We’re down to eight cheftestants in this pre-Restaurant Wars episode. They’re dropping like flies, I tell ya. It’s only been the first episode without the “Most Hated Chef in Dallas,” and I must admit I miss watching that goofy smile of Tesar’s whenever someone congratulates him. He better come back.
Round 1: Quickfire Challenge
Wolfie Puck and Padma introduce the secret ingredient for the day: ginger. Oh, boy. The chefs have to create a dish using ginger in under 15 minutes. Pretty Brooke goes that extra mile to make a ginger caramel squid (who woulda thunk that ginger and squid went well together?). She nabs immunity. No surprise there.
Round 2: The Elimination
Danny Meyer, New York City restaurant extraordinaire, joins Padma as she announces with a smiley face,” It’s time for Restaurant Wars.” Nervous chuckling from the chefs. These poor guys and gals have to create a dish that represents their desired restaurant concept at the Bite of Seattle. The two winners of this challenge will win $10,000 each and lead one of the teams for Restaurant War.
“This is a terrifying situation to be in,” says Brooke, “… doing it for Danny Meyer? He’s a GOD of the restaurant world.”
Four sous chefs (Kuniko, Chrissy, Carla, and Eliza) join the remaining contestants for a bit of assistance. The BEST never-did-happen couple finally get together in this episode: Stefan and Carla. They pair up when Stefan calls Carla over to be his second. “I had moments when I wanted to strangle Carla or just shank her, but she is super fast and her butt is always cute,” he says. Is it just me, or is he semi-cheating on his beloved Kristen? Never mind, let’s not dwell on it.
The next day is Sheldon’s birthday and the Bite of Seattle. All the chefs go to their little booths and start serving the dish that represents their entire restaurant concept. For Josh, his is a seared eye of ribeye with cauliflower puree. It’s a straightforward dish that honors the life of his father, a steak-and-potatoes kind of guy. Micah, on the other hand, decides to plate sashimi for his raw restaurant idea. It’s probably not the best idea not to cook on a cooking show, kiddo. I sniff bottom three.
Sheldon makes a gorgeous sour tamarind soup that he learned from his grandfather, Urbano, and Kristen wows the judges again with her modern French formal fare. The onsen egg was cooked perfectly and it came with a side of buttered radishes. Kristen and Sheldon both with this challenge. “Padma gave me 10 Gs for my birthday,” says Sheldon, beaming.
The two winners pick their Restaurant Wars teams without knowing who gets eliminated. It just so happens that the next episode will be a battle between the XX and XY chromosomes. But, wait! Lizzie, Josie, and Micah are called in front of the judges’ table. Lizzie gets all huffy when the judges didn’t appreciate her Northeastern Italian rustic country farmhouse food (or whatever), while Josie apologizes for putting on “The Josie Show” yet again.
“On the outside, I’m hard as a rock. On the inside, I’m crying like a baby. I really think I’m going home this time,” she says. Nope. Josie and her donkey laugh are both safe. It’s Micah’s turn to pack his knives and go. His raw plate just didn’t cut it.
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