As time winds down, Michelle is trying to assemble her three-tiered cake, but it's really hot in the kitchen and presumably the frosting is melting and her cake starts leaning dangerously to one side. She pounds in some dowels to try to keep it upright. Everyone pitches in on Team Green to get their plates ready, and the chefs who are serving on the line take their places as the guests and judges begin to arrive.
Eighty-five shots of atmosphere later, Blanca is introduced and a mariachi band plays her in. Lindsay tells Sarah that she hopes the tortillas don't taste artificial. Maybe taste them and see? Blanca greets the judges and introduces her parents, and then says she's really looking forward to the food.
We start with passed appetizers. For the Pink Team, Ty-Lor made fire roasted summer fritter with avocado mousse. Blanca thinks the avocado doesn't add anything, and Tom adds that it's pretty dry. Hugh caps it off by calling it a hush puppy. Yeah, I'm obviously not from the South but I've never understood the glamour of the hush puppy. They are pretty bland. Keith and Lindsay made pork tenderloin huarache with pineapple salsa. The judges like the pork flavor, but Padma notes that, when she took a bite, the entire piece of pork was dragged into her mouth. So the pork WAS either too thick or not tender enough. Johnny notes that the team is struggling with both execution and presentation. Not good.
For the Green Team, Richie made tapioca chicharron with pork carnitas. Blanca notes that it's crispy but soggy in the middle, and the judges agree. Her family members, however, find it to be very authentic. Paul made shrimp yuzu ceviche with corn salsa and yucca chips, which Tom thinks is the best of all the appetizers they had, and had the best flavors.