All of the chefs did a tremendous job of following their culinary vision to create the dishes. When you look at the compositions, no one strayed too far from the initial dishes. Antonia went the deli sandwich route; Fabio gave us his interpretation of a classic burger, and so on. No one was way out-of-the-box. At the end of the challenge I really feel like it was more about being the worst of the best. I will have to say, I don’t totally disagree with Fabio’s approach to the burger. He focused on seasoning as well as texture; it just so happened that what he was looking for was not what the typical American palate expects in a burger, that issue combined with the burger being dry, it just didn’t work out for him. Sad to see him go, now we are down to just seven.
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I liked your blog...it was well-written. I hope more people are reading it than the ones who commented. Thanks for taking the time!
Eli, thanks so much for your thoughtful blog. Bravo is fortunate to have you contributing here. You were right on target with the difficulty inherent in attempting to deliver old favorites that would meet anyone's expectations, not everyone's.
Besides that, the guests would have been quite stuffed before even half of the cheftestants had presented their offerings. How could these people eat so much? The "favorites" Jimmy had chosen were each huge meals.
What an enthusiastic guest he was.
However, this time I was disappointed to learn that Carla was the winner again. The judges had just been effusive in their praise of Antonio's preparation, that he had given them unique flavors that all worked together well, elevating his meal above the rest. So what happened? What in heck was so darned special in Carla's dish about an undercrust for chicken pot pie and about "pea salt" eh?
I enjoy Carla but for her hoydenish howls upon winning when she she does. That's so unseemly. I wish she'd tune in to Westchester Kennel Club on this coming Monday and Tuesday night to view what good sportsmanship looks like.
Frozen chocolate-covered bananas made from dipping bananas in melted chocolate and then freezing them have been around for ages. If Richard was somehow redefining fondue, I unknowingly redefined it many times making them while growing up. Not that I'm bragging or anything -- I'm sure the millions of others who've done so over the years can claim equal credit for their genius.
I admire Richard's sense of adventure - when Padma said "we don't want chocolate and bananas here" he took it as a challenge- and produced something very different that challenges the idea of what a fondue is- he may not have gotten a lot of votes, but it looked like his fellow chefs found his dish very interesting and fun- which, ultimately, is a more important win than the quickfire itself.