Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons can not say enough about Paul Qui's Elimination Challenge dish.

on Feb 8, 2012

Bravotv.com: So let’s talk about each dish.
GS: The great thing about Beverly’s dish was that I think they were all very skeptical when she came back, and they probably didn’t think she had it in her to do this well. They were a little condescending to her, but her dish was the second best dish of the night. She made a very complicated dish. This wasn’t just some stir fry like you make in your college dorm room. She used a professional wok. She made a very complicated Singapore noodle dish, with a complex curry blend. She cooked her shrimp beautifully. That’s a very hard thing to do for eight people all at once. That’s a lot of balls to be juggling in the air, so to speak, and she did it really well, which takes a lot of experience. It was a fantastic dish and I adored it.

Lindsay’s dish: Her mistakes were obvious to all of us, and even to her. She knew it from the moment she brought it to us. She used dried spices that she didn’t cook through enough so they tasted raw. There’s no substitute for fresh spices, and if you’re going to use raw ones, you need to use them very gently and very carefully, or else it can be overpowering. The other issue was Lindsay’s addition of cream. It was a last-minute, impulsive decision that she didn’t need to do. I would have been way happier if it had been a brothy sauce, as opposed to an emulsified cream sauce. The flavors in the dish were very Mediterranean, which you don’t associate with cream. That’s much more Northern European. It was a beautiful dish with a gorgeous seafood stock and beautifully cooked seafood, which showed incredible expertise. Her cooking skills did not go unnoticed. She just made these two errors that made her dish not as good as the top two. But she should still be very proud of her work. I know that Michelle was.

I actually don’t think we conveyed just how extraordinary Paul’s dish was. I can actually say without hesitation that this dish was the best dish I have tasted from anyone all season long. Hands down. Possibly one of the best dishes ever cooked on Top Chef. It was un-f--king believable. If you asked me a month ago if I remembered a single dish from the entire season, I wouldn’t be able to tell you a single dish, because the second they're done it’s all a blur to me. They all go into the archive of Top Chef dishes that I’ll never have to eat again. But this single dish, I could recite every single ingredient, every detail. It was a chilled soup, which is so deceptively simple. I’ve never tasted anything like that in my whole life.