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The Weakest Link

Eric Ripert explains why Restaurant EVOO's strategy was a good one.

By Eric Ripert
Full transcript: I am Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin, and I am commenting on the Restaurant War, which is Episode 9. The Quickfire was a challenging moment for them, because one of them was starting, and then the other one was coming and picking up on it, and then the last one had to finish the dish, and it was very difficult. I think the team of Alex was not very happy with his performance, they didn’t do too well because of the mistakes of Alex, so Alex had a lot of pressure from his team on that Quickfire. The seasoning, especially on fish, should be the last thing you do, you can season the fish in advance if you wish because it was about 15-20 minutes delay, but in his defense, I will say that Angelo should not have seasoned the fish without touching it an seeing it and seeing if it was seasoned or not. Then on the Elimination Challenge Frank Bruni is the food critic and he’s an iconic food critic. He is highly respected, he has an incredible palette, he knows what he’s talking about, and you definitely have to be very careful when you have a gentleman of his caliber judging your food. So the team of Angelo, and Tiffany, and Alex, decided to have Alex out of the kitchen and to put him on front of the house, and I think judging from his performance previously, it was a good move because he seemed to be the weakest link in that team. And I don’t think he knew that, so he gladly went to the dining room and gave them a good chance to win that challenge, but they were very confused and disorganized, and I was very worried for them. But Angelo seems to be in a panic mood, and I don’t know if it’s because it’s very well advanced in the season, he’s getting tired, he’s losing his cool, because he hasn’t maybe been as successful as he’d like to. It may be frustrating, but it’s starting to show, and it’s starting to show a temper, and a bad attitude in the kitchen, so it’s interesting to watch that as well of course. Twenty One 21, Kelly ends up in the front of the house, I think it’s a different strategy, although also she made her own dish, which was the soup, the corn soup, and then went to the dining room. And I think she’s charming, and they probably decided all together to have the most charming one up front, and she seems to do a good job in providing informations to the waiters and explaining what she’s expecting from them. And Kevin and Kenny are in the kitchen, Kenny takes charge and becomes the boss, the executive chef, and everything seemed to be going fine for them until the very end. In terms of organization and in terms of being ready, they definitely are very inspiring. So at the end it’s a very big surprise, because the team of Kenny lose and Kenny goes home. And I think what they forgot to do, especially Kenny, because his dish was supposedly not edible and when Frank Bruni says it’s disgusting, it is. You don’t doubt his words. And I think Kenny was so concentrated in organizing the kitchen he forgot to test his food, and that is a no-no. In the kitchen you have to be a leader but you also have to be a great cook and you have to test your food. He went home, and unfortunately for Kenny, it’s well deserved. Yes it’s highly entertaining seeing Kevin being mad and going after Alex but at the same time Alex has nothing to do with the failure of Kenny and Kevin.
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