Hell's Kitchen
2 Chefs Compete

Episode Report Card
Daniel: C+ | Grade It Now!
We Paid to See Penn and Teller, Dammit

Justin's made heirloom tomatoes, charred, feta crumble, compressed watermelon and vinaigrette. "I have a lot of finesse in my food. That's just my style," says Justin, whose cockiness is really starting to wear me. "Yeah, my style is to be awesomely talented, but that's just me," explains Justin. Payard deems it a nice summer salad.

Christina, meanwhile, has made a charred asparagus and fried egg salad with baby arugula with fresh shaved pecorino. Payard calls it a little too vinegary, and the crowd STARTS BOOING THE MASTER CHEF for calling a dish they haven't tasted "too vinegary," and Payard picks Justin's salad as the better one.

The next judge, for the seafood appetizer, is Michel Richard, who just opened Central in Caesar's Palace. Christina says he's an idol of hers.

She's made a coconut shrimp ceviche, and she steeped it in ginger, jalapeno and cilantro, and Richard's eyes bug out at the mention of cilantro, because he hates cilantro, and so he kneels and crosses himself and tastes it anyway and declares her a great chef.

Justin has made an Ecuadorean-style ceviche, where they poach the shrimp first, and then use the water to make the ceviche mixture, which is ketchup, orange juice, and the shrimp juice (is it always ketchup? Because I don't know anything about ceviche, but "ketchup" isn't exactly on anyone's list of mind-blowing ingredients, Mr. Justin), and then he classily gets in a dig at Christina by pointing out there's no cilantro it. Richard says it's delicious, and picks Justin as the winner, giving him a two-to-zilch lead. "I win one more, it's over," Justin tells us, displaying a superhuman ability to figure out how many points out of five he needs to win the match.

After a commercial break, the next judge comes out to judge the seafood entrée: Julian Serrano, executive chef of his namesake restaurant in Aria as well as Picasso in the Bellagio. And it's too bad we're done with the French judges, because listening to Ramsay doing his best to wrap his English accent around proper French pronunciation has been the high point of the episode so far.

Christina has made a pan-seared halibut with a purple Peruvian potato puree (too bad alliteration isn't a factor in deciding the victor) and grilled spinach. Serrano says it has good balance and good flavor. Justin's got fingerling potatoes, Dover soul meuniere and wild asparagus with olive oil and lemon juice. Serrano says it's good, but the fish is a little overcooked, and he picks Christina's dish.

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Hell's Kitchen




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