Hello I'm Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin, commenting on Episode 13 of Top Chef in New York, the All-Star Season.
So in that episode, I am in the Bahamas. I was very happy to join the team, and it was a beautiful surrounding. And we started very well with the Quickfire, on this beautiful fort. And I was very impressed with the food that was cooked on that Quickfire.
So they are very surprised to see the winner of the previous season that they compete with, and basically the challenge is to beat their competitor who previously won the challenge against them. And psychologically, I think it's, either way, it's scary for some of them, and for some of the others it's basically a revenge. So it's a good challenge, it's good energy actually in between them, and it's funny to watch.
So Michael Isabella wins against Mike Voltaggio, and I think it's maybe a surprise for a lot of the viewers. I didn't have a preconceived opinion of what would happen. So I just went and test the food. And at the end of the day, despite all the techniques that Mike Voltaggio used, all the technology he's using and everything else, Mike Isabella really has a more tender, and better duck. And therefore he wins.
I was happy to see Tiffany winning, because she needed to have that with her. She hadn't won anything yet, so that was very good for her morale. And she did a great dish. I mean, it was the first bite we had, of the entire challenge, and we were like "Wow, if we're starting like that it's going to be really interesting."
Everybody did great food actually on that challenge.
Richard is the one who won, and by far he was the winner.
It was interesting that in between Tom and Padma and I, we agree immediately at each table who was the winner. It was no controversy. It was, right away, we were together.
Except for Michael Voltaggio, Padma thought his dish was better, but then Tom and I thought the duck of Mike Isabella was much more tender, therefore, better to eat.