Biking, biking, biking. Grayson is riding one-handed and holding the pan of chicken on her hand. And it's hot. And she doesn't have an oven mitt. They all arrive at the Alamo and head into the kitchen (there's a kitchen?) which is weirdly nice. They all start plating and mixing and reheating and whatnot as the judges arrive. It's Tom, Padma, Gail, and Pee-wee. Lindsay's dish didn't turn out, although she doesn't explain why, but she's confident in the flavors. They have five minutes left, and it's being served family style, so they have to put it in one big pan. Paul thinks he's gone too heavy on the sweet and sour sauce, so he adds more pickles, and now he's worried that he's ruined his dish. Time to serve!
Since they're serving family style, all of the cheftestants come out and describe their dishes. Sarah goes first, and presents her summer vegetable egg salad with chicken skin vinaigrette. Grayson made an egg, spinach, and gorgonzola stuffed chicken with butternut roasted squash. Lindsay serves stuffed zucchini with beef cheeks, rice, and goat cheese. Ed serves chicken and grits with raw corn, and kale salad with red-eye gravy. And finally, Paul presents roasted chicken with a red curry gastrique, and summer salad with basil blossom oil.
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.