And inside those boxes? OH, MY GOD, IT'S PEOPLE! No, not really. It's a very thick pork chop, some flat-leaf parsley, half a cabbage, some ciabatta bread, what Gordon calls "the most amazing Granny Smith apple," a lemon, some vine tomatoes, brandy, a cinnamon stick and chocolate. Well, what are you waiting for, wannabes? Start cooking.
As they do, the judges whisper conspiratorially amongst themselves. Everyone seems to agree with Graham that the one ingredient not to use is the chocolate. "The chocolate is the devil of the box," Joe says. "It will tempt you and lead you down the wrong path." He says this as we see Sheena chopping up the chocolate bar. Sheena, you fool -- you'll damn us all! Me, I would eat the chocolate and drink the brandy and broil those jerks up a pork chop. Maybe I go home, maybe I don't, but I get dessert and a good belt of booze out of the deal.
Time to see what our contestants are making. Jake is preparing what he describes as a rustic kind of pork chop that will be plated over wilted cabbage with apple compote on the side. David -- the cocky guy who I make fun of for no reason other than it amuses me -- is working on a sweet pork chop with a cognac flambé and a side of cabbage slaw. Avis is making dessert -- a bread pudding, to be precise, that Gordon doesn't seem to be too confident about. Hope he's saving room for dessert, because Sheena's making a chocolate mousse topped off with some of that lemon peel. "Chocolate mousse is one of my favorites," Joe says, in what I can only interpret as a warning. Beware the demon chocolate, Sheena. It will only lead to ruination.
Joe is more encouraging when it comes to Whitney's pork chops. "I don't want to boost your confidence irrationally," he says by way of apology. Nice going, Joe -- you've given the 22-year-old a swelled head. I hope you can live with the consequences. You may be interested to know that this is the first time Whitney's ever cooked a pork chop -- a claim the judges find remarkable given that she's from Mississippi. Apparently, though, it's the part of Mississippi where they don't eat pork. I am frantically scratching Mississippi off the list of places I ever want to visit if this is, in fact the case. So why cook pork, Whitney, if you've never done it before? "I really want to challenge myself," she says. "That's what this whole competition is all about." That, and not giving the judges a severe case of trichinosis.