Quickfire Challenge judged by Rick Moonen: Tag Team Cook-Off where the cheftestants are split into two teams and told to make one dish in 40 minutes. It's a relay where each person cooks for ten minutes and then passes the dish on to the next person. They can't speak to each other and have to wear blindfolds until it's their time to cook. Here's who cooks in order for each team:
Blue Team: Jen to Laurine to Mike I. to Kevin: sablefish with sautéed mushrooms, shiitake broth and radish salad in yuzu vinaigrette.
Red Team: Eli to Robin to Bryan to Mike V.: Pan roasted NY strip with whipped miso, avocado purée and pickled vegetables.
The blue team wins, so they get to split $10,000 and they also get to choose which kitchen they want to cook in for the Elimination Challenge, which is Restaurant Wars. They don't have to deal with décor, so they'll be judged on restaurant concept and menu, as well as execution of the food and service in the front of house. Rick is giving up his restaurant, and he will be judging them on how well they choose sustainable food. The blue team also decides to let their prize money ride, and if they win the challenge, they each get $10,000.
The Blue Team names their restaurant Mission, and their menu is as follows: Mike I. makes asparagus and six-minute egg, Jen makes arctic char tartare, bouillabaisse consommé, and pan-seared trout, Kevin makes pork three ways, and Laurine does front-of-house and makes lamb with carrot jam.
The Red Team names their restaurant Revolt (as in Revolting?) and their menu is as follows: Michael makes chicken and calamari "pasta," Eli makes smoked arctic char, Bryan makes a duo of beef, Michael makes cod and billi-bi sauce, Robin makes pear pithivier with vanilla bean ice cream and Bryan makes chocolate ganache. Eli is doing front-of-house.
For overall food, as well as front-of-house experience, the Red Team wins the challenge, and Michael Volt is named the overall winner. Back in the Stew Room, Bryan throws a bit of a hissy because Michael's unprofessional behavior (taking over dishes, yelling at his teammates) was rewarded. For the Blue Team, the judges agree that everyone but Mike I. had serious problems with his or her dish, and Laurine totally sucked at front-of-house, bringing things out late and ignoring the judges for long periods of time. Thankfully, Laurine is sent home instead of a more talented chef, since she kind of did nothing.
Laurine and Jen hang out by the pool. Laurine has just rolled up her pants and is dipping her feet, while Jen is in a really cute striped bikini. It's a little shocking to see so much flesh on this show, though. I do appreciate that it's not staged as "Jen puts on her bikini to show off for the dudes" but instead just seems like "Jen went swimming and this is the bathing suit she brought." She jokes that she's going to cook in her bathing suit. Laurine interviews that the numbers are dwindling and she's proud to still be left, so she's trying to just forget her poor performance in the last Challenge and move forward.
In the kitchen, some of the dudes drink coffee and eat breakfast. Kevin interviews that they'll all miss Ash for many reasons, but one of them is because he lightened up the mood in the house, and now they have to hang out with the Dueling Volts, who just argue all the time. I feel like we haven't seen a ton of that arguing -- they've bickered a bit in the kitchen, I guess, but most of the arguments in the house have been between someone and Robin. Michael V. makes himself a delicious-looking breakfast burrito. I appreciate that he cuts it at an angle and plates it nicely even though he's just going to eat it. Michael interviews that he's the instigator and Bryan looks out for others, and that's how it's always been. And as if on cue, Bryan comes out and rallies the troops to head to the kitchen for the next challenge. All the little ducklings follow him out of the house.
They arrive at the kitchen to find Padma joined by Rick Moonen, the king of sustainable cooking. Kevin explains that sustainable cooking is making sure that your food doesn't have a huge impact on the environment, like not using fish that has been overfished and thus is in danger of shortages or extinction, and thinking about all of your ingredients in the same way. Padma reminds them that there are only eight people left, and only three will go to the finale. Jen seems surprised by this. Did she not know how many people were left? Or did she think more people were going to the finale? Or did they pull a reaction shot from a completely different moment?
Padma announces that this Quickfire will be a Tag Team Cook-Off. The cheftestants draw knives, and strangely, most of the knives are blank. Jen's says First Choice and Mike V's says Second Choice, but the rest are blank. Turns out that those two are the captains and it's going to be a schoolyard pick to split into two teams. Jen gets to pick first, and she can't decide whether or not to split up the brothers, but ultimately goes with Kevin. Mike picks his brother immediately. Jen takes Mike I. and Michael takes Eli. So the big losers are Robin and Laurine, no surprise. Jen takes Laurine, so Robin has to go with her nemesis Eli and the Brothers Volt. Robin pretends to be happy about it because she thinks they can "face the demons." I don't know that the Quickfire is the time to work out your personal issues.