It's Restaurant Wars! Sheldon heads the team with Stefan and Josh, while Kristen heads the team with Brooke, Josie and Lizzie. When the teams arrive in the restaurant space, they discover that there are no kitchens; they have to build the kitchens in an outdoor space adjacent to the dining room. They also have to rent tables, chairs, linens and everything else.
Kristen seems to be pretty hands-on with everything, although her entire team works on keeping Josie reined in as well as keeping her on task. Kristen also decides to cook everything to order, although her team has doubts. Josie takes her own sweet time with her dish and while Kristen should have been more on top of her, Josie also kept promising she was on task and then just… not doing it? Stefan bulldozes Sheldon a little bit and takes over the non-cooking tasks. This may not be a problem, since they are cooking Filipino food and neither Stefan nor Josh has EVER cooked that type of food.
The judges are Danny Meyer, Gail, Tom, Emeril and Padma.
Kristen's restaurant is classic French with a twist and it's called Atelier Kwan. Brooke handles front of house. Here are the courses:
Charcuterie course by Lizzie: rabbit, pickled turnips and yellow beets in chicken and rabbit broth. The judges are uniformly complimentary.
Bouillabaisse by Josie: halibut, Dungeness crab, bay scallops with shellfish broth. Kristen had a whole concept that involved gelatin in the broth, but Josie didn't get the broth done in time, so Kristen decided to do something with a charger. But Josie never tested it and when it came time to plate, it didn't work. Needless to say, the judges waited a while for this dish and it's not at all what Kristen intended. Emeril complains that the seafood is cooked unevenly (which is an execution problem) and no one can figure out what in the hell is up with the lack of broth (which is a concept problem). The judges know something went wrong with the dish.
Kristen made beef bourguignon: braised short rib, garlic puree, mushrooms and carrots. The judges like the components but wonder where the sauce is.
Cheese course by Brooke: baked Gougeres, St. Agur blue cheese, roasted radish and stone fruit compote. The judges like the flavors, but seem to find it competent and not exceptional.
Dessert by Kristen: almond cake macaron with coconut custard and caramel buttercream. The judges like the flavor, but don't think it's a macaron.
Overall, the judges thought there were some amazing moments, but they don't know if her interpretations compared favorably to the French originals. Lizzie's soup gets the highest marks.
Sheldon's restaurant is modern Filipino and it's called Urbano. Stefan handles front of house and he's charming -- maybe too charming, since he can't seem to get the first sitting to leave so that he can seat the second round. At least he gets the judges seated in a timely fashion. Here are the dishes:
Stefan made kilawin: yellowtail with cilantro, spicy chili and white soy sauces. The judges love the contrast of flavors.
Josh made balut, which is usually a fertilized duck embryo (I'm saving you from Googling it because while I want to be sensitive to cultural differences, this one looks pretty gross): his version is a poached egg, duck confit and foie gras mousse. The judges don't like Stefan's introduction, but they do like the dish, even if they don't see any Filipino flavors.
Sheldon's dish goes out and Stefan doesn't notice, so the judges don't get any introduction: it's miki, which is prawns and a tapioca roll with achiote. The judges like it, but when they finally call Stefan over for an explanation, he's short and condescending with them and they are PISSED.
Sheldon also made adobo: pork belly with mung bean puree and pea shoots salad. The judges love the Filipino flavors and think the pork is perfectly cooked. It's their favorite dish of the night.
Josh made dessert: halo-halo, which is coconut sorbet, avocado mousse, bananas and shredded coconut. Stefan also offers up ginger tea and dark chocolate with macadamia nuts, ginger and peppermint oil. The judges like Josh's flavors, which are clean and strong, but are so turned off by Stefan's service that they almost overlook the food.
As the judges discuss who should go home, they can't decide between Josie's terrible bouillabaisse and Stefan's awful service. At judges' table, Josie immediately throws Kristen under the bus, blaming her for the plating. Kristen seems hesitant to bring up Josie's incompetence to the judges in that she doesn't, at all.
The judges tell Stefan that his service sucked, and Stefan tries to blow it off as him being a chef and not a server. It doesn't really matter because their restaurant wins.
The judges tell Lizzie and Brooke that they're safe. The judges then try to figure out what happened with the soup and Josie acts like a big dumb doof and Kristen, for some unknown reason, just takes responsibility for everything that went wrong. Gail and Padma get into it at judges' table and Gail totally nails Josie by saying she's skating by because others take responsibility and she won't step up. Jesus, why wouldn't Kristen just say that she had a great concept, but due to Josie's timing issues, she couldn't execute it as planned and had to punt? That's not mean; it's true! Anyway, Kristen gets eliminated and she was a frontrunner. Wow, the field just opened up.
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As you may remember from the last episode, it's Restaurant Wars, and Kristen and Sheldon have won the opportunity to be the executive chefs and lead teams to open their restaurant concept. It's men versus women, by chance. Sheldon's team is at a bit of a disadvantage because they have one fewer cheftestant with Micah's elimination.
Kristen explains to her team that she wants to do French with a twist, and Brooke interviews that they've all been trained by classical French chefs at some point, but their downfall is that Kristen doesn't have any experience being an executive chef. Sheldon's concept is modern Filipino and he's calling the restaurant after his grandfather Urbano. The issue he has is that Stefan and Josh have zero experience cooking Filipino food. Stefan does have experience in Restaurant Wars, so he gets nominated to do front of house.
The next morning, the cheftestants go to check out the space. As they walk around, they are impressed by the space, especially the patio for outdoor seating. One problem - they can't find the kitchen. Sheldon's team consults their dossier and discovers that they have to build their kitchen in the outdoor patio. Wow. That seems like an unnecessary level of complication for an already complicated challenge. As Stefan interviews, "Who does that?" Kristen's team comes out and learns the kitchen-building news. Sheldon quickly decides which side he wants, but instead of just letting him have it, Kristen boldly steps up and says they need to discuss it first. She's right. Her point is sort of undercut when she realizes that she doesn't want the side he chose anyway.
They all scamper off to buy supplies and ingredients. Kristen goes with Lizzie because she hates Josie. Well, Kristen is a lot nicer about it, but that's what it boils down to. That means poor Brooke gets stuck with Josie, picking up rental equipment. As they discuss linens, Josie chooses a burnt orange napkin to go with the all white table setting. What about that color says Classical French? Brooke tones it down with a mossy green. Brooke interviews that she has a different disposition and their restaurant needs to have "a little bit more...class?" Kind of mean, but not wrong.
For the other team, Josh and Sheldon go food shopping and Stefan goes to pick out flowers. Stefan interviews that he really loves flowers and pebbles and vases, and it doesn't make him gay. He flirts with the flower lady to get a better deal. Sheldon explains Filipino food is a lot of stews with sour notes, and he's a little nervous about cooking Filipino with two people who've never made it before. Josh interviews that he's worried about the same thing.