Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish based on a wine pairing. Kevin has the least successful pairing, mostly because he wanted to make pork, but screwed it up and had to substitute quail at the least minute. Kelly's is also not good because of her stupid blue cheese emulsion. The tops are Angelo with a foie gras and Tiffany for her beef dish, and the winner of a trip to London is Angelo.
After tonight's challenge, the remaining cheftestants will be going to Singapore to finish out the competition. The final Elimination Challenge at Goddard Space Center is to design a dish meant to be eaten in zero gravity, meaning that it can be freeze dried and sent into space. They are advised not to use too much sugar, to have small pieces, and to make it spicy.
Here are the dishes and judge reactions:
Kelly: pan-roasted halibut with artichoke and fennel barigoule and a salsa verde salad. The fish is well-cooked, and while freeze-drying the liquid might be a problem, one of the astronauts likes the crunch of the artichokes.
Ed: yogurt-marinated rack of lamb with eggplant puree and couscous croquette. The food is cooked and seasoned well. Ripert thinks it's too complicated, but Bourdain (did I mention he's a guest judge?) thinks Ed nailed Morocco. The astronauts note that it would be difficult to dispose of the bone in space.
Kevin: grilled New York strip with bacon-jalapeno marmalade and corn puree with crispy Vidalia onions. The flavors are good, but the NASA lady nixes the onions, because they couldn't be made crisp.
Tiffany: pan-seared Alaskan halibut with coconut curry, snow pea shoots and jasmine rice. Ripert doesn't see the connection between the ingredients, but he loves the fish sauce.
Angelo: ginger-lacquered short rib with the side dish of the season, pea puree, and horseradish crème fraiche. Tom thought it was successful except for the candied ginger, and Ripert thinks it's too acidic. Bourdain thought it was sophisticated.
The judges have a hard time naming a loser, because the dishes were all good and very close in quality. The winner is Angelo, who is shocked, because he thought his dish was going to send him home. And then, holy shit, they send Tiffany home. Damn. I really thought it was going to be Kevin. WOW. On to Singapore.
The typical morning after shots open the episode. This time Kevin gets to narrate the preparations. Kevin admits that he didn't think Amanda would make it as far as he did, but he also didn't know if he would make it as far as he did. And now they are one elimination away from the finale, so he just needs to make it through this week and he gets to be there. An atypically humble speech from Kevin, who's usually talking about how he or one of his friends got ripped off by an inferior cheftestant, no?
Kelly and Angelo are sitting outside smoking. I should never be surprised when cheftestants smoke, but I'm somehow surprised about Kelly. Anyway, Angelo asks her if she misses her husband. This has to be a setup for either her being eliminated or a future storyline about her messing up her cooking because she misses her husband, or possibly a visit from home? Which they don't really do on this show, so I'm going with the first or second options. Kelly interviews that she's so used to discussing her day with her husband, who's always been supportive. And to be fair, it kind of goes beyond the typical marital relationship, since she and her husband work together too. So she misses him as a business partner, collaborator, and spouse. Meanwhile, Angelo explains that he got divorced last year, and he blames the divorce on the fact that his in-laws didn't support his profession. Yeah, I'm sure that was the problem. Especially since Angelo is already engaged again. That seems a little fishy. Anyway, Angelo claims that he's never had a doubt that he's going to win this competition, which seems a bit misguided since we saw him having major doubts and showing immense relief when he wasn't eliminated. But whatever! Let's just rewrite history to fit our own personal storyline!
Elimination Challenge. In the kitchen, the cheftestants find a table with many bottles of wine on it. This is going to shock you, but Angelo is really passionate about wine. Wouldn't he be? Like if I had asked you ahead of time, "Which cheftestant is a total nerd about wine, and talks about the notes and the oaky blah blah blah?," ninety-nine percent of you would have said Angelo. So, of course. Anyway, Padma introduces Dana Cowin, the editor of Food and Wine. Ed interviews that she knows a lot about food and a lot of about wine. Can we infer, then, that the editor of Car and Driver knows a lot about cars and a lot about drivers? Does the editor of Rolling Stone know a lot about rolling and a lot about stones? Anyway, thanks for the tip, Ed.