6. Under-seasoning your food
Say it with me: bland means bad. This has always been the case, from Richie Blais’ sad, sad, Season 4-ending scallops to Chef Jason’s lackluster, elimination-worthy poached trout in Season 13. Nobody wants to eat your sorry ass baby food, especially not a table of trained professionals (+ Gail). With the exception of Season 11-winner Nicholas Elmi, who blamed his consistent under-seasoning on an “extremely sensitive palate” (OK, dude, calm down), under-seasoning your food sets you up for a one-way ticket to dumpsville.
7. Doing waaaay too much
Every single year, some cocksure cook attempt to make, say, salmon 10 ways, or a pasta that incorporates every single minute aspect of his diverse heritage, or, like Dave Martin’s Season 1 finale fail, preparing three mediocre components instead of one strong one. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to Keep It Simple Stupid. Going too big will only up your prep time and increase your chances of putting out something confusing and unfocused. If you’ve got the skills, what’s the point of muddying them up with a bunch of nonsense? Gail Simmons said it best: “This is actually fashion and food advice, but I think people want to put too much on. It's important to realize that simplifying is always the way to go.”