Tom Colicchio

Tom takes a closer look at where the Pink Team went wrong.

on Nov 17, 2011

Second, while they were asked to prepare elegant “Mexican” food, the challenge gave them ample opportunity to be true to the dishes they were honoring while still putting their own stamps on the food. While this might sound like a tightrope walk, it really isn’t -- it’s one of the creative, joyful aspects of being a chef. If a particular dish is traditionally flavored by cilantro, for example, incorporating a cilantro fluid gel could bring the cilantro flavor to the dish in an original way. Using a flour tortilla in a dish that calls for a corn tortilla as Keith did, on the other hand, is merely a misstep, as the flour tortilla becomes sodden and unappetizing, and the flavor of the flour tortilla does not permit the flavors in the dish to shine as that of a corn tortilla would have. There's a reason that corn tortillas are the traditional choice for enchiladas. Further, Keith’s presentation was wholly inelegant, in direct refutation of the goals of the challenge. Put aside the fact that Keith inadvertently undermined Lindsay’s shrimp dish by buying precooked shrimp. Of the four chefs at the bottom this week, Keith made the greatest number of errors in his own dish, and it was the weakest. This was not his challenge. I appreciate Keith’s graciousness in his exit interview. I know Keith to be a talent, and I know that he will do well in his career moving forward.