An Offer Jamie Can't Refuse

An Offer Jamie Can't Refuse

Eric Ripert offers the chef a stage at Le Bernardin.

Full transcript after the jump

I'm Eric Ripert, chef of Le Bernardin New York City commenting on Top Chef Episode 6 in New York City.

So the chefs are waking up very early. They don't know why, but they are in a bad mood kind of. Actually Fabio's in a bad mood, it's too early for breakfast he says, and too late to something... I don't remember. But anyway when they found the note it's, "You go to Montauk, and you are fishing." And everybody's very excited that they'e going to have a great trip. Actually it's a beautiful ride to go to Montauk, and then they go on the boats and they are fishing with two different boats. And the teams are separated, and there are different captains. Actually one team is successful; the other one is not successful in the beginning. They need to catch fish because they have to feed 200 people, so there is a little bit of pressure. At the end, everything is resolved. They catch fish. And many of them enjoy fishing, some of them don't enjoy so much, I think the fishing part.

Myself, I'm a very lousy fisherman, and I don't like to catch fish, actually, and kill the fish. So I'm a little bit of a hypocrite in that aspect, because, at the end of the day, I love to cook fish, and eat fish.

Jamie and Tiffani are eliminated in that challenge. Jamie seems to have a hard time with seafood, and I saw her, I mean, the very few seconds on the show trying to keep the fish in the pan, and the skin sticks to the pan, she has a problem there. And then her sauce seems to be very bland. She makes cucumber water, or cucumber broth or something like that, which is very bland, doesn't help the fish at all. And the judges decide that she has to go home. I think it's time to go home for Jamie, and I'm sorry that she is going home, nothing personal against her. But she seems to very weak in her cooking. Actually I would love to have Jamie come into Le Bernardin and train if she wants with us to reinforce her skills in cooking fish, and understanding how to prepare fish. I would love to offer Jamie a stage at Le Bernardin if she's willing to do that. She's very welcome, and obviously she has the option not to come. But I think it would be helpful, because I have seen her for a couple of seasons now, struggling with fish, so why not?

Tiffani goes home. She had the bluefish, and bluefish is a challenging fish, because the perception by a lot of the people is that it's not a very good fish. Bluefish is a very rich fish, with a lot of fat that kind of oxidize very quickly and therefore becomes fishy when it's not very fresh. However, when it's very fresh it's a delicious fish. What you have to be careful with bluefish, is that you have to remove the blood, so if you leave bluefish with the skin and there's a lot of blood in between the flesh and the skin, you have to remove the skin and the blood because that is ultra-fishy, and it's barely edible. And I think it's what sent Tiffani home. It's because she didn't remove the blood and therefore it was too strong and not delicious at all.

Richard, Fabio, and Marcel decide to work as a team and make only one dish, and they almost, they are on the verge of going home because the succotash is not really well prepared. It's only one dish, so it's nothing to save the group basically. It's a lot of critique toward that dish. I think they are lucky to have ultra-fishy bluefish from Tiffani and a poor dish from Jamie, if not maybe two of them could have gone home that day. But they’re still on board.

Carla made exactly like Tiffani, actually, a bluefish, which is smoked, and I think she finds the right way to prepare the dish. By shopping at the market, I mean the store, she finds the right ingredients to bring some texture, and to bring some of the right flavors and acidities that compliment the fish and cuts the richness of the fish. Her fish is definitely not fishy, from what I understand, and Carla wins the challenge.

This was Episode 6 of Top Chef in New York City.

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