Full transcript after the jump.I am Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin New York City commenting on episode four of Top Chef New York All-Stars.
So they in this episode, they have to create a stuffing, and I have my own favorite stuffing. And I would have loved to be in that challenge and compete with them and make the stuffing of Grandma. I don’t know if I would have found the ingredients because it’s a very expensive stuffing that my grandmother was making only once a year, either way for New Year’s Eve or for Christmas. But yeah, inside it had some foie gras, some black truffles, some porcini mushroom. So I think I would have had a hard time to find those ingredients but I would have definitely tried to find ingredients that can bring more or less the same flavors in the stuffing.
Definitely challenging to do a stuffing with absolutely no kitchen tools, and I’m very impressed with their creativity. They are basically using everything they can possibly use in that kitchen that is not necessarily a kitchen tool to grate cheese, to slice, chop, cut. It’s very interesting to see how fast they can evolve in the challenge and how fast they can create that stuffing, basically with bare hands and not using their teeth.
I like Marcel’s stuffing a lot. I also like the fact that he stuffed the squab. I always like to stuff the bird when I do the stuffing. I think it brings flavor to the bird and some moisture, and also the bird and the juice of the bird comes into the stuffing and it’s an osmosis of flavors which is very successful. It looks great, so I thought maybe Marcel was going to win that contest.
However, Tre came up with a Southwestern-influenced stuffing, spicy but supposedly very exciting in terms of flavor and seasoning. And Tre won the challenge and he’s actually in good shape because he has immunity for the next step, which is the elimination challenge.
So Carla tried to do stuffing with quinoa, and she doesn’t have time to cook the quinoa, and therefore she’s basically serving raw grain to the judge. That’s not obviously what she’s supposed to do, and she’s in the bottom. But I like her spirit. She has a lot of humor. She knows, she knows she clearly lost. She’s laughing about it, and she’s moving no matter what to the next challenge.
So they are going to the US Open and they are cooking for supposedly a tennis man or an athlete. And what an athlete likes to eat, I think, in my opinion, they need a lot of protein, maybe not so much fat, because they don't want it to be too heavy. They want some energy, so I think if they have the opportunity to bring something that has some sugar content but can be savory, it's a good idea. Vegetables probably are very welcome. But at the end of the day what they are really looking for is protein, pure protein.
So Spike with is team decided to have a strategy. The idea is to serve the worst dish at the beginning and end up very strong. I think it's a good idea, because they are at the US Open and it's like playing a game of tennis. Obviously when those guys play a game they have a strategy. So I like the idea of Spike being playful like that. It's a little insulting for the one who has the worst dish in the group to know that you're going first. However, if it's going to make the group win, why not? Unfortunately for Spike, not only did his group lose, but he ends up going home. His strategy clearly didn't work. Jamie didn't want to play the game, and therefore suddenly everything fell apart.
Spike is not happy to go home, and it looks like it's not the dish he envisioned at all. So Angelo was putting in some yuzu gelee, everybody was contributing to his dish, and he is upset. It's nothing to be upset at, because you're clearly in control of your dish. If you don't want anyone to touch what you are cooking, it's your dish. At the end of the day you're the one who goes home or stays and wins. I think his mistake is to have let companions help him and then maybe they didn't really understand his vision and that's why the dish was not successful. I don't think anyone on his team tried to sabotage him, and I think they really tried to help and win for the team and themselves. Unfortunately it didn't work.
So Jamie, for some reason, doesn't cook for two times in a row and is still in the competition. I think a lot of the viewers are frustrated with that. I myself am very surprised that she's still in the game. I think she should go home, but not necessarily by being sent home, I think she should just go home on her own, because she seems to be absolutely miserable. She doesn't like anything, she's not a good teammate, she doesn't show any good cooking skills. I think she is very overwhelmed by the season, and I must say I really feel bad for her. And when we look at her on our TV screens, it's really painful to see someone so miserable like that. The team started to be after her obviously because they are frustrated to see someone who doesn't cook go to the next step and someone who cooks go home. It's not fair for everyone, I think she feels it also. I don't know what to say, I don't picture her going to far in the competition. Although we'll see what happens, she may just wake up or have a different state of mind, but as of now it's very, very painful to watch her showing no skills of leadership. So therefore, if you cannot be a leader, you cannot be a chef. She has no good technique or skills, so she cannot be a cook. So what are you doing on Top Chef?