Padma and Harold start tasting. Those damn white boots of hers remind me of those paper booties my mom used to put on our Christmas crown roast. Marcel has them try a Banana and Avocado Tarte with Corn Chips, Ice Cream, and Rum Cocktail. What got flambÃ©ed? Moving on to Elia, the judges try her Strawberries with Red Wine and Chocolate FlambÃ© Sauce. Harold confirms that Elia used the red wine to flambÃ©. Elia looks worried. Betty made a Spicy Coconut Curry Sauce with Steamed Mussels and Mango Couscous. Okay, again? Where's the flambÃ©? And why aren't they explaining that to us? When they get to Carlos and his Creole Shrimp FlambÃ©ed with Spanish Brandy, Harold asks, "How do you suggest I incorporate the jalapeno pepper and chilies in there, or is that purely garnish?" Loaded question. Just like you never garnish with anything inedible, you never put anything on a plate that is purely garnish and doesn't add to the overall flavor of the dish. "Purely garnish," Carlos affirms. Suyai explains her Spicy Tequila Lime Shrimp with Chunky Mango and Avocado Salsa. "I was just psyched when the flame went up. I was like, 'awesome,'" Suyai grins at us. I like her already. We get to Sam and his Espresso Shrimp FlambÃ©ed with Sambuca and served with a Roasted Hazelnut and Peanut Pesto. Nice idea, especially since Sambuca -- an anise-flavored liqueur from Italy -- is traditionally served with three espresso beans called "flies" which represent health, happiness, and prosperity. Sam explains that the shrimp was sautÃ©ed in an espresso syrup. Cool. Still don't like him, though.
The results are in, and Harold tells them that he thinks they all did a very nice job. He especially liked how they all used seasonal ingredients. However, there are three dishes he didn't especially like. He tells Carlos that he's "not about" non-functional garnishes; he didn't get Elia's dish at all and wonders why she flambÃ©ed with red wine; and he thought Suyai's seasoning was lacking and her shrimp undercooked. Harold gives props to the top three: Sam's espresso shrimp; Emily (someone we haven't really met yet, but who is a Master Cook at Nob Hill in Vegas) and her Sliced Pork Chops with Applesauce, Red Plums, and Granny Smith Apples; and Betty's mussels. The winner of the Quickfire is Sam, and he and his scrubby soup strainer will have immunity for the Elimination Challenge.