The guests arrive in the first home, that of the Whitmans. Meanwhile, the cheftestants who are making appetizers are getting ready to plate. Lindsay explains that she's making a dish with raw, poached and roasted items, and that's her idea of balance. Out in the living room, Padma learns that Mrs. Whitman is Canadian, and so is Gail, so they chit chat about maple syrup and hockey. Paul interviews that he's always pushing himself to do better. They all plate their food. Chris Moto is worried whether the guests will think his dish is awesome or if they wonder why he served them a cigar. Sarah is second-guessing her plating because it's not as whimsical as Chris's. Sarah, don't worry. No one wants to eat a cigar.
Appetizers are served! First is Chris Moto with roasted chicken cigar with sweet corn, collard greens and cumin ash. Basically, it looks like a lit, half-burned cigar. Also, it's green. So it's a moldy cigar. Yum! I mean, I applaud his creativity. I just don't know that food shaped like a stinky moldy cigar is ever a good idea. Sarah made Roman-style grilled artichoke with date puree. Lindsay made roasted and raw beet salad with chickpeas and Greek vinaigrette. Whitney (who?) serves seared scallop over sweet corn puree. Paul offers up fried Brussels sprouts with grilled prosciutto.
As the diners sample the food, the dessert couple reveals that they've only been married for a month. They had a small wedding and Gail jokes, "Seven hundred people?" No, they actually had eight hundred. And the appetizer couple had twelve hundred. WTF? Who knows that many people? I could invite everyone I know from kindergarten to college, various jobs, etc. and I still wouldn't get to twelve hundred. That's ridiculous.
Anyway, on to the food. Everyone has trouble eating Chris's cigar, because it's really wide and difficult to get your mouth around. Did he think about that when plating it? And then when people try to take a bite, they drag half the wrapper off and yuck. Tom adds that it's dry on top of all that. Disaster. The diners love Sarah's artichoke dish, and think it's grilled perfectly. John Besh thinks Lindsay's beets are boring but one of the idiot wives says that it's very colorful. Tom just giggles because she's an idiot. Seriously, that's what the expression on his face says. Everyone loved Paul's Brussels sprouts, because they are crunchy and tasty. All we hear about Whitney's dish is that it's boring, like Whitney.
Moving on to the Entrée course! Before everyone arrives, Chuy realizes that his salmon is overcooked, but he serves it anyway. Heather and Ty-Lor have a mutual admiration society, because they were friends before coming on the show. Gail comments that there's a lot of pressure on the cheftestants serving the main course. Ty-Lor is worried about his presentation, since that's a big part of this challenge. He's not worried about his flavors, but he thinks it looks bad.