Back in the Krapmore Kitchens, the cheftestants prep for four hours. Okay, Team Feast's list of hors d'oeuvres is insane: Crab cakes, shrimp skewers, pickled mussels (yuck), calamari with dip, bread pudding (totally Betty), beef tenderloin with blue cheese, cauliflower a la plancha (totally Ted Ilan), croquetas (Ted Ilan), salmon mousse, pork confit, mushroom tart, vegetable terrine, chorizo and egg tostada (Ted Ilan). Betty brags to us about their list.
Team Famine's list includes: surf and turf canapÃ© (yay, Michael!), seared scallops with endive, smoked salmon with avocado mousse, and strawberries with mascarpone and pancetta. You know what I think about those strawberries? I think they took the whole figs-blue cheese-prosciutto theme and just changed up all the components. I know it ends up being a talked-about dish, but it sounds bizarre to me. Especially when we learn the mascarpone has rosemary in it. Ted Ilan snickers to us about Team Famine's sparse menu. Mia speaks, "Trust me on this one, guys, let's make some fucking extra crostini in case we break some so we have some extra please can we!" Prep is over and the teams move out.
Some studio Brownstone backlot is hosed down with snow fakes and decorated with all sorts of Christmas cheer. At first I wondered if this elaborate staging was really just for the benefit of a single Top Chefisode, but then I thought about how far in advance magazines finalize their book and considered that this whole thing might be so Los Angeles Magazine can get parts of their holiday issue set up and shot. Betty shrieks and woos. It's just not even enough to say, "Shut up, Betty" anymore. One really has to say SHUT YOUR BIG TOOTHED CAKEHOLE ALREADY! Otherwise, the annoyance just festers like a purple boil. The teams pile into their large mobile kitchens and examine their facility. They're all stoked as they get stuff ready. Marcel tells us, "I'm excited, I'm just going to go balls to the walls, like cooking the entire time and I'm not going to stop." Well, I think I just lost my appetite. Team Feast does some serious food flurrying.
Team Famine, on the other hand, has the Plinky Plunky Piano of Impending Loserdom playing as they appear to take a more leisurely approach. Mia thinks they're really in good shape and adds, "Since we have such high-end ingredients like the lobster and the scallops and the fillet, it's really important not to cook things too soon because we don't want to have things sitting around." Peering out of their mobile kitchen window, Mia points out to Elia that Team Feast has way too much going on. She's glad they're not doing that, so they can focus on their details.