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Bravotv.com: 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.
Bravotv.com: 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.
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'...
Gail, the pink beaded necklace that you wore on this episode is amazing. What is it called and who is it by?
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! :)
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.
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 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.
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?