Quickfire Challenge: Team up with a Top Chef Master to create an Asian dish. The cooking is done tag-team style, with each chef getting two turns at the dish and they don't get to talk to one another when switching places. And while people are cooking, Padma and guest judge Emeril are peeking at them through a window? It's all kind of weird. Anyway, the cheftestants are last to go, so they are really in charge of how the dish finishes. Sarah wins for a crab and fish dish that Emeril feels had all of the proper Asian notes, and she gets twenty grand. I don't know why they bothered having a Quickfire this week. It was an interesting challenge but kind of pointless.
Elimination Challenge: Cook a dish and a cocktail for a "Fire and Ice" party, so the dish has to contain both a hot and cold element. There's very little drama in the kitchen, which is nice for the cheftestants but kind of boring to watch (and recap). Here's what they served:
Paul: King crab with lobster broth and lemon snow and his cocktail is "the Pan Am" featuring Kaffir lime, Thai chilies, palm sugar and rum. Tom is really, really mad that Paul put arugula in as a garnish, because he thinks every ingredient should have a purpose. Everyone likes the cocktail, but the soup gets varied reactions.
Sarah: five greens filled pasta with garlic, chili and spiced sformato (like a denser soufflé). Her cocktail is an "Agrumi": gin, kumquats and mango. The judges note that the sformato is semi-frozen, which isn't ideal, but think the pasta is great. They like the cocktail, but don't think it pairs well with the dish.
Lindsay: halibut with fiery celery root salad and tomato ice. The cocktail is "Encendido": vodka, tomato, and horseradish. It's a Bloody Mary. The dish seems to be unevenly seasoned, since Emeril says his is really hot but Tom says that his isn't at all. They all like the tomato ice, and think the cocktail works with the dish but is kind of flat on its own. Tom hates the raw kale, much like he hated the arugula. Tom hates greens.
Ultimately, Lindsay is told to pack her knives and go because the judges feel like her dish wasn't fully thought out in concept (which it kind of wasn't -- she threw the ice in at the last minute).
After Beverly's elimination, the three finalists drink champagne and toast to being in the finals together, which is what they hoped for all along.
Lindsay, Sarah, and Paul drive to Vancouver and play the Name Game with celebrities. Unfortunately, it's edited out of order so unless you know how the game is played, it makes no sense. But they do laugh a lot. Paul interviews that they've all become friends, but they also know that in the kitchen, competition trumps friendship. They arrive at their hotel and don their chef coats. Lindsay interviews that they don't know if they'll be doing a Quickfire or just heading straight into an Elimination challenge.
The cheftestants head to Chinatown and enter a restaurant. Padma congratulates them on making the final three, and then she introduces Emeril, like I thought he was a judge on this season, so why is she introducing him? Weird. Anyway, Padma says that this Quickfire will involve "mashing it up with the masters of Asian cuisine." Three chefs walk in: Anita Lo, Floyd Cardoz, and Takashi Yagahashi. Sarah starts jumping up and down and squealing, and her over-the-top reactions would be SO annoying in real life. Anyway, she knows Takashi from Chicago so that's worthy of jumping and screaming. Relax, lady.
The three cheftestants draw knives to be paired up with a Master. Paul gets Takashi to Sarah's chagrin, Sarah gets Floyd, and Lindsay gets Anita. Paul looks worried and he interviews that even though he has an Asian background, he doesn't like the expectation that he'll win. Padma explains the challenge: work with your partner to create an Asian dish. They will have forty minutes, and have to tag out every ten minutes. The winner gets $20,000, which is no chump change.
They don't get to discuss anything before cooking and the Masters go first. Sarah says that the first ten minutes in the kitchen is generally just organizing your station. Takashi grabs geoduck clams (the ones that looks like giant penises) and hopes that Paul will know what he wants to do. Padma and Emeril are peeking in the kitchen through a little window, which is strange. And Emeril is muttering things while the chefs are inches away from him but pretending they can't hear. Odd. Anita wants to make scallops three ways. Floyd says he feels a lot of pressure because Sarah is relying on him to win, and he wants to make a curry. He sets up his station in a way that he hopes lets Sarah know what he was thinking.
Time to switch! The cheftestants run in and try to figure out what the heck is going on. Lindsay figures out that Anita has deconstructed the scallop, and she's worried that she will do something to embarrass Anita because it's not at all what she had planned. Takashi is telling the others how to prepare the geoduck with mushrooms. Meanwhile, Paul is looking for mushrooms, so he seems to be on the right track, although he's a little concerned that Takashi chose geoduck, since it's "an acquired taste and texture." That's a nice way of saying, "It tastes weird and most people don't like it." Sarah recognizes that Floyd is making a curry, and she doesn't know much about that, so she decides to make a cold crab salad. Cut to Floyd saying that he hopes she only uses the crab legs; she used the whole crab. And...switch! Once out of the kitchen, the cheftestants agree that they all feel like they didn't do anything.