iVillage: What was the worst dish of the show?
Ted Allen: I'm not sure how much viewers appreciate how incredibly difficult these challenges are. They're just ridiculous: "You've got 20 minutes to buy everything you need with $4 and then think of a dish to make with it, and then cook it and serve it to Eric Ripert. Go!" But on top of that, they have their phones and iPods and newspapers taken away, no television, they live together Big Brother-style, with no entertainment of any kind except each other and alcohol. So they're already kind of going crazy. So I say all that to preface how much I respect these guys. I don't want to just trash their food sarcastically, because I couldn't do it. No way. I'm not a chef.
But I will say that one dish that sticks out in my mind as being particularly bad came from an otherwise lovely chef named CJ. It was that same Elks Club challenge [episode 3] where CJ was attempting to do a twist on tuna casserole. And it was all just this vivid, green, raw-tasting...I don't even remember what it all was. It was just wrong. It just didn't evoke the original, nor was it good. But again, it's not easy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I admire them for trying crazy stuff.