Speed and stamina were two ingredients the eight remaining chef-testants needed to stay in the competition this week. Dividing into two teams of four and with immunity no longer offered in the Quickfire Challenge the relay race was on.
Though swiftness was needed for the QFC, it was apparent where the ultimate strength was going to lie by the way the teams were divided. With hands shaking, Lisa gained a lead over Antonia sectioning oranges but that was lost when Spike broke the stem of his artichoke and was victim of Andrew and his secret weapon- the peeler. Richard and Dale were evenly matched filleting a monkfish but Stephanie whipped into the lead over Nikki when making mayonnaise from scratch.
If I were getting married I'm not sure I'd be game to have a menu created and prepared the day before the wedding. But that's exactly what the happy couple Corey and JP agreed to for their 250 guests.
The benefit of winning the QFC was being allowed to choose a menu for either the bride or the groom. Smiling Richard makes a wise decision and convinces his team to take what is considered to be the more difficult task of cooking for the bride. Spike doesn't get it and questions why Richard would pick working for the person who is perceived to be the more nervous on their special day. This is just one instance in an episode that is full of contrasts.
The Bride's team worked well together and pulled out a victory. Richard inserts himself as leader of his team and isn't above poking fun at himself for wearing pink shoes and picking out the floral decorations. Stephanie steps up to the plate and takes on the unenviable task of making a multi-layered wedding cake. (She also had the foresight to assemble the cake at the location to avoid any last minute mishaps.) Antonia plugs along even when she looks as if she's asleep when stirring a pot.
Andrew was pumped, psyching himself to work all night and verbalizing his culinary excitement. The portion of the Bride's team that appears to not go smoothly is Andrew resenting Richard's "driving the bus". And though it sounded good, his Almond and Basil Crusted Chicken wasn't very crispy and was considered a repeat of last week's challenge with the kids. The judge's didn't like the dissonance of Andrew's creamed spinach but Richard took responsibility for adding star anise.
Bonus points go to Richard who ended up splitting the winning $2000 Crate & Barrel gift card with Stephanie for taking on the cake.
Even before the eventual lack of sleep set in during the 14+-hour cookathon, the Groom's team was unfocused. Since Italian food is Nikki's specialty and was what the groom requested, she had the opportunity to build on last week's good showing and prove that she could be a top chef. But she wanted no part of it and the team suffered from lack of direction. Nikki didn't even follow her opening comments about the need to fight harder at this point in the game. Her lack of leadership coupled with a dry Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter and Sage that was too sweet sent her packing.
Gale Simmons said the Groom's team had too many items that were uninspired. Though the team pointed fingers at Dale for doing a half-baked job his hustling wasn't appreciated by them or the judges. By taking on too many duties Dale stretched himself too thin, didn't excel at one dish and was perceived not to be a team player. Spike took advantage of this and though he made a successful Chilean sea bass he didn't carry his weight. Spike's antagonistic ways and Dale's temper will most likely prove to be their downfall.
Lisa was wise to be quiet at the Judges' Table, and caused no problems working solo on a flavorful but what
Tom Colicchio called an "ugly" chocolate hazelnut cake. I would like to have heard more about both cakes from guest judge and executive pastry chef of Chicago's Tru restaurant,
" Did Lisa and Stephanie get any assistance with the cake recipes or did they create them from scratch?
" Does Spike like his cocktails a little too much? In one of the opening scenes, Andrew is talking to Spike who is in bed and has a nightstand full of champagne and wine bottles. Are these empties or is that actually a mini-bar? He's also pouring himself a glass of wine in the stew room
" Text Poll: Which chef annoys you the most? Dale was the winner with 46%, Lisa a close second with 39% and Spike had 15%. How would you have voted?
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Speed and stamina were two ingredients the eight remaining chef-testants needed to stay in the competition this week Dividing into two teams of four and with immunity no longer offered in the Quickfire Challenge the relay race was onThough swiftness was needed for the QFC it was apparent where the ultimate strength was going to lie by the way the teams were divided With hands shaking Lisa gained a lead over Antonia sectioning oranges but that was lost when Spike broke the stem of his artichoke and was victim of Andrew and his secret weaponthe peeler Richard and Dale were evenly matched filleting a monkfish but Stephanie whipped into the lead over Nikki when making mayonnaise from scratchIf I were getting married Im not sure Id be game to have a menu created and prepared the day before the wedding But thats exactly what the happy couple Corey and JP agreed to for their 250 guestsThe benefit of winning the QFC was being allowed to choose a menu for either the bride o