Bravotv.com: How was Dallas different from Austin?
Gail Simmons: So here we are in Dallas, and it has a totally different feel and vibe, especially this episode because we were in a very “schmancy” part of town. Dallas just felt like a much bigger, shinier city.
Many exciting things happened in Dallas when we were there. The first thing was that we were staying at the W Hotel across from the American Airlines Center. Well, we had a night off and a bunch of people from the crew and I -- about 10 of us -- went to see a Rihanna concert there. This was her infamous show this past summer when the stage caught on fire and we were all evacuated from the arena, in the middle of her show! There were fireworks as part of one song and the stage literally caught on fire, No one was injured, but it was really pretty amazing. So that is my first impression of Dallas.
While I was in Dallas, I had some really great meals, and went to an amazing gay cowboy bar one night with like 40 members of the crew where we learned the two-step.
Anyway, on to the episode: I got on a plane to Dallas instead of driving like the contestants did, but the one thing I remember everybody telling me after that Quickfire was that the field they were in was not supposed to look like that. It was not supposed to be a field of mud. They had scouted the location and made all the preparations and the morning they got there, someone, presumably the farmer, had plowed and tilled the land by accident and turned it into an entire field of mud. Yuck!
Um . . . we had an annual progressive dinner party with a bunch of friends for several years, and we never felt the need to hire chefs to get it done. We had a lot of lasagnas warming in the ovens while we were at appetizers, but nevertheless we had a great time.
Regarding Chris J's "cuban cigar": I would have been less disappointed had his cigar concept been invented on-the-fly, in reaction to seeing the cigar cabinet in the host's home. But in fact, Chris's restaurant Moto (Chicago) has been serving this exact dish since 2008!
Clearly the chef's decision to serve this dish represented not only a lack of judgment, but also a lack of imagination as well. When people fail to tune into the unique inspiration of the present moment, clinging instead to some preconceived concept, bad things (and bad food!) happen.
Gail, it must be acknowledged that your sweetness and positive energy illuminate every episode that you appear in - even an episode as otherwise dreary as this one! Top Chef audiences around the world thank you.
Gail is a force! Your smile and playful attitude has made Padma disappear to me and she is pretty cute too! Love what you do and who you are!
SId is right. As someone who grew up in the 60's, I know progressive dinners as very middle class, suburban occasions, not an upscale, foodie affairs. Certainly no need for a chef. The person cooking the main dish might leave a bit early for the next phase, but mostly it was casseroles and other food for which you could easily plan flexibly. Pot lucks and progressive dinners are meant to be less, not more, stress on the hosts and the focus was on friends and neighbors, not impressing anyone.
Seriously- you'd never heard of a progressive dinner party? We did them in the early 80's and 90's. None of us had 'staff' and the entree house always had something that could bake while at the appetizer home, or was a quick saute dish, which was done while everyone was arriving and pouring the wine. And Youngstown, Ohio is NOT known for being 'ahead' of any sort of curve, especially culinary!
Hi Ms.Gail i really like watching you on BRAVO on channel 47. I hope that you have a really good marrige with your husband. I really like how you say nice things to the people that really makes them feel happy. I hope that you keep it up Sea Ya
The last progressive dinner party that I attended was in The Pines on Fire Island,duh! The main course consisted of various amuse bouche that were plentiful and allowed one to roam about. The desserts were also amuse bouche and my and my friends bouches were very amused! I do appreciate the efforts of the chefs. Some of the hosts of the progressive dining appeared to be a tad lacking in the idea of progressing. I thought they were thinking Impressing.
This was an interesting episode, but somewhat lost in the season. I think the cheftestants could have used a "refresher" course in the Quickfire and had their own version of a progressive dinner. In trying to win the challenge, they lost the theme. I'm glad your hosts were good to you, although it seemed odd that the wives weren't from TX so really couldn't present an authentic Texas home. But the atmosphere seemed open and friendly, something the chefs needed to feel.
At the end of the season, I hope you go back and reflect each of your own personal favorites of each episode. The judges table seems so calm!