Each cheftestant comes up and pulls the slot machine's arm, and we start to get a taste for how dumb the keywords are. It seems to be a word that describes a mood (romantic, stressed (?), blue, etc.) and then a word that describes a flavor (spicy, tart, cheesy, umami, etc.) and then a type of cuisine (Latin American, Asian, etc.). But some of the mood words make no sense. Stressed? How do you make food that is stressed? That is just dumb, especially for a Quickfire, where you have very little time to ruminate on what stressed food might be. We don't get to see everyone's words, so I won't list them out here, but I'll explain them when I list the final dishes made. Also, one of the flavor words is cheesy, which doesn't seem to fit the category very well.
Various cheftestants try to explain to us what umami means. Eli goes right for the mushrooms, since one of his words is umami, and he interprets it as meaning "earthy." And then everyone else who has umami wants mushrooms, but Eli is loath to give them up. Mike I. is freaked out because he's never cooked Asian food, and that's his assigned style. Ashley has Middle Eastern, which is out of her comfort zone, but she's feeling more confident since she's been in the top recently. Robin is also confident after winning the last Quickfire, even if she knows her fellow cheftestants hate her. Jen is sick. Don't know if I mentioned that. She's not confident in her food as a result. They are really pushing the Jen no-confidence thing lately, and I've noticed that a lot of the other cheftestants don't put her in their top four, even though she's won a lot of challenges. Sexism? Hard to say.
Time to eat! I'm going to put each dish in its own paragraph for clarity.
Mike I. had stressed, umami, and Asian. So is he supposed to smush some mushrooms and then stir fry them? This is why, among many reasons, I would fail on this show. Anyway, he made a raw mushroom salad with yuzu emulsion. He doesn't explain how that fits his keywords, and the judges don't ask, that we see.
Laurine had romantic, tart, and Latin American. See, her words kind of make sense. I can see how a dish could be romantic. Anyway, her interpretation was crusted goat cheese salad with orange jalapeno vinaigrette and hibiscus flowers. I don't know how it tastes, but I think it fits her theme.