They each did very different things. Mike did a banana-wrapped grouper. The method that Mike chose to cook it with was really great and made all the difference. He grilled it, and the flavor of those leaves is really interesting. They have a smokiness and a nuttiness, and by grilling them he brought out the flavor even more, which I think was smart. On top of it, what was inside complemented the conch so well. That smokiness from the leaf penetrated into the fish and also into the sauce that he made, and of course the braised pineapple. The pineapple for me was just amazing. It was sour, and it had this great texture. Because it has so much acid in it, it really played well off the fish. I thought it was so delicious. His use of conch was also interesting because it was in the vinaigrette. We never said the conch had to be the star of the plate, and everyone used it in very different ways. With Mike incorporating it into the vinaigrette, we were still able to taste it, we were still able to get the texture of it. It was an exciting way to work with the ingredient. The comment about the butter was true, when you think about tropical climates you definitely don't think about butter and butter sauces. Colder climates generally tend to warrant that type of cooking. But it didn't bother me. It gave it a richness that again, because of the really intense acidity of the pineapple, I thought all went together well. It was an inspired dish. It's rare that we taste something on the show that is so completely new. And this is just a flavor combination that was new and fresh, unlike anything I had ever tasted before.
Bravotv.com: Richard made what Tom thought was pasta, but you had to tell him it wasn't!
GS: A lot of people thought it was pasta. I thought that was kind of amazing. It was really hard to tell. It was very subtle, and the way that Richard described it wasn't totally clear. I think he said sweet potato noodles kind of in passing, but that could just mean that he combined sweet potato with the flour, like how you can make gnocchi with potato. People were genuinely surprised that it was just pure sweet potato ribbons. I tasted a bit of a crunch, which was how I knew it was a sweet potato, not a pasta. And I loved that idea of it being like linguine alla vongole, clams and linguine. It's one of my favorite pastas. I think he did a great job with it. It was so interesting, but we didn't feel that he could win because there was that piece of undercooked lobster that threw us a little bit.
I want to be clear here, because I don't want people to be confused or upset about the fact that we sent Carla home last week for uncooked pork. In regards to Carla's uncooked pork and Richard's undercooked lobster, Carla's pork was really raw in the center of my dish, and Richard's was just slightly undercooked. The difference is you can't eat raw pig, but you can definitely eat raw lobster. There's lobster carpaccio, lobster sushi. It may not have been exactly how we wanted to eat that lobster, but it's completely different than raw pork. You could tell that Richard cooked the rest of them, so there was an inconsistency there, speaking of consistency. But it was worrisome in the same way.
I do care about the food. I truly do. But I must know who made the gorgeous necklace you wore on this "Island Fever" episode?
I agree with FanFare57. The guest judge LOVED Tiffany's chowder and since you state that you do not take into consideration the tempature of the food, did any of you notice the sudden change in the weather, the overcast and the wind? I know the producer of the show has the last say so, therefore I guess since Tom is one of the producers he had the last word. I say let Tom run the show and decide who HE wants to win.
The necklace is from Padma's new jewelry collection. You often see Padma herself wearing the same necklace in different colors (like the Isaac Mizrahi quickfire when she was wearing the bright yellow dress).
I mentioned this to Tom, but I have to say it again - why smash the shells? Next time, you guys must FORBID it. And, oh, so Mike grilled the fish wrapped in banana leaves -- all the better! Great episode, dreaming of Mike's dish, but boy i still don't like him and it looks like he is going to win what w/ Blaise's mental state. I don't see Antonia winning at this point, she doesn't seem so sure of herself anymore, makes great dishes but lacks creativity I think.
I'm dying to know the same answer! Loved this challenge, but l-o-v-e-d Gail's necklace.. please let us know where we can find and it who the designer is! :)
Gail, the pink beaded necklace that you wore on this episode is amazing. What is it called and who is it by?
Dear Gail, Thank you for your in depth answers to the questions. I must disagree in a few points: eating raw lobster is not such a great idea. It can make some people sick. And Tiffany's chowder was silly. I mean she made soup for the finale (?)... During JT, the guest judge Lorena loved it and said so. Tom quickly put in his 2 cents that it was too sweet and should lose. Once again, Master Tom's decision reigns supreme. Why bother having a guest judge, when their opinions have little value to the outcome? Just askin'...