Nikki's worried about whether or she can make a sauce that won't coagulate with the industrial size blocks of Velveeta she found lying around in someone's pantry (actually, that may not be too far-fetched). Richard babbles on about needing to be himself through paella and about how serving paella at a block party makes him a visionary. Offering his take on the resident/judge conundrum, Richard reveals that he's cooking for the judges, because "if food is good enough for those four, then 150 people should enjoy it as well." Cunningly phrased, you snob. As she pulls bits of fried goodness from the fryer, Stephanie explains that she's the mastermind behind the idea of using gyoza wrappers, fried in Mexican cinnamon and sugar, as the base for the fruity dessert.
Over on Red Team, Jennifer is working with a large amount of ground meat as she elaborates on their menu: sliders (Jennifer), corn dogs (Erik), pork skewers (Dale), sangria (Andrew -- something boozy to woo the adults), Waldorf salad (Ryan), pasta salad (Zoi), taco salad (Spike), and s'mores. Erik feels bad because Zoi got stuck with "the shit end of the stick," or pasta salad, and Zoi acknowledges that she believes a pasta salad is not gong to win Top Chef. Maybe so, sister, but right about now you best be working your ass off on a mind-blowing pasta salad.
Colicchio wanders by and wonders what, exactly, Blue Team, makes a drink sexy. Lavender, simple syrup, fresh-squeezed citrus, and on-site carbonation. Yes, asks Tom, but what's sexy about it? For Nikki, it's lavender. Whatever one may think about lavender, I just can't believe there's no booze in it -- that's just not sexy at all. Erik expresses comfort with the corn dog -- he does a lobster version at his restaurant, and, speaking for Red Team, emphasizes that this challenge is a real team effort with everyone offering honest feedback on each dish. When Colicchio asks about Ryan's Waldorf salad, Ryan explains that while his grandmother would have chosen mayonnaise (there it is again!), he's going with a white balsamic base instead. Colicchio: "Funny thing is, the mayonnaise is what keeps everything fresh." Ryan: D'oh. Jennifer: "Uh, we, uh, roasted some apples . . ."