Padma explains the structure of the challenge. They will serve their dishes head-to-head against someone from the other team, and the winning dish earns a point. When all is said and done, only those from the winning team who earned a point will be up for the win, and only those from the losing team who lost a point will be up for elimination. So you want to be on the winning team, obviously, but you definitely don't want to have the worst dish on the losing team. Tony adds that there will be strategy involved in deciding the order in which to serve the dishes. It's not clear to me if they are supposed to have a team theme for all the dishes or just make individual dishes.
The teams break up to plan their menus. Spike wants to make something brothy and easy to break down. He supposes that the other team will be more "cerebral" (and with Blais, Marcel, and Dale all on one team, that's a good bet), so he wants his team to go for more balance. Team Orange is discussing their food. Carla wants to do an African peanut stew, which is vegetarian. Dale tells the team that the US Open is an upscale event. Because normally, they all cook hamburgers and French fries, right? Okay, maybe Spike does. Dale disses her idea in an interview, saying that's not what people want to eat. Mike thinks they need to go step-by-step, since it's a team challenge. I have no idea what that even means, but I just thought I'd throw it in there to show how sometimes Mike feels like he needs to say something so it looks like he's contributing to the effort, but really he's not helping much at all.
The cheftestants return to their apartment and immediately break up into teams again to discuss food and strategy. On Team Orange, Carla talks about how she thinks their dishes are really global. Mike adds that they just need to cook good food. See? He says things, but doesn't really add anything. Really, Mike? Here I was thinking that the goal was to cook bad food, but you have truly enlightened me. Team Orange seems pretty mellow about a serving strategy. I'm surprised Blais isn't taking more of a leadership role, though, since the other chefs really seem to defer to him most of the time.
Team Yellow is talking serving strategy and of course, Spike takes the lead. Angelo is wearing a gross tank top. Ugh. Men should not wear tank tops unless they look like Tre. I'm just saying. Or if it's really hot out, which it doesn't seem to be. Anyway, Spike suggests that they serve their worst dish first, against the other team's best dish. Then the other team's best dish is wasted, is the plan. There are a few problems I can see with this strategy. First, they're assuming that the other team will serve their best dish first, or that there will even be a clearly-defined best dish. With chefs of this caliber, I would imagine that there will be multiple dishes that are good. The other problem that I see is that they're assuming that they will be able to clearly define who made the worst dish on their team. Do they really think someone is going to stand up and go, "Yeah, my dish is awful." I mean, it's one thing if it's like Carla's quinoa, but that happens rarely, especially this season. Angelo seems to hop right on board with this idea, but the rest of the team just kind of goes along because they don't have an alternative to suggest, I assume. No one points out any reasons why it's flawed that we see.