Great comments! Helps me remember--i was out last night, so i've only seen the press copy, which clips the end. Sounds as if people think the verdict was fair. Let me assure you it was. Traci shot herself in the foot by choosing the salmon roe--if there is a better argument for the importance of product, I don't know what it is. the salmon roe was not good, so there simply was not a lot Traci could do to cover that up. It was a really bad dish, by a really talented chef. i was really sad to see her go. (Here restaurant is Jardinere in San Francisco.)
UPDATE: Just watched the show! Very happy about it. think triage did a good job of presenting what happened. very representative. one thing they didn't say: how hot it was in that kitchen. cosentino just emailed to remind me:
be sure to tell them the reason we were sweating so much was because they shut the hoods off for audio so the kitchen temp was 132. no bullshit. there was a thermometer in there, dude it was fuckin hot.
I love that guy. and his tripe was amazing. my favorite of the day was kaysen's squid, he would have beaten besh had his other dessert been stronger. it was hot, as if the liquid creme fraiche and pourable honey didn't convince you. the machines weren't sabotaged. one of the chefs was
hospitalized for dehydration after and it's admirable triage didn't try to
make a drama out of it.
and one last word of judging, from someone's comment: i was never instructed how to judge and in each case made my own decision and voted that way.
Update 10/10: Symon comments to Plain Dealer reporter Debbi Snook.
To answer questions from the previous post in order:
Nic: Alton knows what prosciutto is; so much verbiage flows from his mouth a few slips are bound to get through.
bonnibella: mom, is that you? I KNOW I need a haircut. I need a whole hair makeover!
jop in omaha: in addition to culinary artistry i'd recommend the book by gray kunz and peter kaminsky on taste, can't remember the name.
professor: i'm glad you agree about symon--others did not. this was about artistry and originality and he was using a dish that he didn't even come up with. honestly, he was lucky it tasted so good.
Frances and others, re sweat dripping off noses: why do you think Besh's food was seasoned so perfectly?
Foodist: the only good thing about Traci's dish was Traci. sigh...
Josh, re toronto star article: i'm not exactly sure what the food network execs are up to, and i am not allowed to offer any additional information directly. but the article was not an exposé, and so the chefs obviously knew there was an article being written and are forbidden by contract to divulge compromising information let alone offer it to the media. while i'm also not allowed to OFFER information i AM allowed to remove information from my blog if i want to. I read that post shortly after it came in and saw no reason to delete it.
deacon: the voting was done by discussion, we hashed it out among ourselves, alton did not judge, though he couldn't help offering his opinion. in the last judging, we were unanimous.
logicalmind: in addition to your comment about my being completely biased toward symon being insulting, it's illogical that I alone could make symon win. i like to believe that i am all powerful but alas, i am not. above all i strove to be fair, and as i've said before, with one exception, it was a detriment to michael to have me on the panel (eg I knew the dessert wasn't his, but didn't know about besh's bread pudding).
todd: i too used to think the chariman a bit cheesy but I've really grown to like him--it's genius in fact.
jop in omaha: there will be more discussion by judges in the future.
more later, just back from chicago and have to get unburied.