Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons comments on the amuse bouche challenge twist!

on Mar 23, 2011 For this week's Quickfire we have Wolfgang Puck. How was it working with him?
Gail Simmons: How hilarious was he? He's just awesome. He's so enthusiastic and fun, and he knows so much about food. He's the perfect chef for this challenge, because he has such a legacy in the food world. You could argue that Wolfgang Puck was the very first celebrity chef. They each have to pick a classic Quickfire, and Antonia felt like Mike was sticking it to her especially, did you agree with that?
GS: Yes, I did get that. Although I would argue that they all had their pros and cons, it wasn't like there was a good one that was super easy. Especially when the second twist came in. Antonia had to use canned food and work as one person with Carla, Mike had to use one pot and no utensils, and Richard had hot dogs and could only use one hand. It was ridiculous. I think they all had their work cut out for them, but they all did a good job. There was one point though when they showed a shot of Richard's food that looked really unappetizing. I was nervous! Mike actually won again.
GS: I know! Come on, Mike, it's getting rude already! So they all go into the Elimination Challenge, and they're presented with three great chefs – Wolfgang Puck, Michelle, and Morimoto – and they're cooking them their last supper. What did you think of this concept?
GS: Well, I loved the concept. We've done it before with Jacques Pepin and Lydia Bastianich. I think it's really fun. It's great insight into the mind of a chef, and inevitably all of them go back to something nostalgic. They like the comfort and security. I think it's very humanizing, and it forces our chefs to think in a different way. But of course you can't just make any old childhood dish, you have to make it different and special, because you're cooking for these great chefs. Melanie Dunea, who was on the episode with us and is a very dear friend of mine, wrote the book My Last Supper, which is very inspiring. She's in the middle of shooting the second book now, and every time I look at it I get really excited. It makes me think about my favorite foods and nostalgia for food, but it also makes me think about what all of the greatest chefs in the world would eat if they had one meal left. What would your last meal be?
GS: People have asked me this before, but I never really know.  It would involved mashed potatoes though. And probably chocolate ice cream.