The cheftestants leave, and the judges dig into Sarah's dish first. Tom comments that he's sure Pee-wee expected a more traditional egg salad, with chopped eggs and mayonnaise. Sarah has made a green salad with eggs on it. Gail thinks the eggs were cooked beautifully, and that her chicken skin vinaigrette is genius. Tom likes the dish, but there's no salt or pepper on the eggs. That is terrible. I eat hard-boiled eggs with the salt shaker in one hand, and then salt each bite. Is that normal?
Onto Lindsay's zucchini boats: Gail likes the presentation. Padma loves the flavor of the vinaigrette (and is more animated about that opinion than she's been about anything all season) but thinks that and the goat cheese are overwhelming the delicate greens. Pee-wee likes the "little boats" (no comment) and thinks the whole dish is very tasty. This is why I hate non-foodie judges. They don't know what they like, and if they dislike something, they don't know why, or can't explain it. It's kind of the same when they have block parties or festivals and show comments from the guests. They're all either, "It was really tasty!" or "I didn't like it." Wow, that's fascinating, except not at all fascinating.
Pee-wee really likes the grits and gravy, although he can't identify some of the flavors (see?). Tom says there's mustard in the sauce. Pee-wee thinks the texture of the chicken is odd, and Tom agrees, saying that it's just on the edge of being undercooked. I know from reading Gail's blog that it's because Ed cooked the chicken in beef tallow; would have been nice if they had mentioned that on the show.
The judges move on to Grayson's stuffed chicken. Gail likes the yolk inside the chicken, and thinks the squash is great. Tom likes the squash and bacon, but doesn't understand the fresh salad addition. It's sort of like a fall dish and a spring dish on the same plate. I get what he's saying; it's like pumpkin and asparagus: both can be delicious, but you wouldn't eat them together. It's why lamb and asparagus goes well together. They're both spring foods. Then there's a dumb joke about runny yolks that doesn't bear repeating.
What about Paul's food? Gail loves the Thai flavors, but Padma thinks it's a little too sweet with not enough heat. Tom disagrees, and says that the use of the pickled vegetables cuts into the sweetness. Pee-wee points out that Paul's plate is emptier than any of the others. Well, he may have just made smaller portions.