The final preparations begin. Fabio and Tiffany give their servers some last-minute instructions. The plating happens. Angelo assures Tiffany that her dish came out okay after all. Because Carla is awesome, she yells over to her competition to have a good service, and Antonia returns the gesture.
The diners show up, and Fabio and Tiffany start seating. Tiffany realizes that Dana Cowin, editor of Food and Wine is in her line, and that just adds an extra level of anxiety. The dude in Dana's party looks SO familiar but I cannot figure out who it is. A little Googling reveals that it's Ben Leventhal, founder of eater.com and current employee of my current employer, NBC Universal. So we are practically related! No wonder he looked familiar. (Note to future Googlers: the other two people in the party were Joanne Wilson and Amanda Hesser, per Dana Cowin's Twitter. You're welcome). Tiffany heads to the kitchen to tell the chefs about their VIP table, and before she leaves, she catches someone's eye and mouths, "Not good." Yikes. Already? They just started!
Blais explains how things are going to work. The diners will eat at one restaurant, and then eat at the other, and then vote for the winner. Well, that was complicated. Glad he explained it. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Dale is telling the servers that they screwed up in writing the orders. Dale is expediting, and making sure that each table gets the correct dish. He has a bunch of plates in front of him, and the servers are kind of crowding him to get to their plates, but Dale doesn't want anyone grabbing anything before he gets the orders straightened out, so he kind of angrily tells them to back the fuck off. Fabio is right there, and he calms Dale down, and gets the servers straightened out. Oh no! Dale's team is falling apart. Not really, but the editors sense an opportunity and they have Antonia saying that Dale's team might be nervous because they're serving tuna out of a can while Marcel's team is serving perfectly composed plates.
Oops! Not so fast, Antonia. Tiffany, who looks like she has reached about a 9 out of a 10 on the I Don't Give a Shit Meter, strolls languidly back into the kitchen with some plates of lamb and says that they're undercooked, at least according to the diners. I would imagine the judges would eat it that way, but a regular person probably wouldn't. And then Tiffany has to stand there while Dana Cowin's table totally rips apart her salad and they take turns explaining why it was horrible. So at this point, given the usual reverse psychology this show employs, I figured that Marcel's team must win by some miracle. Because otherwise, the outcome is just too obvious, right?