The cheftestants travel by helicopter and dog sled to meet Tom and Padma on a glacier and participate in their final Quickfire: make a dish using only ingredients found in the dog sledding camp, so not a ton of fresh foods other than fish and eggs and limited produce. Brooke and Sheldon both do halibut while Josh does (surprise!) breakfast. Tom determines that Brooke's is the most sophisticated and layered.
The final three return home to find that Emeril and guest judge Roy Choi are cooking them lunch. As they eat, Roy Choi talks about how he was a loser until he saw Emeril on television cooking short ribs. Emeril talks about how he started washing dishes in a Portuguese bakery and the chefs taught him how to bake. As you might expect, the Elimination Challenge is to cook a dish that represents the defining moment in their culinary history.
In between prep and actually cooking, Josh's baby -- a little girl named Georgia -- is born.
The judges are Gail, Tom, Emeril, Wolfgang and guest judge Roy Choi. Sheldon made pan-roasted rockfish, spot prawns, baby vegetables and dashi. The judges think the fish is all cooked perfectly and love the presentation, but Sheldon oversalted the food, and Tom laments that it could be the one mistake that keeps Sheldon out of the finale.
Brooke made braised chicken, grilled quail with carrot barley and pickled vegetables. The judges love the homey flavors and the variety on the plate. Their one critique is that the quail is slightly overcooked, but they don't seem too upset about it.
Josh made foie gras three ways: torchon, pan-seared and profiterole. The judges like some of the flavors but Tom thinks that Josh pushed a little too hard, especially since it's nearly impossible to make a torchon in one day (according to Tom).
Brooke wins by unanimous decision. The judges have a tough time deciding between Josh and Sheldon, but ultimately they send Josh home. I'm not surprised; his final dish was not his food at all. There was nothing about it that seemed like what Josh has cooked this season. Now he heads to Last Chance Kitchen and Brooke and Sheldon head to the finale.
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So Josh, Brooke, and Sheldon are the top three. Josh is worried about his wife, who is due any moment. As they go to eat breakfast, they find a letter from Padma telling them to head to Eagle Crest for their next Quickfire. They drive up into the mountains and they find a helicopter. Brooke is freaked out because she's scared of heights. She has a lot of fears. She might want to look into that. It's a fifteen minute ride.
Brooke manages to overcome her anxiety and hop in the helicopter with Sheldon and Josh. She refuses to look at the scenery, even though it's breathtaking. Finally, she does look and realizes how amazing it is. They land on a glacier and find dogs everywhere. Out of nowhere, Sheldon interviews that he "would die for some good reefer." Not that I'm surprised, but where did that come from? Anyway, they hop on a dog sled and take a ride behind some dogs up to where Tom and Padma are waiting for them.
Padma greets them and says they're standing on Norris Glacier, and only two of them will move on to the finale. But first, they have a Quickfire Challenge. Padma says that people are here training for the Iditarod, and the food they've been eating has been less than gourmet. So their challenge is to create a dish using the food they find in the pantry. Padma also says that this is their last Quickfire before the finale.
Sheldon has never seen snow before. I forget, growing up and living in Upstate NY, that there are people who've never seen snow. That's like never breathing air to me. Anyway, they find food and slightly upgraded camp-type equipment. Brooke and Sheldon are both cooking halibut, while Josh is doing breakfast as usual. While cooking, they have to run out to a bunch of coolers to gather ingredients, and then run back into the tent where the stoves are. Josh intends to fry some eggs but he doesn't have time because he's running back and forth so much so he ends up scrambling them. Brooke can't get a good sear on her fish because the stoves are kind of amateur-hour.
Brooke serves her food to Tom, Padma, and the sled drivers first. I guess the dogs eat later. She made pan-roasted halibut, panzanella salad with red currant and beet vinaigrette. Tom likes the flavors, especially the arugula, and the crunch of the bread.
Padma proposes that they move on to breakfast and, voice dripping with sarcasm, says it's "shocking" that Josh made this dish. Whoa, Padma. Now that Stefan's gone, are you taking your venom on Josh? I'm fine with that, actually. Josh made a cornmeal cake with Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon. It sounds delicious but it doesn't really seem like the level of refinement necessary at this point in the competition. Tom doesn't get the egg texture, because Josh screwed it up, but the drivers like the corncake.