For the big finale, the judging panel has burgeoned into an unseemly ratio of approximately six judges per chef. Along with Gail and Johnny, both Hubert Keller and Dannielle Kyrillos have bothered to show up for work. The three white guys a.k.a. the MLFs are there as expected. But they aren't enough, apparently, so they also brought in Jordan Kahn, the chef/owner of Red Medicine a.k.a. the guy who likes burdock in his dessert, remember him? Also in attendance are Hasty Torres of Madame Chocolate (no word on whether she is related to Jacques Torres a.k.a. Mr. Chocolate), Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections, Jacquy Pfeiffer of the film Kings of Pastry (not coming to your local cinemaplex any time soon) and Ludo Lefebvre of Ludo Bites. Matthew sees the crowd and announces that his stomach is eating himself from within and he has to go turn himself in to the CDC RIGHT NOW.
The judges teem around the tables oohing and aahing over the sweet treats. Matthew serves up the first slices of entremet: Hazelnut dacquois (note to self: remember that word for Words with Friends), passion fruit gelee, milk jam and whipped jivara, which clearly is not a word, but just something they are making up to tick me off. I mean, come on! The judges agree it is complex. For his bread (which I guess falls in to the pastry chef domain) Matthew made a focaccia that is simple and rustic with salt and pepper on the top. So with all this amazing culinary talent gathered in one room like a brain trust of bon bons, who is doing all the talking? Dannielle Kyrillos. She thinks it's really nice and family style. Everyone nods silently and turns to Matthew's bon bon, which is filled with key lime ganache and speculoos, which is a word I actually knew because it is a Dutch cookie. The judges all agree it's very good, so clearly Matthew is not winning.