Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons doesn't understand why Edward Lee was so hard on Sarah Grueneberg.

on Jan 4, 2012

Bravotv.com: On to the Elimination Challenge, and we’re finally eating barbecue. You mentioned that you’re partial to dry rub.
GS: I am, I am! That’s not to say I’m not going to eat sticky, gooey, saucy ribs too, but when I’m given the choice, I often enjoy a dry rub rib. But I’m Canadian, so I don’t really get a vote. No one in Texas would care what I have to think or say about barbecue! But that’s OK, It’s just my personal preference. There are so many different regionalities to barbecue. Every state, every city has its own flavors and methods.

Bravotv.com: Had you eaten at The Salt Lick before this challenge?
GS: No! We actually got to eat there after a little bit when it cleared out. It was good. Very tasty. They were pioneers.

Bravotv.com: So we’ll start with Paul’s team. They went away from traditional barbecue and did an Asian influence-d style. What did you think of their dishes?
GS: I loved that they went off and did something different, especially in Texas. It takes a lot of courage to cook barbecue for 300 Texans and not cook traditional Texas barbecue because it’s very ingrained in the way that they’ve grown up in that part of the country. But it wasn’t as if they didn’t use classic barbecue techniques – they absolutely did, and that’s what made the food so good. It was absolutely and completely Southern barbecue using low and slow cooking methods. No tricks. No funny business. It was just that they used a few new, Asian flavors that showed us a little bit more about their personalities, their skill, and their talents as chefs, which is always what we want to see. Look, if you do great traditional barbecue perfectly, that’s great. We’ll be happy for you and you won’t go home. But if you can show us great classic barbecue technique and ALSO give us something we’ve never had before, done well – you’re going to win every time.