| Obi-Wan – Chicken Thai Curry Soup with Thai Basil. Bert thinks it is like porridge. No sign of Baby Bear anywhere. He is surprised it is so mild.
Marcus – Chicken Soup with Crispy Tortilla Chips and Avocado Goat Cheese Guacamole. Marcus adjusted to the soup switcheroo by adding a gazillion crispy chips to pay homage to the original recipe’s crispy chicken. Clever. Bert calls it a city of fries. I’d move there. He also loves the lime flavor, and Marcus thanks a TV screen in response. Bert says this is not far off from the recipe, which may be what clinched it for Marcus.
Ninja – Tunisian Fish Soup with Olives, Capers, White Wine, Cumin and Coriander Seeds. Suser used Rick’s sauce recipe to make into his broth, which is clever. Bert liked it, but found it thick.
Rick – Scallop, Mussel and Pancetta Asian-style Cioppino. Rick is a bit intimidated by the dish and having to turn it into soup. In the end, he elects to serve what Bert calls an “abundant soup,” or sort of a seafood stew. He runs out of time, which means he left a lot of the broth in the pot. That turns out to be a mistake, despite his perfect preparation of the scallops.
Bert’s grades are not too surprising – Marcus wins with 4.5 stars, followed in order, and each separated by half stars, by Ninja, Rick and Obi-Wan.
The chefs are then rewarded with a day off at a Groundlings’ performance. And anyone who has ever watched this show knows that there is never a day off. Even if you never saw the improv episode from Season 5, you have to know that they are sending a twist your way. However, the Masters got into their nice clothes – and for Obi-Wan that meant old man shorts, and for Marcus it meant a shirt made out of Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – and expected a nice show and an early bedtime.
Of course, during the show, the actors take random colors, emotions and ingredients and mix them up. The chefs know they’ve been had now, and are asked to stay after the show. Marcus gets to pick first from the groupings thanks to his Quickfire win. He chooses “Violet, Pleasure, Salmon.” Ninja is next and picks “Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Lust.” Rick takes “Red, Anger, Bacon.” And Obi-Wan is stuck with “Burnt Sienna, Depression, Avocado.” And later on, the sheer difficulty of his instructions seems to not be a factor in judging. I don’t get it.
The chefs don’t get to go to bed early, instead they have to go to Whole Foods and prepare the dish for the actors and judges after the show. At Whole Foods, Obi-Wan considers using an alternate definition of “depression,” instead of a state of mind, view it as a geographical occurrence. He doesn’t follow through, but that would have been extra creative and may have helped him later on. Marcus goes over budget, and is bailed out by others. I instantly knew Marcus was winning based on this scene. Rick joins the long list of chefs to be hurt by a sous vide accident as his pork does not cook properly. And Ninja decides to make his dessert look like a vagina. Seriously. He does that. Dude needs to get laid.
Rick – Pork Loin, Poached Oysters, Bacon and Spicy Kinchi Cream. Rick knows his pork isn’t cooked through properly, and it is noticed. He explains that the anger in his dish comes from the pork and oysters not wanting to be together. Meh. Not that creative. Gail is a big fan of the oysters. Almost disturbingly loving it. Like, a lot of envy for her husband loving it. Actor David Hoffman expected a slab of bacon, red food coloring and the word anger spelled out. Actress Lisa Schurga is sad hers was undercooked because she loved it. That line was actually funnier to me than Hoffman’s joke. Jay wanted the angry aspect to “slap” him, and Actor Jeremy Rowley wants to slap many things.
Marcus – Confit of Salmon with Caviar, Shrimp and Sake. He used the caviar and sake to play up the pleasure of his dish. He decided at the last minute to add the shrimp to the plate, even though he was not very satisfied with it. NotPadma thinks the salmon was perfect. Gail wanted to lap up the sauce. See what I mean? Actress Edi Patterson was put off a bit by the presentation, which Marcus admitted was very Jackson Pollack. Actress Ariane Price agreed there was too much going on. Actor Scott Beehner thought it was “violence” and not “violet” because the dish looked like the result of a knife fight.
Obi-Wan – Mesquite Grilled Chicken Breast, French Fries, Yams and Avocado with Grapefruit. He serves it with pink champagne. Obi-Wan explains that to account for a depression dish, he went full force with comfort food. Edi made some breast jokes. Bert was looking for an epiphany with the fries. What? Actor Jeremy had the best Groundling line of the night – “When I go to the drive-through and ask for an epiphany of flavor fries, I always have a hard time.”