Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons shares her finale highlights and lowlights.

on Mar 1, 2012 For dessert, Paul served the coconut ice cream and it had this spicy element with the Thai chili foam.
GS: There was a little bit of an issue because the other team had a little bit overcooked puffed rice, and they didn’t like it as much as we did. And then the four of us at our table thought it was a stroke of genius. This to me was the perfect Asian dessert because it encompassed everything that a great dish should have: it had sweetness, salty, bitter, sour, spicy. Every bite had a crunch and I adored it. It was so fresh and light. Thank God we had Paul’s meal first because Sarah’s meal was a lot heavier, in a good way, but I’m glad the tables were not reversed. Did you find it amusing at all that it took a second for Barbara Lynch to kind of step back and not be the head chef?
GS: It’s totally normal, but I think in the end it ended well. I loved that that Sarah had to deal with Tyler and that sort of set of circumstances in her kitchen and Paul had to deal with the opposite set of circumstances. Paul had a way more experienced kitchen whereas Sarah had to sort of babysit Tyler. On the other end, Paul, in contrast, had to deal with coming to a real ground with a chef who owns multiple restaurants and has been cooking for probably ten years longer than he has. That was another big lesson I think. On to Monte Verde. So this was a heavier meal overall. Starting with the spot prawns and coconut over the pasta.
GS: It was a tartare. She chopped up spot prawns raw and treated them with the coconut and the chili. I thought this was Sarah’s masterpiece. I’ve never seen this before, a raw tartare you fold it into your pasta. I was incredibly impressed. That hit home and it really was a killer dish, one that I think about all the time, I crave. I’m going to Chicago next week, and I really hope it’s on Sarah’s menu. It was just an inspired creation. Her pasta was perfect, as it always is, the spot prawns -- you can’t get anything more fresh and local than that. The spices were so cool. Was this your pepperoni sauce moment?
GS: This was a pepperoni sauce moment!