Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert weighs in on "Chicken Oystergate."

on Feb 24, 2011

So for the Elimination Challenge, John Besh is coming and he's joining Paula and, of course, Padma and Tom to judge the Elimination Challenge. And I like that challenge, it's about using seafood from the Gulf and supporting, obviously the fisheries over there, and then the fisherman, and people who are involved with the ocean, and the fact that they have to cook for a benefit to support an organization that will ultimately help like I said, fisheries down in the south. It's a great challenge. Obviously cooking for 300 people is not easy. They have little time, they have only one sous chef, and we know right away it's going to be difficult.

Some of the contestants choosing their sous chef, that’s their decision, and some of them are choosing more the protein that they are going to be cooking. I would have decided to choose the protein and then manage with the sous chef. Since I am the chef, and the sous chef would have just to listen to what I have to say. And the protein is very important, so it's based on what you are doing with it not on your interaction with the sous chef.

I was surprised that nobody chose Angelo right away. And everybody thought he was exhausted or mentally not prepared for the next challenge. Actually Angelo is a trooper, and he's really bringing positive energy to dale and supporting him the best that he can. Angelo does the best he can to support Dale, unfortunately Dale makes a lot of mistakes. And he's the one who's going home. But Angelo doesn't have to feel guilty at all, he really supported him really well.

Dale has an amberjack, which is a very beautiful fish, very rich, fatty fish. And he's doing a poor job with it. Raw potatoes, I mean, that's unacceptable. I mean to cook potatoes, it's the ABC of cooking. You cannot make that mistake. If you make the mistake, you don't serve it. And supposedly there are different batch of amberjack, so
I don't understand why Angelo gave that to the judge. The mustard seems to be overpowering because he put too much. I think a tiny bit of mustard would have been doing great justice to the fish. Unfortunately, it just kills the flavor of the fish. And as a viewer, I believe he's the big loser of that challenge, and he's the one who's going home.