Scott Conant Asks Delicatessen’s Chef to Serve Edible Product

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The much-maligned Delicatessen got its moment in the national eye last night, as executive chef Michael Ferraro advanced to the final round of Chopped, but not before Scott Conant could dig into him for improperly washing his squid. Judges Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy, and Conant found stray eyeballs in the dishes of the other contestants, too, but it was Ferraro who got the harshest criticism. Conant accused him of not knowing how to use calamari and scolded, “You have a responsibility to serve edible product to the people you’re cooking for.” Then later: “If this was a group of rising stars, this was very immature food at best.” Ouch. Working with bison, dried mango, leeks, and Belgian-style ale in the entrée round, Ferraro recovered with a nicely roasted sirloin of bison (though Freitag and Conant objected to his use of raw onions and a lack of starch), and then impressed the judges by pulling off a Napoleon in 30 minutes. But it wasn’t enough to vanquish John Lawson, a dead ringer for Christian Bale and a sous-chef at Gordon Ramsay at the London. Of course, a chef shouldn’t be judged by these competitions, but you might want to steer clear of the calamari at Delicatessen.