Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons explains why the reasons Grayson went home were actually three-fold.

on Feb 2, 2012

That’s not to say that everyone else’s was perfect and hers was terrible. It still was a good dish, and I guarantee that if she had made this exact dish five episodes ago, she would never have gone home for it. But that’s where we are in the game.

I wanted to mention Lindsay and Paul's food too. What we loved so much about Lindsay's was that she set herself apart. She was the only person who didn’t do chicken or egg. She used beef. Her dish had a ton of flavor, despite her difficulties in getting to the Alamo. Conceptually she thought a lot about her dish. It was very appropriate for lunch. The portion was right. It was easily transported because she chose to use these very substantial squash "boats," as Pee-wee liked to call them. That made it very contained. Very easy to transport, which is very much part of what they had to do, and then easy for us to eat. It was totally appropriate. It was just a well-conceived dish for the challenge. We really felt that it fit both.

Paul’s dish really was beautiful too, a little on the sweet side, not quite as balanced, which is why he didn’t win. He knew it. But it was also a great concept, and we loved that he took into consideration that Pee Wee likes spicy food. It felt a lot like Paul’s personality, Paul’s style, very refined but fun and understated.

Ed and Sarah both made good food but also made mistakes. Sarah under-seasoned her food, which is critical at this point. And Ed made a mistake of execution, choosing to poach the chicken in beef fat. I just don’t know why he needed that step. Poaching chicken is OK if you’re doing it let’s say for a soup or a stew. But poaching it for this purpose was just an added step that didn’t actually add anything to the flavor or texture in a positive way. Instead it made it sort of rubbery. Of all the ways to cook chicken, I could think of 17 that would have been better. That said, we still liked it more than Grayson's over all.