do a cactus curry. That’s where I would have gone with it. Mike Isabella won this one with a cactus and tuna ceviche. I wasn’t surprised people hadn’t worked with cactus before. The first time I think I worked with it was in 2000 when I was in Oaxaca, Mexico and I’ve never used it in my restaurant. I can imagine that if I hadn’t taken that trip I would have never used it before.
In the elimination challenge they went into the wilderness, which I thought was super-cool. I enjoyed watching it, but I would have been a cranky SOB doing that for sure. It was an unbelievable set-up for cooking though. Ceviche sends Mattin home and that dish is kind of a cop-out in my opinion. Plus, going outside changes everything. Don’t try to serve a cold fish outside like that. I don’t know the set-up was exactly, but if you’re going to serve a ceviche it has to be cold.
Tom spit out Robin’s grilled Caesar dish. I’ve had that dish done successfully at a beach restaurant in the Jersey Shore. It was a grilled Caesar Salad and I personally enjoyed it, but I had had a couple glasses of wine at that point… I probably would have eaten my hand. She served spoiled food and I don’t know if she had tasted it before it went out there. That’s bad news bears right there.
Brian won with a pork loin. Those flavors sounded really good. Mike went for it a little more with a dashi and black cod, which sounded better to me. At the same time, you need to know who you’re cooking food for. Cowboys, in my opinion, are going to really go for grilled pork as opposed to a dashi.
I also think more people should have cooked over the open flame. I don’t know they didn't because I totally would have. I consider myself kind of a meat cook and I would have been all over that. Get some rib-eye in there and forget about it!
That's it for this week!