Hello I am Eric Ripert chef of Le Bernardin commenting on Episode 9 of Top Chef in New York City, the Season of All – Stars.
So the Quickfire we have to make the fondue, which is actually reminding me a lot of ski vacations, a little bit like Fabio when he was going in Northern Italy.
In France we have two types of fondue, or in Switzerland as well. One is called "the cheese fondue," made with cheese, obviously, and you dip your bread in it. So then one is "the fondue bourguignon," where you have a pot of very hot oil, and you cook your meat in it, and you have different sauce.
So I grew up with those types of fondues. And this seems to be less psychedelic than the '70s in America in terms of spirit. However, fondues are fun to entertain, and I think it's a good Quickfire for them to have. And the fact that they're judging themselves, I find that also very constructive and interesting to watch.
So Dale went with the idea of the Pho, which is actually kind of a cousin of the bourguignon version, the French version. Instead of using oil, he's using the broth, and obviously he has garnish in it and so on. It's going to taste good, we know that, and not surprisingly, he wins the challenge.
Maybe he over-thought a little bit the fondue concept. But I like the idea, and I thought it was fun to watch, and it looked like it's pretty good actually. So it may have been one of the contenders as well.
Richard is believing the conspiracy theory and he thinks that maybe some of the contestants are sabotaging each other to make sure they eliminate the strong one, and so I don't think with that group it's happening. I think, you know, it's the All-Star season, they are aware of that, and they focus on their craft. They are actually becoming friends through the show it looks like, and they seem to have a lot of respect to each other, to last so long in that season, despite the difficulty of the challenges. So I wouldn't believe in that theory of conspiracy, no.