Let's get started. So the Quickfire this week was all about the slots and one of the elements was umami, which a lot of people have questions about. A lot of the chefs used mushrooms for that. I did an umami cook-off for the umami board at Craftsteak. For that you would use something like truffle products or soy products that kind of set off that 5th sense, so to speak. That’s what you go with for something like that. I think I did a miso-glazed Japanese eggplant. It was a soybean product and an ingredient I’m pretty obsessed with right now, a fermented, tiny, yellow bean paste. I use that in an eggplant dish, so that’s probably how I would have gone about it.
Michael’s seaweed cracker looked good, it’s a great bar snack recipe. Padma called out Robin’s curry for not being very Middle Eastern and she was right. I thought Kevin’s winning dish looked nice and I think he was using a chop, not a shoulder that was super-thin. It looked like it had a little thinkness so I would have liked to see it cooked a little less. That’s how I saw it, but who knows what happened and how long it sat there. Food is time-sensitive. It looked he nailed the flavors, and the mixture of mint and cilantro seemed very Vietnamese. It looked like he also had some fish sauce action with lime juice. If you get it right, you can’t go wrong with that. I could eat that every day honestly! I don’t get sick of that stuff.
Jennifer was on the bottom and she was very sick anyway, but what is she gonna do? It’s like petri dish in that house and if one person gets sick you’re all sick. If someone looks like sh*t at my place, you get sent home. If you call in sick because you have a cold everybody will abuse you, but if you show up and suck it up and you look sick they’re going to send you home. Jennifer is a warrior, she’s not gonna bow out.
Tyler Florence stepped in to guest judge. I did a cooking lunch with Tyler Florence in Aspen and he makes good food. He’s a very nice, well-spoken, great guy. He’s not into the “calling people out” style.
Let's talk Mike Isabella. I gotta be honest, I don’t know what it is about him, but I find Mike Isabella disturbingly entertaining. Some of the stuff he does and says is really inappropriate. He should be a character on one of my favorite shows, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” I could totally see him on there because it’s so inappropriate. I’m always wondering what he’ll say next. He was sitting down while Robin’s cleaning and he's just on a folding chair smiling and chilling! I couldn’t believe it was happening. And Robin doesn’t stop talking! Those two kind of pulled it out in the end though.
Michael was on the bottom. I was worried he was going to be sent home and I would have been upset. He was using a griddle, and I was expecting it to get hot enough to crisp up. pancetta was a ballsy move, but I didn’t like the call. I liked the idea of the dish, but if he had a sauté pan and a restaurant hot oven I have no question that it would have been a winning dish. He didn’t have firepower to work with. I liked the egg yolk ravioli idea, and in his mind he thought the egg yolk would have been the sauce. I do a salted duck egg yolk ravioli basically the same way. I know what he was trying to do, and I liked the idea, and if they had a sauté pan and an oven it would have worked. I don’t think the griddle was a good idea. Ash had a total man crush on Michael —he recognized the guy has skills. Ash’s a good guy it seems.
I was so sad to see Ashley go, because I was really pulling for her. I still don’t know if Eli should have left in her place, though. If you’re going to do a dish like that, with simple ingredients and technique, you’re going to have to edit. I don’t know who was responsible, but I thought Tom was going to pull a double elimination. Who knows?
That's it for now!