Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons breaks down the dishes offered by the final four in the first Canada challenges.

on Feb 15, 2012

So Lindsay leaves, and then Paul leaves, and then we decide to give Beverly and Sarah guns. First they have to ski around a course which took about a half hour. They are strong chefs, but they are not strong athletes. The most amazing part was that they were doing this in front of actual Olympians in each of the challenges. Cammi was a really great sport. In fact, all three of our guests on this episode were amazing. We talked to each of them about competing in the Olympics and winning their medals, that is just a whole other kind of remarkable skill. Cammi’s in the Hockey Hall of Fame -- she was the first woman ever inducted. She is bad-ass, but she’s also super soft-spoken, and beautiful, and kind, and really into food! She was so excited and nervous to judge the food but she did a really great job I thought. Watching the chefs with their rifles was really frightening. Let me just say Beverly has a good shot. She got like five bullseyes! She killed it literally and figuratively. Word to the wise: Do not mess with Bev and a gun. 

The two final dishes were both really strong and as Tom said several times in this episode, it was a very difficult decision. The flavors and combination of ingredients that they managed to shoot and use was excellent from both sides. Bev’s celery root, truffle, fennel, Arctic Char, and beets were all really lovely, earthy, and perfect with the fish. Except that they were very strong flavors and the fish was slightly overcooked and overpowered, which is why ultimately Beverly went home. Sarah’s dish was very hearty. The rabbit leg and heart, cherries, cabbage, hazelnut were all so great, that kraut she made and then pureed gave it a strong tang that cut some of the fattiness in the rest of the dish. It was inspired and felt so appropriate to that location, to that wintery night. In the end, Sarah won the episode. The other thing you didn’t see, is that Beverly had cooked her Arctic Char over lemons, and she -- by complete accident -- put one of the lemons with the Arctic Char on the dish that I got. So there was this inedible big slice of lemon under my Arctic Char. It wasn’t what made her lose, but it was a moment of carelessness in her plating. Otherwise, I’m really proud of both chefs. They fought hard and most importantly, I think Sarah came out of it with an appreciation for Beverly and the knowledge that you cannot underestimate her. I’m sad that Bev’s leaving us, for the second time. 

On to Vancouver! Where I ate a lot of great Chinese food.

P.S. Did you know that Taylor Kitsch, from Friday Night Lights and the new John Carter movie is Canadian? Just an awesome little piece of trivia I wanted to share.