Instead of showing them individually, we get a montage of Dale, Brian, and Casey cooking. Casey tells us that it's difficult to be a woman in the restaurant industry. She works very hard and expects to be treated with respect. Dale has trouble figuring out how to use the mandoline until one of the chefs shows him. Dale presents his dish to Padma and Maccioni. After tasting it, Maccioni comments, "I don't know why he missed completely -- there's no seasonings." Padma adds, "It doesn't have seasoning," and then points out as if it's a new discovery, "And the leeks aren't seasoned." I know I make fun of Padma, like, a lot, but I like her so much more than the Lee Bot from Season One. See, she may be impersonating a Baked Alaska half the time, but at least she has facets. (Seriously, if you think about it, "high" Padma is totally different from "perma-baked" Padma.)
The Brians bring out their dish next. Prodding the fish chunk with her fork, Padma notes that Brian's potatoes aren't wrapped around the entire piece of fish. However, Maccioni thinks it tastes good. Casey is next with her dish, and Maccioni decides, "That's better than any. It's cooked well, the taste is good."
As Casey singsongingly sends the next cheftestant to the kitchen, Hung asks how it went and whether she got thumbs-up from the judges. I think Casey should tell him that she can't reveal that. Dale tells us that in his opinion, Casey is the one to beat, and it's killing Hung. I would like to see a Casey-Hung face-off for the finale, and I'd like to see Casey beat the pants off Hung. Dale goes on that Hung is the best technical cook: "But in my world, the best food has heart, and when you don't have one, it doesn't taste good." That's such a Dave "Town Cryer" Martin thing to say. Of course, he's another Big Gay Chef.
Sara is the last cheftestant to cook. She asks about the dishwashing station, but the Executive Sous tells her not to worry about it and relieves her of her dishes. Sara says she was very nervous because she didn't know where anything was and she thought she was inconveniencing the Le Cirque chefs, who were in the middle of service. Sara tells us that she couldn't find the sauté pans and got behind on cooking the fish. When time is called, Sara knows her fish is raw. The way they make this QF look is that when Padma calls "TIME!" Sara's fish is still in the pan, unplated. I have never been completely certain that the timed segment is only for cooking the dish, giving them extra time to plate, or if the dish has to be fully plated and garnished when time is called. It's a mystery. Sara serves her dish, and Maccioni and Padma cluck over the bald rawness of the fish.