Quickfire Challenge: The chefs have to create a dish inspired by a Simpsons character, and are judged by Matt Groening (show creator), Matt Selman (producer and writer) and Hank Azaria (voice talent). While cooking, Susur mistakes Tony's pan of bacon fat as garbage and throws his scraps in there. Oops. Especially when the judges claim they would like more bacon taste in Tony's dish. Rick Moonen wins with his shrimp sloppy D'oh, truffle potato chips and beer dish for Homer.
Elimination Challenge: Make a delectable dish with exotic proteins from land and sea (i.e. surf and turf). Here are the dishes:
Tony: Crostino with calamari in Zimino and braised goat with goat cheese ravioli. The critics like the squid, but think he didn't use enough goat.
Marcus: Geoduck and kangaroo sausage, geoduck pearled couscous, and geoduck and kangaroo tartare. Some critics think there might be too many elements on the plate, but others think they work well together.
Rick: black chicken mousse and roulade on buttered leeks and miso-marinated monkfish liver torchon. The critics think it was well-executed, but just kind of there? I guess. They don't say much.
Susur: stuffed boneless chicken leg, torchon of monkfish liver and black chicken breast in burnt butter sauce. They like that he worked with the flavor of the proteins instead of trying to disguise them, as many others did.
Jody: Sicilian spiced roast goat leg, geoduck and chickpea chowder with polenta, and homemade harissa. They think her goat is too rare, but like the chowder.
Susan: fried sea cucumber in a rice flour batter, marinated sea cucumber with tofu and pickled ginger, and kangaroo with juniper sauce. While the critics agree there might be too much going on with the plate, they can't stop eating it.
Jonathan: giant squid fritto misto, fried duck tongue, and fideo with duck tongue. They think the food is good but there is too much food on the plate and it's kind of a jumble.
The critics announce a top two, which is kind of weird. Rick ends up with 16.5 stars and Susur has 19 stars, so he wins. Susur is kind of running away with this, isn't he? The bottom three are Jonathan, Marcus and Jody. And the chef with the lowest score is Jody, who even admitted that her rare goat was maybe not the best choice.
The seven remaining chefs enter the kitchen. Marcus reminds us in an interview that Carmen went home and that means that anyone could go, because it's not like there is a weak link.
Quickfire Challenge: Kelly tells them that they will be cooking for "true icons" today "known in every part of the world." The chefs draw knives, and each knife has the name of a Simpsons character on it. Susur gets Marge and pronounces it "Mar-guh," so he's obviously not a fan. Kelly explains that the challenge will be to create a gourmet dish for their character, and Matt Groening, the show's creator, Matt Selman, producer and writer for the show, and Hank Azaria, who voices many of the characters, will judge them. They have 45 minutes to cook. Now, I wouldn't characterize myself as a Simpsons fan, but that's only because I know so many people who have episodes practically memorized, know every character, etc. I watched every episode of the first seven or so seasons, and will watch episodes in syndication from time-to-time, but I couldn't tell you what Disco Stu said to Homer at the Flanders's yard sale (I made that up). And yet, I still think I could have come up with better dishes than some of these guys.
Time starts, and Rick is psyched because he has Homer. His first thought it so make a sloppy Joe, but to make it gourmet, he's going to use shrimp. Jonathan admits that he likes watching the show with his kids, so he's going to cook for Bart what he would cook for his kids -- pasta and grilled cheese. He should make something with beef and call it, "No, Have a Cow, Man." Susan has Moe, and she knows that he's grumpy and mean, and she imagines that he eats crappy food, so she's making Mexican hot chocolate, and donuts. I would make something alcoholic for Moe, possibly something flaming. Right?
Susur explains in an interview that the only American show he knows is the one where "this woman, she's a witch, she always move her nose?" So it's Bewitched. Susur is concerned because he's not familiar with The Simpsons and the people judging the show totally know the characters, so he's in trouble.
Marcus has Apu, and he feels like he can relate to his love of the Indian culture. Except Apu really wants to be American, doesn't he? He should make Indian food that is trying to be American, like a curried hamburger or something. Jody has Lisa, and knows that Lisa is vegetarian, so she's making a meatless meal. I wonder if the chefs got character sketches, because what if many people knew nothing about their characters? It seems like it's just Susur, but you never know. Tony has Chief Wiggum, and he wants to make "fried bacon honey pizza dough," which sounds about right. Any variation on donuts works well for Wiggum. Tony fried bacon and then wanted to use the fat later, so he set it aside to cool in the pan. Meanwhile, someone gave Susur a sketch of what Marge looks like, including the tall blue hair, so Susur is basically using food to make a picture of Marge. But he threw his scraps in Tony's bacon fat pan, because he thought it was garbage. He doesn't really apologize when Tony discovers it either. Tony is worried that his food won't have enough flavor without the bacon fat. Susur basically just tells Tony that he'll have to adapt.