Quickfire Challenge: They pair up (Susur and Rick, Jonathan and Marcus), and each has to cook a recipe from their partner's cookbook. Halfway through cooking, they are told to stop and create a soup that keeps the integrity of the original recipe. James Oseland chooses the winner: Marcus wins for cooking a chicken tortilla soup based on one of Jonathan's recipes.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs get the night out to go see the Groundlings improv show, and they are given phrases based on audience suggestions, and have to cook a dish for the Groundlings cast.
Rick's phrase is "red, anger, bacon," and he makes pork loin, poached oysters, bacon and spicy kimchi cream. Rick screws up with the sous vide and his pork is partially undercooked, and Jay feels that it was underseasoned.
Marcus's phrase is "salmon, pleasure, violet," which sounds like a porno. He makes confit of salmon with caviar, shrimp and sake. Gail thinks the salmon is perfect.
Jonathan's phrase is "burnt sienna, depression, avocado," and he makes mesquite grilled chicken breast, French fries, yams and avocado with grapefruit. Everyone agrees that it is good, but no one is blown away.
Susur's phrase is "peanut butter, chocolate, lust," and he makes chocolate mousse with coriander and caramel-peanut butter mousse, with a chocolate crumble. He plates it to look like a vagina, which turns some people off. And yet, the entire table falls silent while eating it because it's so good.
Marcus wins the overall prize, and he and Susur are the top two. Jonathan kind of gave up, and he also had shitty phrases, so guess what? He totally loses. I don't think he wanted to be there any more. I actually think that happened like two weeks ago. So the finale is Susur, Marcus and Rick. I'm rooting for Rick. When did that happen?
And then there were four. The four remaining chefs (Susur, Rick, Marcus, and Jonathan) file into the kitchen to find their own cookbooks displayed on a table. Of course, each of them has a cookbook out. Probably multiple cookbooks in some cases. Kelly reminds them that this is the last round before the finale, as one chef will go home this week and the other three will move on to the final round. Rick interviews that he's dying to make the finals, and I believe it. He is the most openly competitive of the chefs, I think.
Quickfire Challenge: Kelly tells them to pair up on their own. Susur seems a little worried about it, but Jonathan interviews that he loves pairing up because he likes collaboration. That says so much about those two chefs, right there. They end up just going with who is standing next to each other, so it's Jonathan and Marcus, and then Rick and Susur. Rick interviews that he looked at the cookbook display and noticed that everyone else had their face on the cover, but his cover has "a big old hunk of salmon." That is interesting, and I would love to know whose choice that was. Rick's or the publisher's?
Kelly explains that in this final Quickfire, each chef will be following a recipe from his partner's cookbook. Rick is a little worried about having to recreate Susur's food, because it's so complex. James Oseland will be judging the food. Kelly explains that they've chosen recipes and provided ingredients, and they have ninety minutes to cook. I understand logistically why they pre-chose recipes, but it would have been interesting to see what each chef would choose if given free rein.
Marcus interviews that he hasn't won any Quickfires, and he'd like to win at least one. Marcus discovers his recipe is Jonathan's crispy chicken and goat cheese burritos, and he vows to bring his own background into it. Kelly didn't say much about how much leeway they will be given, or how they will be judged. Like does it matter if they go completely off-book? Does the dish have to be basically the same as the recipes with some embellishments? I'm confused. I need more rules. I like rules. Jonathan interviews that he and Marcus are very different, stylistically, and he envies Marcus's ability to draw from so many different cultures. The recipe Jonathan was given is a chicken curry with vegetable fritters, but he wants to make it less spicy because that's more his style.
Rick flips to the recipe he has to prepare, which is seared scallop wrapped in pancetta with garlic mussels and Szechuan-style eggplant. Wow, that seems complicated. Rick interviews that as the king of ADD, he has trouble following a recipe, and while he's good at seafood, he's not even familiar with some of the ingredients on the list. I love that the editors cut to a bag of frozen something with Chinese characters on it, like, "See how crazy this food is? They don't even make it in English!" Susur is making roasted red mullet with Tunisian sauce, and he's worried that there aren't pictures. Because it's not an episode with Susur unless Susur's complaining about how something is unfair to him. Well, he might have a point here when he says that he doesn't read English well. Kelly also didn't discuss how much the chef/author can help the other chef. Couldn't Susur just ask Rick to talk him through it briefly? Then again, we don't know how they're being judged, so it may not matter. I kind of hate this challenge. I like the idea of it, but the actual challenge is bugging me.