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Spitting Out Amanda's Food

Eric Ripert reveals a moment at the ballpark that didn't make it on-air.

By Eric Ripert
Full transcriptHello, I'm Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin, and I'm commenting on Episode 11 of Top Chef.  For the Quickfire they have to cook idioms, and some of them have "spill the beans" for instance. Some of them did well, some of them were obviously in the bottom. But I thought it was an interesting Quickfire. Amanda seems to be puzzled by the decision of Rick and Padma, and she loves her macaroni and cheese. It's hard to know just watching the show how bad it is, or how good it is, but I really trust obviously the judge. And if she was in the bottom, there was a reason. Ed's gnocchi looks really good, and I'm not surprised that he won the Quickfire. It was either way him or Kevin, because Kevin's dish looks really good with the poached egg and the bacon. And again we rely on Padma and Rick, but congratulations, Ed.   Well to be in a stadium and to do some kind of better food or to do some fine food is definitely a challenge. The kitchen was small, and you have a lot of people on line, and it's not easy at all. So Angelo right away volunteered to expedite the food, and I think the team was like, "Oh really? Okay Angelo, go ahead." And he realized that or he felt the energy, because as viewers we could clearly feel it. I think he tried to get out of it, however the entire team ganged against him and thought maybe it was a very good opportunity to get him out.   Ed and Tiffany were on the top, and Tiffany's dish was very good, very flavorful. I find it very messy, and she actually wanted her dish to be like that, a little bit sloppy, and the sauce going all over, and so on. And Rick also liked it, so I'm not sure if I really understand the culture of going to the stadium and eating at the stadium. I still don't understand baseball rules. But except the fact that the dish was very, very good, it was not very convenient, and you needed a ton of napkins to clean your hands or you had to lick your fingers.   Ed on the other hand did something very, very nice. First of all, he showed great technique. It was very smart, because it was easy to produce at the last minute, it was very tasty, and we were very pleased with the combination he created. And also it was a clean dish, we didn't really have to wash our hands after eating his dish.   Kevin did chicken kebab with the fries on top. That dish was very difficult to eat because the chicken was about two and a half inches long, and the kebab was maybe five inches long. So to get the chicken you really kind of had to put that long stick in your mouth, and it was borderline dangerous and surely unpleasant. The crab cake from Kelly wasn’t that bad, for sure she was not going home. However it was a little bit of, you know, boring feelings about eating that crab cake. She didn't really shine in that challenge. So was Angelo, his sandwich was very mushy, and it did not have any texture. Again, it was something boring to eat, it didn't really have a great impact on us. He was not going home with that, but it's because Amanda was really by far the worst.   Well Amanda definitely really played a game on us by being like kind of surprised that the tuna was gray, when she was in front of the judging panel. When you eat a tar-tar, and the tar-tar is gray, borderline black, the food could be toxic. It looked toxic, and I was very concerned. I actually ate it and spit it, and you don't see that on camera, but I refused to eat that tar-tar. She should have known better, she should have done that the same day. The tuna oxidized overnight. She listened to Angelo, who seemed to savor the fact that he sent her home toward the end of the show. And I think it was a conspiracy on his part. She listened to him, grinding the tuna on the day before, which is dangerous bacteria-wise and so on. And when the tuna oxidizes and becomes gray, it's no way that the dish can taste good. The flavors couldn't have been good. The fish certainly became different in consistency, and the flavor changed, and it was a very bad dish.    So those were my comments on Episode 11 of Top Chef. And I will be back soon commenting Episode 12.
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