Graham Elliot: I think it's something we had talked about since Season 1 — you know, how fun it would be to not just incorporate kids but to take it to the schoolyard.
GE: Hmm… I think that kids’ palates have changed, and chicken teriyaki is a great blend of sweet, sour and salty. And as much as everyone likes to think that kids only want to eat nuggets or peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and meatballs, it’s kind of evolved from there. So, I think it shows a sign of hope for the future.
GE: My kids will eat most anything, so we’ll do our own versions of stuff — everything from pasta to fish. It’s fun to get them started from early on, trying different things.
GE: Yeah, I think so. It's something that all three of us judges kind of spoke about — that it’s a contest. It’s a food challenge and it spans the entire show, with the goal being to try to win, so any opportunity you're given is fair game. You’re a captain until the point that your team has lost and now you're up there as individuals, and you need to go for any opportunity that you get. I think if it was Jordan or somebody doing something intentionally bad to someone else in order to get ahead, that would be a different story. But when you’re just given a choice of, “Hey, do you want to save yourself here and not have to deal with it?” It’s like, of course!
GE: You know what’s funny? I had a live tweet going during the show and a bunch of people — for some reason with the cheesecake challenge — were like, “If you ever need, like, extra tasters, I’m free to come down.” So something about cheesecake resonates with people.
GE: Well, Gordon says stunning… I say yummy! (laughs) So, yeah, it was great — I think Krissi’s was my personal favorite. It was just delicious and done really well. With cheesecake, it’s about texture. I love a thick cheesecake that’s got all that creaminess to it.
GE: Well, he’s Gordon Ramsay — he’s able to do anything, which is what’s so fun about being able to do the show with him. I got to cook last season with the contestants, and it’s really fun… but you’re freaking out at the same time. So it was fun to watch Gordon get in the same situation, but take it to the next level — just walking around, drinking tea and hanging out was pretty funny to watch.
GE: Howard’s a good guy, but I’m not sure why he continuously ends up at the bottom. I don’t think there is any soft spot or favoritism for him, but he does keep just barely getting by. He does good in the team challenges, though.
GE: I think some of that personality started coming out slowly from him, but those were some of the funniest lines of the night, I thought — when he was saying how he’s going to die when the kids came… and the Luca “he’s European, therefore unpredictable” comment was pretty brilliant.
GE: Yeah, I think Jordan at this point is a frontrunner and also, by doing that move, Luca’s Mr. Character — calling him out for not going down with the proverbial ship and that whole thing. So yeah, I think he probably did make the right call. Jordan’s a tough guy that you’d like to take out early so, yeah... smart.
GE: Well, I think that Luca is almost sincere to a fault! You know, he doesn’t really have a filter; he just kind of is very innocent in how he cooks and goes about the day. It's like, it’s time to go up and play tough guy and “That’s alright”— that kind of thing — but he was like, “It’s great, can I keep it?” I think it’s genuine.
GE: It’s always hard, and everybody’s got a story. You know, for some of the people, they have kids at home and you can relate to that and want to make sure that they go out on top. It’s never fun to tell somebody that their time is up. And, yeah, you don’t realize a lot of these contestants have already forged relationships with each other, and that’s always sad to see as well… when those get broken up.
GE: Somebody else was asking that too — I said I’m looking to the Lord for inspiration! (laughs) No, it’s funny… I guess I take a bite, and then I just kind of look away and try to analyze everything. I like to look at the fork and the shapes and textures and colors and then, when I taste, just kind of think of everything that’s going through my mind at that point, what the ingredients are talking about... not hearing the story, not thinking about the contestant, but just the actual bite in my mouth.
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