Josie – Triple Spice Turkey with Cayenne and Hot Sauce – Dana’s is pink. Bad for poultry. The USDA is stopping by. Emeril adds that at least it was well seasoned.
Hipster – Emeril’s Mom’s Dressing – Bread Stuffing with Chorizo and Cayenne – Emeril said she did a wonderful job, Dana loves sausage, and The Hat liked the kick.
Tesar – Emeril’s Cornbread with Stuffing – with Ground Turkey and Diced Bacon – Emeril said he nailed it.
Kish – Assiette of Root Vegetables, Parsnip Truffle Puree and Crème Fraiche – Emeril said it was under seasoned, and Tom thinks it didn’t need the crème.
The Wiz – Andouille and Shrimp Gumbo – Emeril thinks it was a bit bitter, and the Hat said it lacked flavor and depth. Emeril added that it was short on the hot sauce.
Yagi Bear – Potato Pave (Honestly, I can’t read my writing…it’s a fancy shmancy potato – It is raw and under seasoned. The Hat wants to go back and finish cooking it.
Papa Bear – Braised Greens with Ham Hocks – Tom said it wasn’t done. Dana points out how it needs to fall apart more and Padma misses more texture from it.
Brooke – Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits – Emeril said Brooke went off the board with this one, and Dana loved the sweetness and tenderness. Tom suggests a new Emeril tradition as a result.
Camba – White Chocolate, and Pecan Bread Pudding – Padma liked it; the Hat thought it was cool and Megan likes cinnamon.
Tesar – Spiced Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Ricotta Torte – Tesar added this one, and one of the guests thought it was grainy, and Tesar actually agreed. Dana felt Team Emeril had a good balance, and Team Tom was on deck.
Team Tom – CJ comes out to serve the bird and says the meal was handed down from generation to generation by Colicchios. The Hat is skeptical that Tom’s grandparents put foie gras in their stuffing.
CJ – Braised Turkey with Tom’s Stuffing – He added about three pounds of butter and CJ says he hasn’t basted something so much in his life. The judges loved the dish.
Real Housewife – Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs – Emeril thinks it is fantastic, and Megan says it was a perfect meal for this group as carrot soup is a big dish for them. Dana says the meatballs are perfect.
Latex Salesman – Fennel, Gorgonzola, Orange and Pumpkin Seed Salad – It is called a perfect palate cleanser. Dana found it was a good idea, and Padma suggests more refinement.
OTV – Sweet Potato Ravioli and Pecans – Emeril thought it was the weakest dish – and OTV got very lucky Josie can’t cook a turkey. Tom said it came down to poor prep in the noodle – he needed to have it thicker around the filling.
Micah – Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries, Bacon and Shallots – Hat wanted seconds, but Dana found it to be greasy and Tom thought the seasoning was lacking.
Lizzie – Potato Puree – Emeril and Tom both admit to being surprised by the choice of mashed potatoes. Emeril admits that these were really good spuds. Dana said that if you use a ton of butter that would get the job done.
The Thumb – Panna Cotta with Orange Cardamom Crisp and Poached Pecans – The Hat thought there was some bad jam in there. Bad Jam was the name of my first garage band. Padma thought it lacked cardamom and Tom said that was his favorite part.
Eliza – Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate and Mint Syrup – Emeril said the first bite was delicious, but after that, it got less so. The Hat thinks there was too much chocolate. Tom said that the desserts really brought down the meal.
Tom and Emeril take themselves out of the selection for a winner – and Megan, the Hat, Dana and Padma unanimously choose Team Tom right before our very eyes. No deliberations. Team Emeril will be sending someone home. If Team Tom had lost, the bottom three would likely have been OTV, Eliza and The Thumb. Not a great start for The Thumb so far – I wonder how his ego is handling that.
They basically decide that The Wiz’s lack of texture, heat and acid earned him a trip to the chopping block. Papa Smurf’s unfinished greens and Yagi Bear’s uncooked potatoes also earned a trip. As did Josie’s Salmonella Surprise – but since she has immunity, she needed to get called out.
Does it really matter what was said during judging? If you under seasoned and undercooked a meal, how can you survive? Yagi Bear went from winning the first challenge to going home after the second. If I am not mistaken, that is the first time that has happened and was the biggest fall from grace in the shortest amount of time in show history.