Quickfire – Padma. I missed my Padma, and she looks to die for. Welcome back to my Wednesday nights. Oh, and Tom is there too. The task – divide into seven teams, each individual season. The seasons will compete by making a dish to represent that season’s city. The winning season will win immunity for the whole team. Vegas, SF, LA and DC all have two chefs, while Miami and NY have three and Chicago four chefs. Antonia is worried the four voices will clash – don’t worry, they won’t. The interesting things here – Jen killing live lobsters with her hands. Bad ass. Blais is already breaking out the liquid nitrogen. And Stephen accidentally bumps Angelo and sends the erstwhile Spenny’s fish to the ground.
SF Tiff and Stephen – Cioppino Gazpacho with Sourdough to represent the City by the Bay-ayay.
Marcel and Elia – Shrimp Tacos with Guacamole in an apple wrapper, to bring LA flavors out. Marcel pesters Tom a bit to reveal if it worked. Tom tells him to wait.
Casey, Miami Dale, Tre – Pork Tenderloin, Avocado Lime Puree, Tostones, Habanera Sauce for Miami’s cuisine.
Blais, Spike, Antonia and ChiDale – Pork and Black Pepper Sausage, and Mustard Ice Cream to show Chicago’s greatest invention, the Chicago hot dog. Richard wanted to add homage to the city’s avant garde scene.
Fabio, Jamie, Carla – Curried Apple Soup, Pasta with Caramelized Apple, Rib Eye and Apple for the Big Apple. They didn’t combine efforts, so their flavors clash a bit.
Mike and Jen – Bucatini with Bacon Lobster Carbonara for Vegas and it’s old school Mob ties.
Angelo and DC Tiff – Crab Cake Essence with Rockfish, Lemongrass, Jalapeno, Old Bay for our region’s love of fish and crabs.
Chicago wins immunity for Richard, Antonia, Spike and ChiDale. Great start for Dale and Spike who each went out with two of the worst dishes ever. Because…
Elimination Challenge – Re-cook the ingredients of the dish which triggered their downfall the first time around. Great timing for Dale and Spike, whose butterscotch scallops and frozen scallops were universally panned (as we revisit scenes with Spike and guest Chef Rick Tramato getting into it.) Even better for Dale, Anthony Bourdain was the judge who took out Dale, and now Tony is a regular judge this season. The Chefs will cook and present at the famed Russian Tea Room.
Other famous failures coming back – Jamie’s salty celery, Carla’s sous vide incident, Blais and Casey getting to do their dishes that cost them the Finales, and Mike getting to redo the veggie dish that doomed him. And again, thanks to the amount of chefs, preparation is quite limited on screen. The chefs are divided into two groups of nine – the first group will serve both the judges (Tom, Padma, Gail and Tony) and the other group of nine. Then retire back to the kitchen to watch the judging on hidden camera. The only item of note during preparation – Blais’ plating goes over the time limit, and he doesn’t notice the timer going off.