One hour ticks by, and the contestants move on to the other dishes. Joe is worried that Lee is taking a simple chicken parmesan and "mucking it up." I think Joe can cram it sideways. Whitney's planning on filling her chicken with mozzarella, which will come as a surprise to those of you who expect your chicken parmesan to be flat. As for the eggs Benedict, Lee plans to serve his over a latka as opposed to an English muffin. Whitney is making hers over a grit cake. Apparently, the English muffin people did not pony up for promotional consideration here.
Ten minutes left, and Whitney checks to see if her cheesecake had enough time to set in the fridge. I think I am spoiling nothing when I say that it did. Lee is plating his eggs Benedict, and it looks delightful. Whitney's poached egg has, unfortunately, broken, making Gordon curse and making Whitney's dish a gooey mess. And as Gordon screams out the final seconds, Whitney gets her emergency replacement egg on the plate just in the nick of time. Thank God for the miracle of commercial breaks, am I right?
So who will join David in the finals? The first judge will be Graham, who will taste the eggs Benedict. Whitney describes her dish as a southern take on eggs Benedict, featuring, as it does, a pan-fried grit cake and Cajun Andoiulle sausage. Lee's dish involves a latka, some prosciutto, and a coriander-seed-and-cayenne hollandaise. Graham marvels about Lee going out on a limb by changing "the actual vehicle for the benedict... It's a dangerous move." And it's the right one -- Graham prefers Lee's offering, as Whitney's grit cake is a bit too Flintstone-sized for his taste.
It's chicken parmesan time. Whitney offers up a stuffed variation of the dish with a roasted cherry tomato sauce. It looks like a big pile of red-and-brown goo, but it probably looks just as appetizing as Lee's rolled chicken parmesan stuffed with mushrooms and mozzarella. It could well be that I just don't care for chicken parmesan, though. That is apparently not Joe's cross to bear, as he finds Lee's dish impressive, if "kind of a strange interpretation." Whitney's dish may look weird to Joe, but he gives the edge to her. So they're tied. As you knew they would be.