It's just after 6:00 AM and the cheftestants are only now heading into the Stew Room. Do you see why this overnight thing is dumb? I get that, from a production standpoint, tired people are more emotional and more likely to either cry or fight, but they're also more likely to stare blankly into space and be depressing. What's wrong with a good old-fashioned drinking binge?
Padma comes in and asks to see Dale, Antonia, and Blais. Padma tells them that they are the top three. Bourdain asks how it was. Blais says it was tough to shop for all the equipment and sprint around the store. Ming likes that Blais cooked his protein two different ways, which was ambitious. Bourdain praises Antonia's runny eggs, and we have heard about his love for runny eggs a few times already this season. He admits that it could have gone horribly wrong, but didn't. And finally, Bourdain has kind words for Dale's normal meal created via crazy methods. So who's the winner of the $25,000? It is... Dale! Well, he's back in the running after having a few weeks off. Dale interviews that he can't believe he won that money with grilled cheese, soup, and an iron.
The cheftestants head back into the Stew Room. Everyone congratulates Dale, and he sends back Carla, Tiffany, and Angelo. So Mike is the only one who didn't have to face the judges as part of either group. Carla talks about what was wrong with her soup: it never came up to a boil (really?) and the flavors didn't meld. Colicchio agrees that it wasn't very interesting, and Bourdain says that it needed protein. Ming agrees that the soup would have been a great sauce for salmon or chicken. Carla, to her credit, doesn't go into a whole song and dance about how she was going to make a protein but then ran out of time. She just nods and accepts the critique.
Angelo starts babbling about how he tried to deconstruct a baked potato. Is he aware that every chain restaurant with bric-a-brac on the walls serves that exact baked potato soup? Anyway, Angelo feels like his soup wasn't balanced but Bourdain interrupts to say that it was way too salty and Colicchio says that he could only eat a spoonful. Padma thinks it was too rich, and she wouldn't have been able to eat a whole bowl. Bourdain wonders if Angelo even tried it, and Angelo claims that he did but he thinks maybe his palate was fatigued. I hate when my palate gets fatigued. Then I need that palate cocaine to jump start it.