Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons reiterates Tiffany's comment about being "outcooked."

on Mar 18, 2011 Antonia turned around Padma's criticism that she always makes the same thing into a positive by saying that's her signature culinary style. do you agree?
GS: I don't know if she was trying to turn it around or if it was just true. It's not as if she usually does very complicated dishes and this was a departure for her. I just think that in terms of presentation it was very standard –- a piece of fish with the salsa and conch on top. It wasn't as much of a reach as the other three dishes. The other three dishes had a real uniqueness to them. However it was one of the best in regards to taste. Everyone loved it. If you think back to the Quickfire Challenge, she did the same thing where she did simple food, but did it well. I would rather have a perfectly cooked piece of fish with a delicious salsa than something very complicated that doesn't have any depth or technique to it any day. The reason Mike won was that he managed to do both. Unless it's going to be perfect, I'd rather you go Antonia's route and give me great food. There's a delicate balance between us wanting to see the chefs stretch themselves, which is how the competition is won, and cooking well consistently to your best ability. Antonia's dish was really well developed, the flavors went well together, the tartar of conch was really fresh. The size of the conch didn't bother me; I still thought it was flavorful. Finally we have Tiffany who went home. What did you think was the ultimate weakness of that dish?
GS: There were a couple of things. We try not to judge on temperature often, because during TV production you can't really account for that. But her hot soup was not hot at all, and in terms of a soup, that really changes the mouth feel. For soup it really makes a difference if it's hot or cold, and I didn't really want to eat cold conch chowder; it becomes a bit slimy. The flavors were relatively good if a bit sweet. This is how it always ends up happening: it wasn't that it was terribly bad, as Tom said they all did a good job, but we need to choose someone. Either there's a clear loser that we know we're going to send home or everyone did well and you have to just choose the "least best" dish. That's what happened with Tiffany. Hers was the least interesting, the least flavorful, the least technically perfect. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't the best in the context of those dishes. On this day, on this challenge, we were all the least excited by Tiffany's food. And that's all you have to judge on when everything's good, right? And that also came from our diners too, we all agreed that she had a great idea but it was not a great choice for the circumstances and the atmosphere. I'm sad about Tiffany. We love her very much. She's a great, great chef. But she said it best: she was outcooked.