YES! The best episode of the season! Amazing what can happen when the chefs are given free rein. They were really impressive this week. I mean even the ones who I’ve been slagging off on turned in some pretty impressive performances. The quickfire was pretty good and the elimination challenge was really interesting. Glad that the chefs got to really show off this week. When Tom comments that this was the best start to end meal he has eaten on the show you know it was good.
I’m just going to zip through the quickfire since the really good stuff was going on in the elimination challenge. Basically the chefs had a half hour to make a dish using three ingredients they picked off a revolving conveyor belt and they had to use all three items they picked. They were told the longer they waited the better the ingredients they’d have. Pick early you have lots of time left to cook but might be stuck with Pop-Rocks; pick late you could get a lobster but have 5 mins to cook it. Lindsay waited long enough, got some fish, made a bouillabaisse type dish, impressed Eric Ripert and won immunity. [Side Roam: I think Eric Ripert’s pretty awesome. I would totally love to hang out with him for a day in a European city. A day where you’re just wandering around, eating and drinking, and having a general good time. He seems really genuine, at least on TV, and I get the feeling he’s pretty fun. He looks all serious and is French but I bet he knows where all the good food is.] Oh and Beverly totally would have won if she had plated all her components but she forgot to put one of them on the plate. The judges even told her this. I felt bad for her on that. Coulda had the immunity. You can cut the Schadenfreude in the kitchen with a cleaver.
So Charlize Theron was the guest judge (along with Ripert) and did you know she has a movie coming out? She does. Something about Snow White and the 8 Dwarves. Yeah that’s right, she said they added one to the movie for some reason and…well nevermind who cares. Charlize is playing the evil queen so the theme of the challenge was to create a 7 course dinner with each chef doing one dish. But the dish had to be “evil.” All of the dishes were impressive. Ed made a tuna tartare with black and white “good and evil” sauces. Paul made an enchanted forest of beets, jalapenos, and big bloody looking handprint on the plate reaching for it. Sarah’s dish was an amarone risotto with sheep’s heart. Bev made some halibut and focused on the “white” of Snow White. Lindsay did some beef (I think, she had immunity so I wasn’t paying too much attention and can’t remember what it was she did). Grayson did a black chicken dish that looked like it just came from the butcher. Moto Chris made a poison apple using all his gimmicky tricks. All of them looked really good. I was worried for Moto Chris though. It’s usually never good when they show one of the chefs talking to a loved one from home and do a quick profile piece. So when we saw a clip of him talking to his wife, I figured his apple idea was not going to go over well. What do I know. Tom loved it, which is saying a lot.
Throughout the dinner everyone was loving everything. We kept waiting for a clunker but all 7 courses came and went and the comments from the judges were all positive. There wasn’t one dish they didn’t like. Goes to show you what dinners are like without Gail and Hugh. Like I mentioned, Tom said this was the best dinner he’s ever had on the show (again, no Gail or Hugh so…). They bring in all the chefs and tell them they’ve outdone themselves, it was awesome, but they still have to send someone home and it’s unfortunately going to be over an extremely minute detail. With that, they tell Paul he won. His prize? Two tix to the world premiere of the movie. How lame is that? I mean seriously? Two movie tickets? If he gets to go on the red carpet and there’s a party then maybe this is a cool prize. But they didn’t say that so I think it’s quite lame to give away something you can get on Fandango. In fact it’s very evil to give that as a prize. Ed, Moto Chris, and Lindsay (Immunity) are all safe leaving Sarah, Bev, and Grayson. Sarah’s risotto was slightly undercooked, Bev’s sauce had some weird consistency, and Grayson’s greens were salty. Very nitpicky but someone’s got to go. Going against my old under/overcooked-under/overseason rule Bev’s sticky sauce sends her packing. I was a little surprised by this (because of my highly scientific rule/observation) but I guess they also thought she didn’t embrace the theme enough, which is true. She played it too safe. I thought it might have been Sarah. No way were they sending Grayson home for her brilliant presentation. I guess it was the right decision. Chicago lost another one. Bet she won’t forget the curry rice puffs next time she can win immunity in a quickfire. Two Chicagoans left now! I still think it’s Paul’s to lose but Ed has been doing well. Grayson seems like she’s rising to the occasion and could be a dark horse if she builds some momentum. Only a few more episodes to go!