As the judges get to tasting, they try Kristen's pasta first, and Chris mentions that a bunch of his friends have already said it was their favorite dish. Gail says she was dubious about the apricots but it goes well with the rich cream cheese. Rick can't wait to go back for another bite. Next up is Micah's dish which Tom immediately says has too much cream. I guess he's talking about the puree; remember that Micah had to add more cream to improve the texture. Rick thinks it has many components, like other dishes, but unlike those other dishes, the components don't work together.
Gail doesn't know what happened with Lizzie's salmon, which wasn't seared enough, and tasted like a Filet-O-Fish. Ouch. Lizzie knows it was bad, and she's worried. Tom is really visibly mystified by Eliza's carrots, which are undercooked and bland, but Gail likes her huckleberry sauce.
Weird interstitial. Chris and Anna improv a scene as if they were contestants on The Bachelorette.
Danyele is really nervous, even though she knows that she's qualified to be on the show, and she serves pan-roasted wild boar, hoppin' John, and tomato-bacon marmalade. Chris is psyched to see wild boar. Josh made roasted pork shoulder & grilled corn puree with succotash and fennel apple salad. Josie, who I kind of forgot was on the show, made Malbec-braised short ribs, pork belly, polenta with cippolini onions and figs. And finally, John made seafood chowder with cockles, manila clams, crab, mussels, and sockeye salmon. John admits that he learned to make this chowder from Rick Moonen, who greets him with a grin.
The judges try the boar first. Chris loves the marmalade, but Tom thinks the boar is sliced too thin and Gail adds that it's bland and cooked unevenly. Moving on to Josh's pork, they're all amused by how gigantic the portion is, but the problem that Gail and Anna both point out is that it's bland and underseasoned. Anna's brother comes over and he and Chris talk about how they hunt together and they ate raw squirrel heart together. Gross.
Rick thinks Josie's dish sounded great but there wasn't enough contrast. Anna loved John's chowder and Rick calls it "a hug from the ocean." Padma thought every component was cooked perfectly and the salmon skin is "divine."