Quickfire Challenge: Guest judge is Stephanie Izard, winner of Season 4. The challenge is to make a dish; the twist is that all of the ingredients in the pantry (and I do mean ALL) are wrapped in aluminum foil and once they unwrap something, they have to use it. They also have to use foil as their cooking vessels and mixing bowls and everything else. Brooke, Micah (rare lamb) and Josh (uninspired) are on the bottom. Stephanie names like everyone else as the top six, but finally narrows it down to Danyele (who made a bean soup), Kristen (sponge cake) and Sheldon (scallops). The winner is Kristen because she made a freaking cake, which was amazing.
Elimination Challenge: Create a dish highlighting a specific berry for 150 guests at a festival, and they'll be competing head-to-head with another cheftestant. The festival attendees will choose the winner of each pairing. Turns out there was a reason Stephanie picked a top six; Kristen gets to cook alone as the winner and the other five get to pick their opponents. Here are the pairings (with their berry in parentheses):
Kristen (tayberry): Kristen made matcha goat milk custard with macerated tayberries. The judges love everything about it.
Sheldon vs. Micah (strawberry): Sheldon made ahi summer roll consisting of ahi poke, strawberries and sweet chili sauce. Micah made strawberry fried chicken with strawberry and bacon biscuit. The judges like Micah's chicken, but think the biscuit isn't great. They think Sheldon highlighted the strawberries well.
Danyele vs. Josh (blueberry): Danyele made chicken pine nut terrine with blueberry mostarda and Josh made savory goat cheese mousse with blueberry compote. The judges think Danyele's chicken is rubbery and they like Josh's delicate dish, though Gail wants more crunch.
Stefan vs. John (gooseberry ): John made white gazpacho with Spanish chorizo, gooseberries, and sweet grapes. Stefan made Cali crudo with radishes, gooseberries, and spiced vinaigrette. The judges like Stefan's dish, but they wanted more gooseberry. They thought John's chorizo overwhelmed the rest of the dish and one of the festival-goers calls it "cheeseburger soup." Ouch.
Josie vs. Lizzie (raspberry): Josie made a Rock 'n Raspberry roll which is sockeye salmon, Dungeness crab and raspberry aioli. Is Josie the female Guy Fieri? She also doesn't have her dish ready when the judges show up. Lizzie made raspberry steamed cabbage roll with heritage pork and bacon stuffing. I don't get how raspberries go with that, but okay. The judges love Lizzie's pork, though Tom wanted more seasoning. No one understands what Josie was trying to do, especially putting mayonnaise in a spring roll. That's totally something Guy Fieri would do. I get Josie now. I don't like her, but I get her.
Bart vs. Brooke (blackberry): Brooke made spicy smoke chocolate pudding with blackberry tapioca. Bart made blackberry soup with salmon and rhubarb yogurt. The judges like Bart's soup and his yogurt, but they don't think the salmon adds anything. The judges love Brooke's dessert. I don't know why no one else made dessert.
Stefan entertains in the Stew Room when he calls out John for mentioning that Stefan used frozen tuna at every opportunity. Kristen is named the winner because the judges could not find one element of her dish that was flawed. Wow. Padma calls John, Danyele, Micah, Josie and Bart in; they're the losers of their pairing. Danyele is sent home because she had a good concept for her dish but she sort of stopped halfway and her terrine tasted like lunchmeat.
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After Eliza is eliminated, the chefs talk about her in the Stew Room. Apparently, she was funny, and apparently, John has learned his lesson about talking shit about the recently eliminated cheftestant. Danyele tells everyone that the judges think she's too nervous, and then interviews that she doesn't want to come across as anxious or not proud of what she puts out. Josh jokes that he's not going to cook pork again and everyone laughs as Brooke notes that his last dish was supposed to be his redemption. Yeah, he owns a restaurant where he cooks pig; it's pretty sad that his last two pork dishes have landed him on the bottom.
The next day, the cheftestants enter the kitchen and find Padma there with Season Four winner, Stephanie Izard. One of the cheftestants mutters that she's probably joining the competition. Nope, just judging the Quickfire. Padma explains that the challenge is to cook anything they want using ingredients from the pantry. The only problem is that every ingredient is covered with aluminum foil, and they have to use everything that they open. Wow, some interns were busy last night. In addition, they have to use aluminum foil as their cooking vessel. Bart thinks this sounds fun. He's the only one.
Time starts and everyone rushes into the pantry. And everything really is covered in tin foil. Everything in the fridge and freezer. All of the individual pieces of produce. Stefan nabs something out of the freezer and discovers that it's salmon. Josie gets grapes. John was trying to get a pot of herbs and ends up with a pineapple. Has there ever been a pot of herbs in the pantry? I've never seen anything like that. What a dummy. Kristen is planning to make a sponge cake, which she knows is risky, but she wants to take a chance. Bert is going nuts with the tin foil, creating pots and colanders.
Sheldon wants fish but ends up with scallops, and he's not sure how to get a good sear on them without a hot frying pan. There are tons of foil packets on the grill, and everyone is bumping into one another trying to get their food done. Micah explains that he thought of panzanella and it's like a gift. I can't tell if he's being sarcastic, but seriously? Does he think it's an amazing gift that only he has? Because everyone else also looks at ingredients and comes up with a dish too.
Time for judging! Danyele is up first with her cannellini bean stew with bacon, asiago cheese, and tomatillo. That sounds pretty awesome. Danyele was unsure about the tomatillo, but Stephanie thinks it makes the dish - more evidence of Danyele's doubting her instincts. Micah made grilled lamb with tomato fennel panzanella. GENIUS! Just kidding. I don't know who told this dude he's the greatest chef ever, but I've yet to see evidence of it on this show. Padma thinks the lamb is too rare.