Next up are Amanda, 26, a personal chef, who makes an Eggplant Rollatini with Creamy Polenta. Chef Ramsay comments that it is seasoned perfectly and that there is talent there. Brendan decides to copy a recipe that Chef Ramsay used to prepare at Harvey. It is Salmon in Creamy Basil Sauce. Why in the world would you copy someone else’s dish and then present it to that person as your signature dish. Chef Ramsay enjoys both dishes, and they are both awarded a point.
Jennifer, 34, a chef de cuisine, cooks Jenny’s Secret Pork with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus. Chef Ramsay finds the pork cooked well and tasty. Jonathon, 34, a head cook, doesn’t start off well. Chef Ramsay looks at his plate and says “What the f*** is that?” He has presented Punch Drunk Chicken. I wonder if he is a head cook at a bar; then that would be a funny dish. Chef Ramsay continues the downward spiral of the dish when he notices a slice of canned pineapple, right out of the can, on top of the chicken. When he is called out on it, Jonathon’s excuse is that it was limited time. Chef Ramsay is disgusted and tells him that he can f*** off now and will pay for the ticket. Jonathon declines the offer to leave, and Chef Ramsay declines the offer to taste the dish. The Red team is awarded a point by default.
Right away, when Krupa, 30, a private chef, arrives, Chef Ramsay quickly says, “What’s your name, and what the hell is that?” She has made Stuffed Naan with Cilantro Chutney. Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread from India, typically cooked in a clay oven. Chef Ramsay thinks it looks horrible, tastes horrible, and quips “Krupa, it’s crapa”. Paul, 26, a Jr. sous chef, has presented an Eggplant Involtin. Chef Ramsay thinks his dish is quite nice and comments that he is a natural cook. The guys are awarded another point which brings the score to 3 to 2, with the guy’s ahead.
Jamie, 24, a sous chef, is up next. Chef Ramsay is surprised that someone so young is already a sous chef. She cooked a Lollipop Lamb Chop with Red Onion Confiture. He informs her that her lamb is overcooked. She is head-to-head with Steven, 44, a sauté chef. He has made an interesting mess of Seared Diver Scallops with Wild Mushroom Risotto. Steven has told the pantry diary cam that no one else has a chance of winning this thing. Chef Ramsay might have something to say about that as he thinks the scallop’s look and feel like toenails. They are either crusted in coffee or really burned, Chef Ramsay doesn’t try them and neither team wins a point. Steven is confident they have good flavor.
Elise and Chino are up next. Elise makes an excellent Pesto Seared Scallops with Sautéed Escarole. Chino, 39, an executive chef, makes Korean BBQ Beef that is strong and doesn’t sit well. Elise wins the point and ties the challenge. Natalie, a rock star, presents her dish with Monterray, the mother pusher. Monterray makes a Pan-Seared Sea Bass; Chef Ramsay tells him that he nailed it. Natalie cooked Lamb Chops quite nicely. They are both awarded a point.
Elizabeth and Tommy are now up to be judged by Chef Ramsay. Elizabeth, 27, a line cook, prepares a Pan-Roasted Quail that really works for Chef Ramsay. Tommy, 31, a line cook, is at bat. Before Chef Ramsay even tastes the food, he needs to comment on something. Tommy has a tattoo right below his hair line going across his forehead that reads rock and roll. I have to interject here, I’m in a small reality-based chat room, and one of the things we do is blind picks of reality shows. We basically try to judge a book by its cover; we pick out a few contestants before the shows start based on their pictures alone. There was something about Tommy that I wanted to pick him as winner of the show, but that darn tattooed forehead just was too much of a distraction. I have been wondering what Gordon Ramsay would say about it since I made my blind pick.
Chef Ramsay asks Tommy to show him the tattoo, then asks if he has to take him seriously. I wonder when one decides to tattoo one’s forehead if thought is given to the possibility of going bald and losing the bangs that somewhat cover it? Chef Ramsay thinks his Toasted Coconut Crab Cake has finesse, and both are awarded a point, keeping the challenge at a tie.
It all comes down to the last two contestants, Jason and Gina. Gina, 34, a restaurant consultant, makes a Pistachio Crusted Scallops; Chef Ramsay says they taste nice, but the tops are a little burnt. I have to wonder, does a restaurant consultant cook? Jason, 29, a line cook, looks like he is wearing Brendan’s aura brown plaid shirt. He prepares Pork Tacos; Chef Ramsay questions making such a dish for this challenge. Jason says “because it tastes good”. Chef Ramsay thinks it looks a mess, but tastes delicious and the final point is awarded to the Blue team.
The Blue team wins a dining experience in downtown L.A. with last season’s winner, Nona, at L.A. Market. I am excited to see Nona; I really wanted her to win last season! Ms. Nona is looking good, blonder and thinner; looks like life is good for her. She gives Steven a pep talk on continually putting your best effort out there. Jonathan really got a lot out of her pep talk also.