Vomit gazpacho with poached gopher liver topped with a salad of freshly cut grass and catnip
One problem I have with this dish is that there’s so much grass in the vomit itself, there’s no need to throw more grass on there! That salad was overkill. And the catnip just overpowers everything.
And the gazpacho was very bland; you didn’t take any risks with that element and it showed. I felt like you basically picked up some vomit off the floor, mixed it with cucumbers and you were done. I will say that the gopher liver was poached perfectly.
Catnip-lavender-chicken ice cream with maple-roasted mouse testicles and a garnish of fried mouse tails
You know, everyone knows, how I advise against working with catnip on this show, but here’s a case where you just took the ingredient and knocked it out of the park. Lavender isn’t something I traditionally associate with cats, but in this case, it really worked.
Incorporating those salty-sweet mouse testicles into the dish gave it a flavor that was out of this world. I could have done without the mouse tail, but it looked nice. I just don’t think it added anything to the dish. You took a lot of risks and it really paid off. Nicely done.
Mouse two ways: Mouse confit on a fresh corn fritter with a reduction of tuna juice and truffle oil. Also, roasted mouse thighs on a bed of “cat vomit” pea shoots; contestant ran out of time and was unable to plate the sauce for this element
My problem with this dish is that some elements are great, others are just plain bad, and none of it really comes together. The confit was actually perfect but it was hard to tell that, because the tuna and truffle oil sauce didn’t work well with it. The sauce did not sit well on my tongue: I didn’t see the need for two such strong flavors. And the corn fritter was a mistake. I know some cats enjoy fresh corn, but it’s far from being a universal taste and there was nothing in that fritter that made me think “cat.”
Same thing with the mouse thighs. The thigh itself was cooked perfectly, which is hard to do! I know how difficult it is to get a perfect cook on a tiny little mouse thigh. This one was juicy and just a delight. But then you threw it on top of those slimy pea shoots. You might think it has a similar consistency to cat vomit, but I didn’t think so. They were slimy in a way completely different from cat vomit. I think the mouse tongue sauce sounds great; I’m sorry it didn’t make the plate, because I wish I could try it.
This was not a successful dish and I think you tried to do too much. That showed in the fact that you didn’t have time to plate the whole dish. Sometimes as a chef, you need to pull back and really do one thing well instead of spreading your energies out too thin. You’re a good cook and I think you could do better.
Songbird salad: Crabgrass cooked Southern style with hickory-smoked cardinal “bacon” tossed with a light tuna vinaigrette and served with pickled larks’ tongues, Chinese style hummingbird feet, poached robin eyes, and a hard boiled sparrow egg
I think this dish was very smart. I’ve never seen a cat enjoy collard greens but when you sub in crabgrass they go crazy. The flavor the cardinal “bacon” added to those greens was amazing. Tuna oil can be quite overpowering and in this case, I think you kept it at just the right level, where you could taste the tuna but tuna wasn’t all you can taste. The larks’ tongues were wonderfully crisp and I thought you did an amazing job with the hummingbird feet. They added some crunch, even elegance. The robin eyes and the sparrow egg were perfect. The whole thing worked together nicely. I wouldn’t change a thing about this dish, and I’d be happy to serve this in my restaurant.