Sheldon made green tea and chive sourdough with smoked salmon and pea soup. Padma makes a sour face (no pun intended) when she tries the bread, and says that while she loves green tea and chive, she doesn't like them together. Yeah, that doesn't seem like a great combination. Emeril adds that his bread needed salt. Gail thought the salmon was cooked well but didn't like the charred flavor, and Padma agrees that it was smoky. Sean didn't like how Sheldon ground his tongs into the salmon when serving (that seems picky), but liked the soup. Hugh thought the soup was too thick and seemed like baby food. Yikes. The locals are shocked the Sheldon chose to cook the chum variety along with the sockeye, since no one eats it locally. I mean, look at the name. It sounds like what they use in Jaws to lure the shark.
Weird interstitial: Emeril tells the tale of how, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, his chef took his sourdough starter out of the fridge and kept it going while he was evacuated from the city, until they finally got back into the restaurant three months later. I hope he gave that guy a raise.
Josh made roasted garlic sourdough soup with sockeye salmon and black olive croutons. Hugh notes that the salmon is very well-cooked. Tom thinks the soup has a lot of flavor, but he's not sure how well it goes with the salmon, because it's got a strong garlic flavor. Emeril really likes the crunch of the croutons and Gail appreciates that Josh used the bread as a crouton instead of just giving them a hunk of bread on the side.
Lizzie made citrus and beet glazed salmon slider with poppy seed butter and pickles. She tells the judges that she didn't want to do soup since everyone else was. Gail likes the pickles and Hugh notes that she's the only one who got a good crust on her bread. Hugh doesn't understand the glaze, and Tom doesn't get why she didn't marinate the salmon in the glaze to give it more flavor. Emeril thinks her dish is too simple for this point in the competition. Padma's final word is that she loves the sourdough. We get it, Padma. You eat carbs. Congratulations.
The judges walk around and talk to some locals. One dude loved Brooke's bread, and another is pleased that Sheldon used chum salmon even though no one ever does that, ever. As the judges leave, someone yells out, "Bye bye Emeril, I love youuuuuuuu!" Really? EMERIL? Okay.
All four cheftestants head out to face the judges in front of a judges' table in the middle of the woods. Tom says that they all did a nice job cooking for two hundred people alone. He starts by telling Lizzie that her sourdough was great, and she showed real skill in how she created the rolls, and in how her salmon was cooked, but her salmon wasn't seasoned. Lizzie tells them all the seasoning she did. Padma asks if she tasted a slider before serving it. Lizzie says that she tasted all of the components, but Padma says that's not the same. Tom says you have to taste the completed dish, and Gail says that her roll was great, but it had a lot of bread and it overpowered the salmon. Sean thinks it was too simple.
Gail says Sheldon's dish didn't sound like his cooking, but the bread did. However, she's not sure the dish worked. Padma tells him that the locals use chum to feed the dogs, but they thought his dish was still good. That's a bit of a backhanded compliment, no? Sean wishes he'd been more careful with the smoke, because it gave the fish a bitter taste.
Moving on to Brooke, Gail says that the broth was great but her salmon was a little overcooked. Since Brooke was cooking to order (which Gail thinks was bold), that may not have been an issue for everyone. Brooke says she was flustered at the beginning and didn't hit her stride until after the judges left. Hugh says that they could tell she was flustered, which isn't good. Sean was crazy about both the bread and the broth.
Emeril tells Josh that he loves bread soup with garlic, and it was clever how he incorporated the bread. Hugh compliments the beautifully-cooked salmon, but says that the flavors got lost because the soup was overpowering. Josh thought he roasted the garlic slowly enough that it was mellow, but the judges obviously disagree. Tom says that Josh made a choice to put a ton of garlic in his soup, and then poached the salmon. Josh agrees that he didn't think enough about balancing the flavors.
Sean is ready to announce the winner, which both the judges and the locals loved, and that winner is Brooke. She wins a trip to Costa Rica AND she gets to be in the top three.
They send the cheftestants away to discuss who should go home. Josh says it's all about "who makes the less mistakes." I hope they don't count language usage because Josh makes the more mistakes there. Lizzie says she felt really rushed, and Sheldon thinks his green tea made no sense.
The judges discuss how they were really good dishes but they were all missing something. Tom thinks the cheftestants are not thinking through their dishes, and Padma points out that at this stage in the competition, the cheftestants need to be on their game. Gail agrees. Tom says that Josh's dish had balance issues, but Lizzie gave them a bland salmon sandwich. Sean says that the dish wasn't refined enough, but why is Sean suddenly such an expert on the show and when you need to do what to make the finals? Gail can't believe that Lizzie admitted to not tasting her dish, but has to give props to Lizzie for such an awesome sourdough. Padma thinks Sheldon had problems with both his salmon and his sourdough, and those two ingredients were the focus of the challenge. So who will it be?
Josh, Lizzie, and Sheldon return to face the music. Tom explains that the cheftestants were given everything to make some beautiful dishes, but they all lacked detail. Josh made great salmon, but his soup was overpowering. Lizzie's salmon wasn't seasoned. Sheldon had too much bitter, smoky flavor. So whose sin was the greatest? Padma tells Lizzie to pack her knives and go. Padma seems really, really sad to see Lizzie go. So now Brooke's the only lady left, and I think I'm rooting for her. Josh is a dick much of the time and Sheldon seems to be falling apart in this final stretch. Go Brooke!
Stop reading here if you don't want to know who won Last Chance Kitchen.
Lizzie and Kristen are tasked to create a dish using only a campfire for cooking. They both go with a fish stew, with Kristen doing an Asian cod and Lizzie going for salmon and leeks. Tom loves both dishes and specifically tells Lizzie that if she had made this dish in the Elimination Challenge, she would have won. In the end, he feels that Kristen's dish has more fully-developed flavors, and she continues on.