About the plated dishes


Chris Allingham

Staff member
You were required to make how many plates of food—four? One for each judge and a fourth that is used in chopping block sequence? Was there any attempt by the production team to keep the food warm for the judges?

In the show featuring Candy Sue Weaver and her taco concoction, after time was up they showed a close-up version of her dish that looked somewhat more composed than the ones she slopped onto the plate as time ran out. Did you plate all the dishes within the allotted time? Did they do any clean-up or recomposing of the dish featured in close-up shots at the end of each round?
Yes, Chris, you are correct. We had to make four dishes so one could be used for the beauty shot. They choose the best looking one for the camera. And I don't think they moved it around because my dish looked about right. I made sure to cook 8 shrimp (2 per plate) but after I was done, I wished that I cooked 9 so I could have tasted one as I went.
We had to take turns as to who was judged first so obviously the last submission suffered from sitting around and getting cold which could be 30 minutes. If you used a lot of oil and butter in your sauces, the fat may have gelled by the time your entry is tasted. I made sure I gave myself a 3 minute grace window to plate as I wanted to ensure that my plates were composed and clean as I'm big on plate appearance. It takes good time management to do it in the 20 and 30 minutes windows. I'm big on adding final dusting of spices to amp up the flavor as this is what we do in contests and it may have been interpreted by the judges as doing too much. Oh well . . .