March 21, 2011 02:00 PM by Shayla Perry
If you’re like us, you’re probably wondering why Carla Hall was sent home for her undercooked pork dish, and Richard Blais managed to stay in the competition with lobster that wasn’t done. In an interview with Bravo, Top Chef: All-Stars judge, Gail Simmons, explains the difference between the two dishes, and why Tiffany Derry’s soup was the “least best” in last week’s Elimination Challenge.
“I want to be clear here, because I don’t want people to be confused or upset about the fact that we sent Carla [Hall] home last week for uncooked pork,” says Gail Simmons. “Carla’s pork was really raw in the center of my dish, and Richard’s was just slightly undercooked. The difference is you can’t eat raw pig, but you can definitely eat raw lobster.”
As for the Elimination Challenge that sent Tiffany Derry packing, Gail says that it was mostly the temperature of the soup that led to her elimination.
“We try not to judge on temperature often, because during TV production you can’t really account for that,” explains Simmons. “But her soup was not hot at all, and in terms of a soup, that really changes the mouth feel. For soup it really makes a difference if it’s hot or cold, and I didn’t really want to eat cold conch chowder; it becomes a bit slimy.
“The flavors were relatively good if a bit sweet,” Gail continued. “That is how it always ends up happening: it wasn’t that it was terribly bad, as Tom [Colicchio] said they all did a good job, but we need to choose someone. Either there’s a clear loser that we know we’re going to send home or everyone did well and you have to choose the ‘least best’ dish. That’s what happened with Tiffany. Hers was the least interesting, the least flavorful, the least technically perfect. It wasn’t that it was bad, it just wasn’t the best in the context of those dishes.”
Hmm… Is anyone else wondering why this “least best dish” criteria couldn’t have been used to eliminate someone after the Ellis Island challenge?
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