Quickfire Challenge: It's a leg challenge, where the chefs have to prepare some sort of legs (crab, chicken, octopus, etc.) in 45 minutes and will be judged by Jay Rayner and Jason Lezak, Olympic gold medal swimmer. Susan wins with cumin-cilantro chicken with pickled tomatoes on quinoa and raisin pilaf. Jay seemed especially grouchy during judging, and most of the other chefs got quite low scores.
Elimination Challenge: Throw a tailgate party for USC fans, with everything cooked on a Weber kettle grill. Here are the dishes:
Jonathan: New York steak tacos with grilled vegetables and bordelaise sauce. The critics don't like the stale tortilla, but think the grilled vegetables are great. Some of the other chefs question why Jonathan would make tacos when he's up against Susan, who makes them for a living.
Rick: Chermoula grilled chicken with baba ghanoush and spicy slaw on pita bread. The critics think it looks ugly but tastes great.
Marcus: grilled chicken and shrimp soup, grilled vegetable couscous and a burger. The critics think there are too many components for tailgating, but it tastes good. Who has soup at a tailgate? Chili, sure. But soup?
Susur: Korean-style skirt steak with roasted cauliflower and Austrian dumplings. The critics know that it's untraditional tailgating food but like it anway.
Tony: grilled pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes, Romano, arugula and prosciutto. The critics think the pizza tastes good but the dough is overcooked.
Susan: skirt steak tacos, black bean and corn salsa, and roasted pepper salsas. I would totally choose her and Tony for my tailgate party. The critics only say that her food is hot, as in spicy.
Some of the chefs (Jonathan, Tony) get a little touchy about the criticism. Susan ends up winning the challenge, which is no surprise, given that she runs a taco truck out of her restaurant. The bottom three are Jonathan, Tony and Rick. They don't have the huge disparity between the critics' scores and the diners' scores this week, and Tony ends up going home.
The final six chefs return to the kitchen for the next challenge. Susan reminds us that Jody left last week, and that means that Susan is the last female chef in the kitchen. Susan adds that it's typical in this field to be the lone woman in the kitchen full of guys.
Quickfire Challenge. The chefs have to cook a dish using legs. They're offered an assortment: rabbit, chicken, duck, frog, even octopus, which I believe are more properly called tentacles since legs seem like something that you walk on, but we'll let it slide. Rick interviews that he loves legs, because they are typically a darker meat. The judges are Jay Rayner and Jason Lezak, Olympic swimmer who probably knows nothing about food, so what? Anyway, they have forty-five minutes to cook and can apparently cook whatever they want.
When time starts, people practically shove each other aside to get the protein of their choice. Rick, for some unknown reason, goes straight to the octopus. Wasn't he just talking about how he likes the darker meat on legs? Is that true of the octopus? Anyway, no one else wanted octopus, so he got it easily. He's worried that it will be tough, given the lack of time for cooking, so he's going to pan sear and then roast it. Susur compares their competition to the Olympics as, I swear to God, what sounds like the theme to Battle of the Network Stars plays in the background. Jonathan gets his typical plonky Lost-type music as he wanders around looking for pasta, and explains that he figured swimmers eat a lot of pasta, plus he was going for an aquatic theme with swimming and water and crabs. He's making pasta with crab meat, mint, and jalapeno. Jonathan uses a saucepan to crack open crab legs.
Marcus reveals that he and Rick were neighbors in NYC, in that their restaurants were right next to one another, so he's familiar with how much of a competitor Rick is. Marcus is going to cook frog legs, which don't have a lot of flavor but have texture, and he's taking a risk with his preparation. Susan explains her approach to challenges: she tries to think of a dish she likes that would fit the challenge instead of coming up with something on the spot. Good idea. At least it's usually something she's made before, or a variation on that. Anyway, for this one, she thought about how she likes chicken skin, so she decided to fry the chicken legs and then slow cook them, and she's also making quinoa and a chipotle-cumin sauce. She knows it's a lot, and worries she won't have time.