Since Cutthroat Kitchen judges are sequestered from the kitchen while the chefs are cooking, they’re not privy to the evilicious sabotages that unfold during each round. This means that when they first lay eyes on the dish before them, they have no information other than how it’s presented; then once they’ve tasted it, of course, they can take its flavor and texture into consideration.
Tonight’s judge, Simon Majumdar, explained what that feeling is like as he approaches the kitchen and sees contestants’ plates for the first time. “Sometimes as you come down the stairs,” he told Alton Brown on the host’s After-Show, “and you look at the dishes as they’re laid, and you go, ‘Uh, I think I know the way this is going to go.’ And often I’m wrong because they taste great.” It turns out, however, that Simon’s worst suspicions were confirmed when it came to tonight’s Round-2 Reuben sandwich challenge.
For this round, one chef was forced to harvest matzo balls out of matzo ball soup to use in place of the bread in the Reuben. Alton revealed that “Chef Sammy gave it to Michael, who ended up serving you a sandwich on sliced matzo balls.” Simon replied, “The moment I saw two good-looking sandwiches and that, I knew.” He added, “It would have [had] to taste like Christmas laced with diamonds for him to have won, and it didn’t.“
Click the play button on the video above to see Chef Michael’s Reuben up close and to hear more from Alton and Simon.
Tune in to an all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen on Sunday at 10|9c.