Padma suggests trying Mattin's ceviche first. Tom urges Tim to go first, and he says that the cod is fishy. Whatever Tom puts in his mouth, he immediately looks kind of pale and walks away and spits the food out, explaining that it was raw. Meanwhile, Mattin is interviewing that he thinks his dish was awesome. Robin's shrimp is up next, and they all complain that the shrimp is way too salty. Robin interviews that she didn't taste her shrimp before sending it out, which was a mistake. After those two horror shows, Ash's chicken seems pretty good, although Gail points out that she can taste a lot of bacon grease.
Bryan made roasted pork loin, corn polenta, "dandy-lion" greens, and rutabaga. Jen made snapper with duck confit, daikon, carrot and tomato water salad. I still don't get tomato water. I remember saying this in past seasons. Basically, you puree tomatoes and then drain them in cheesecloth, and the water that comes out -- that's tomato water. Weird. Ashley made seared halibut with avocado mousse, bacon, tomato and braised romaine. She was inspired by a BLT.
The judges try Bryan's plate first, and they're very impressed. Gail says she would feel confident camping with him. Gail! You are a married woman! Colicchio adds that it proves you can put together a nice plate under difficult circumstances. They like Jen's slaw, and think her dish is perfectly cooked, even if it's a little routine. Tim likes Ashley's avocado, and Gail adds that it's the best thing that Ashley's cooked for them so far. Nice to have her do well, since she's struggled at times and gotten stuck with bad partners. I really think the secret ingredient is that she washed her hair, though.
The judges approach the final table. Ron made coconut, lime and mango ceviche, along with a coconut Haitian mojito. I'm not sure why he made a cocktail, especially since he's serving it in half a coconut and it just looks weird. Kevin made roasted duck breast with mole and tequila-marinated watermelon. Mike V. made dashi with miso and mirin-cured black cod and watermelon. Doesn't seem very ranch-y, but neither does duck nor ceviche, so I guess he's good.
The judges start with Ron's ceviche. Tim thinks it's the best ceviche of the day, but Padma thinks the cocktail is disgusting. Gail is in love with Mike V.'s dish, and Tim likes it but thinks it's unexpected. Not sure if that is good or bad. Padma loves the presentation of Kevin's dish, and Gail says that the duck is beautifully cooked. Padma thinks they should all get out of the heat. The cheftestants pack up and head out, mock-arguing over who's going to get the first shower.