They head over to the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens with one hour to set up. The hour passes like magic, and the guests begin to file in. Chris says he'd normally be nervous to be the closest to the entrance, but tonight he's in luck because he's working the fryer. While Orlando's dish gets a quick negative review from one of the guests, Matthew gets positive feedback in the form of a lady guest's phone number in his raffle pile. He jokes, "Don't tell my wife!"
The judges (Gail, Dana Cowin and Hubert Keller) arrive and head straight to Sally's table. She presents her elevated caramel corn: White corn brown butter cake with corn pudding and peanut ice cream. The judges question the low level of sugar in her corn pudding, but she insists it's what she intended. Seeing Dana's skittish nibbles at her dessert, she worries she'll be in the bottom. Meanwhile, Johnny and Francois visit Carlos, who doesn't mince words that his macaroons were an abomination ("They tasted like shit, and they looked like shit") and that he had to substitute sesame angel food cakes for the buns. With that appetizing image in his guests' minds, he introduces his sesame angel food cake "burger," churro "fries," and strawberry-lemon soda. The judges immediately notice that the humidity is flattening the buns, but Francois deems the concept very playful. Even though that was a key criterion Francois mentioned at the outset of the challenge, Carlos fears that his gimmicky dessert might not stand up to the elegance of the others' presentations. If the average Jane's opinions matter, the fact that Carlos served cold churro fries doesn't bode well.
Gail and co. move on to Chris and his funnel cake ice cream, sablé breton, strawberry jelly, funnel cake and mint foam. Dana is concerned that Chris has so many different preparations involved in one plate, but he doesn't seem bothered by the fact that each plate could take up to five minutes. Carnivals equal crowds, he justifies. What's more, this is upscale carnival, not fast food. But no amount of chatter can convince the one guest who thinks he threw in everything but the kitchen sink. Next up, Johnny and Francois sample Matthew's fried caramel apple pie with apple carpaccio and vanilla ice cream. He forces them to enter his piggy raffle before admitting in an interview that he is a little nervous he might have kept things too simple. Unlike the others, he actually gets positive feedback from the plebes.