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After racing their way through London’s finest gastropubs, our contestants this week headed to gorgeous Lyon, France. I love Lyon. To me, it’s the gastronomic capital of France. Paris is indisputably one of the greatest cities in the world; it’s truly an international city. You can get every kind of food there from Thai to Ethiopian to traditional French. In Lyon, it’s all French.
And what amazing food it is. In Lyon, tradition is so important. Local chefs understand that the milk chosen to make a particular cheese, the bouquet in a glass of wine, and the lightness of a quenelle all add up to the gastronomic experience.
So it seemed appropriate that in Lyon our chefs needed to amp up their culinary skills. The cheese and wine challenges both required a precise palate (or knowledge of probability statistics in Nookie’s case) and whipping up a four-course Lyonnais meal takes real talent. A big congratulations to Avery for her Pink Quenelle with Nantua Sauce and Nookie for his delicious Foie Gras with Onion Jam.
What I liked to see in this episode was that the chefs eliminated who they saw as the weakest chef and the one least likely to be a team player. It’s the honor of a kitchen to have a solid team from dishwasher to garde manger to expediter. At the end of the day, I wish I had gotten to taste some of Sai’s Thai food. I’m sure it’s fantastic. However in this competition, we’re running around the world, diving into all different types of cuisines. The chefs need to have familiarity with so many different foods or at least be able to learn on their feet and cook outside their comfort zones.
On to Barcelona!