It was a miracle Shane didn’t win — ‘cuz Shane Miracle’s almond crusted halibut with glazed turnips was mighty fine indeed (if a tad overwhelmed by the turnips). As was Brian Silva’s bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with a vegetable hash of tiny, rounded, cut veggies that had to take him (and his mentor – uber-chef Carlos Guia) all day to prepare.
But in the end both were edged out by the slimmest of margins by Tony William’s crispy tumbleweed shrimp (made under the watchful eye of his mentor, Hachi’s Linda Rodriguez), which was so good and spicy and downright shrimpy and crispy, we at ELV wouldn’t be at all surprised to find it on a Roy’s menu someday.
In the end the whole competition was a lot of fun (and a lot of stressful work) for the Cordon Bleu students who get a serious trial by fire from the exercise — from both having to explain their recipes and have them judged publicly — quite a feat for young culinarians working their way through cooking school.
It also gave ELV a chance to hang with his peeps, and play the role of “celebrity judge” to the hilt. Which he did with Marilyn LaRocque, Robin Leach, KLAS TV’s Calvert Collins, KTNV’s Tina Patel, and MIX 94.1’s Pomai Uphouse.
Roy Yamaguchi was in attendance and was a most gracious host — and deserves major props for giving his kitchen (and restaurant) over to these teams of competitors for the night to see how they do with the public and critics alike.