After a busy couple of weeks, it’s nice to be writing again, though I’ll be repeating a refrain I’ve stated before: At this stage of the process, the chefs still standing are very talented and highly competent. And so, unless someone were to make a stunning mistake (which would surprise us at this late date), we would expect at this point to be presented with three very fine dishes, and we would expect to have to analyze them in detail to find small picky problems, and to have toascertain which dish, in the aggregate, was best and which was worst. And we expect the difference between the dish that secures the win and the dish that gets someone sent home to be very small.
Clearly, Paul was not going to be sent home for the questionable addition of an arugula garnish. The flavors in his dish were complex and beautifully developed, and the concept for the overall dish and cocktail as a whole was sound and clear. His cocktail also incorporated the “ice” aspect of the challenge well.
Sarah, too, had a clear idea for her dish that reflected the assignment of bringing together the heat of Texas and the cold of Vancouver for the “Fire and Ice” cocktail party. While her mousse was colder than she’d intended, it complemented her pasta well. And her cocktail was crisp and delicious,further invoking the “ice” part of the challenge, as Paul’s did. Frankly, Sarah’s dish was ambitious, and she nailed it.