The finalists hang out in the kitchen and taste one another's food. Ed thinks that Kevin could win, and Kevin thinks that anyone could win. Angelo thinks he's going to win. The sous chefs leave (but not before MVolt gets one more jab in about how this was the second-best food the show has ever seen) and now it's time for judging.
Judges' Table. I would like to again take the opportunity for thanking production for finally adding that missing apostrophe. The art of the apostrophe is lost in this culture. The judges start with Angelo, who they think took technique that he already had and added local touches. Padma has an issue with the cherry shooter, which was hardly a palate cleanser, and Angelo starts to instruct her on how to eat it, but Tom says (rightly) that dishes shouldn't require a user manual. They move on to praise Ed's duck, but question his dessert. Gail thinks it was typical Ed: it is what it is and either you like it or you don't. Tom liked it okay, but he thought the finale deserved something a little more interesting, especially given the competition. Ed wonders what he was supposed to do, and explains that he was worried about screwing up a more complicated dish. That's a dumb thing to say in the finals. It's one thing to play it safe early on, but the finals is where you make something great. The judges talk to Kevin. There are some issues with the spiciness of some of his dishes, but they call his other food "smart and well done," and have nothing but praise for his dessert. The finalists are excused so that the judges can talk.
Gail thought it was all excellent food, and Padma liked seeing each finalist's take, since they started with the same ingredients. The first complaint is that Angelo's vegetable dish wasn't a vegetable dish, and that Kevin's dish was too timid. So Ed wins the first round. In the second round, they thought Ed's dish was unfocused and confusing, and he didn't feature the rouget, while Kevin's dish has harmonious ingredients, and Angelo's dish was great, and Gail thought that the broth was "lovely." Moving on to the third dish, the judges think that Angelo's dish needed a little more refinement and planning. They liked Ed's stuffed duck neck, but his duck was a little overcooked. And Kevin cooked his duck perfectly and took a lot of care with the details. And finally, they liked Angelo's dessert, but were underwhelmed by Ed's dish, and they didn't like his comment about being scared of screwing something up. And Kevin's dessert was complex and tasty.