Robert Irvine at 3am? Must have been before the falling out with the Food Network. Well, he’s the guest panelist, and tells the teams that the big prize this week is getting featured in “USA Weekend” magazine.
The teams were told to head to specialty shops to answer questions. If you answer the question correctly, you can move on to take your first choice of ingredient. If you don’t answer correctly, you have to do a food prep task. The groups do OK at this, answering most of the questions correctly. One team had to do two food preps, another had to do one, and the last answered all the questions correctly.
After they got all their ingredients, they headed to a train station where they all board a train to cook. They have to prepare a brunch for the selection committee and 30 passengers. Aaron, Adam and Jennifer have Brioche, Ricotta, and Steak. They starts to argue for about runny eggs, whether they should make French toast… things were falling apart. The steaks looked good, but when they finally got food plated, the eggs weren’t looking good. Their presentation goes well, but the eggs were undercooked, and the French toast didn’t go over that well. They did like the steak.
The next team has lamb, blue cheese and baggettes. Nipa takes the lamb (for a lamb kabob), Shane does a salad with the blue cheese, and Lisa does a French toast. They do pretty well, but Lisa needs to a little last minute whipping for the crème freshe. Their presentation goes ok (and Lisa thankfully was much better than last week). The salad is overdressed, the lamb was spicy, but the French toast went over well. The selection committee liked the change Lisa made in her culinary point of view.
Jeffrey, Kelsey and Kevin went last. They had duck, raisin bread, and mozzarella. They make a duck salad, bread pudding, and honey glazed figs with crostini. The last time doesn’t have much oil, they don’t plate the right number of plates (at first), but finish it off. Their presentation is a little over the top, and doesn’t go over all that great with the judges. The bread pudding is tough (and they noticed they didn’t get as much as the other passengers), the salad was OK, and the duck was over cooked. Bobby Flay says he’ll talk to Kevin about his culinary point of view to get him to change it.
They judging starts, and it goes does pretty much as the critiques went as they were eating.
In front of the judges, we see the “walkout” from last week’s preview. Bobby asks Nipa, “Are you enthusiastic about this?” She responds, “I don’t know.” They question her a bit more, complimenting her, and wondering why she isn’t more enthusiastic when they’re enthusiastic about her. Finally Nipa says, “I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore” and walks out, much to the surprise of the judges and the other contestants.
The judges and the contestants talk a bit about this walkoff. Nipa returns and explains why she wants to get on the network. The judges rhetorically ask whether she’s ready or not.
Lisa and Aaron win the big “USA Weekend” story. The judges narrow down the selection between Nipa and Kevin, and inexplicably pick Nipa. They do put her on notice though, explaining if a Food Network “star” walked off a show like that, they’d probably be fired. Nipa apologizes to the group, and Kevin makes his exit.
Overall, I think Lisa made a good transition from the first week. It was an interesting challenge. Looks like Lisa and Aaron are the odds on favorites to win… at least for now.