Quickfire Challenge: The challenge is to make a new sauce based on an assigned one of the five mother sauces (béchamel, espagnole, veloute, tomate, and hollandaise). The tops are Grayson, who made a ravioli, Chris Hollywood, who made a seafood-infused veloute, and Paul, who made quail and okra. The winner is Grayson, because the guest judge thought she cooked her sauce to perfection.
Elimination Challenge: Work as a team to create a four-course steak dinner for 200 cattle ranchers at Southfork Ranch, Dallas-style. Beverly, Dakota, and Sarah are making gazpacho for the first course. Edward, Chris Moto, and Paul are making a steak carpaccio for the second course. For the third course, Ty-Lor is making the steaks, Chris Hollywood is doing the greens, Nyesha is doing the compound butter and sauce, and Whitney (who?) is doing potato gratin. Did I mention I sliced off part of my thumb a few weeks ago making potato gratin? Bad times. Don't do that, Whitney. And then Heather, Grayson, and Lindsay are doing the dessert course, and they also organize everything on service day.
During prep, people are concerned that Beverly is working too slowly and that Whitney isn't cooking her potatoes ahead of time. There is some question, though, of whether Beverly is taking a long time or if Heather is just a bully. And then Ty cuts his hand, so they have to regroup and try to figure out who will take charge of the steaks if Ty can't do it. Ty ends up getting four stitches and is up all night waiting in the emergency room. And then the next day, he is grilling two hundred steaks to medium rare all by himself. I don't know why no one is helping him, frankly. It seems pretty important.
Here are the official dish titles:
1st Course (Sarah, Beverly, Dakota): tomato-watermelon gazpacho, poached shrimp, and avocado mousse. The judges think it's well-seasoned and the shrimp is well-cooked, but the dish is a little bit safe.
2nd Course (Edward, Chris Moto, Paul): New York strip steak carpaccio, heirloom tomato salad, vinaigrette, and mushroom "bacon". The judges don't love the tomatoes, but think the steak is good. Overall, they wanted something a little more.
3rd Course (Ty-Lor, Chris Hollywood, Nyesha, and Whitney): Grilled rib-eye with potato gratin, braised greens, and compound butter. The steaks are grilled by Ty and then flashed in the oven, but Lindsay gets nervous and flashes the steaks too early, so they end up sitting around for too long and get cold and overcooked. The gratin is undercooked. They like the butter and the sauce, so Nyesha's cool.
4th Course (Heather and Lindsey): "Right Side Up" Texas peach cake, peach salad, and candied pecan streusel. The judges think the cake is fine, but disagree over whether it's sweet enough or not.
The judges decide that Heather is the winner. Maybe she should have anticipated that before she bitched out Beverly in the Stew Room as they waited to hear from the judges. Now she just looks like more of an asshole. Especially since she used Edward's recipe and didn't give him any credit.
The bottom three are Ty-Lor, Whitney, and Edward. Ty-Lor is ultimately responsible for the steaks, which were unevenly cooked. Whitney's gratin was heavy and undercooked in parts, and really boring, she has no excuse for that. Edward's tomato salad was boring, and the judges felt it was emblematic of the meal as a whole – they didn't take any risks. The judges eliminate Whitney. And seriously, plain potato gratin with no extra flavors? Or SOMETHING? I guess that's why she was invisible most of the time – she was going home, so why bother getting to know her.
After Chuy's elimination, the cheftestants are back at their suite, hanging out on the balcony. The guys are hanging out, smoking, and the ladies are in a separate group. One of the guys notes that they are outnumbered by the women, and they need to step it up. Please don't give the producers any ideas for a Men Vs. Women season. Chris Moto points out that he doesn't care about gender or whatever; he just wants to concentrate on making good food. Great point, Chris Moto. But you might also want to concentrate on a new hairstyle, because that topknot business is the pits.
Quickfire Challenge. The cheftestants enter the kitchen and find Padma, who introduces their guest judge Dean Fearing. Heather gives the requisite talking head about how he's awesome and respected and classically trained. Can we just assume by now that every guest judge is a culinary genius and save ourselves those thirty seconds? Paul interviews that he went to school at the Cordon Bleu, where they are cooking, so he's very familiar with the kitchen, but he feels like it's almost more pressure because everyone assumes he has an advantage and will do well. Well, I guess better that attitude than being cocky.
Dean Fearing is the most chipper guy ever. He reminds me of Huell Howser. Look him up on YouTube if you don't get the reference. Anyway, Padma explains that, in this challenge, they will test their skills as sauciers. Fearing explains that this is the most prestigious position on the line, and Nyesha interviews that she would love to be a saucier, because it's artistry. Grayson interviews that she's not worried because she's worked as a saucier and she's classically trained. They draw knives to learn which of the mother sauces they'll be using (béchamel, espagnole, Hollandaise, tomate, and veloute). Once the sauces are assigned, Padma explains that the challenge is to make a new sauce based on their mother sauce. The winner gets immunity.
Chris Hollywood says that he's starting by making his roux (butter and flour), which is the base of many of the mother sauces. It's true; make a bad roux and you make a bad sauce. I have burned my roux and had to start over so many times. Grayson says that she's feeling saucy. Get it? Paul says he has espagnole, which is beef or veal stock-based, and he's adding lemongrass and ginger. He's concerned, since he hasn't made a mother sauce since culinary school. Ed has béchamel, which can be kind of bland all on its own but takes on other flavors really easily. He's adding in a vegetable, in the form of cauliflower. I don't know about that one. Wouldn't you want something with a stronger flavor? It's all so...white. Beverly has espagnole and she explains that she's taking a risk by making it avant garde, but she doesn't explain how she's doing that exactly.