Nora (who got like no screen time as the guest judge) explains that the winning team had the best flavors, and that was Kelly and Andrea. They are incredibly relieved. They get their dish on the Hilton menu, but they also get a trip to either Spain or Italy. This takes up so much time, but it's part of the product placement. It just stands out in an episode that felt rushed due to the volume of dishes presented.
So now the other two teams have to face the music. Lynne is asked if she was happy with the dish. Lynne says she was, but she thinks the pasta was undercooked. Arnold is like, "Girl, what?" She apparently never shared that observation with him. Arnold goes on and on about how awesome their dish was, and clearly it wasn't, or they would have won, so he might show a bit of self-awareness here. Lynne is a Grumpy Gus, going on and on about what was wrong with the dish. I'm not sure which approach is better.
Kenny and Kevin are asked why they didn't include more glaze, and Kenny says that they didn't want to add more sodium to the dish. Tom forces them to say whether they thought it had enough glaze, and Kenny says that he thought it did. Strike one. Eric asks about the flavor, and explains that he couldn't taste the horseradish. Strike two. Tom asks about their concept, and Kevin says that they thought guests would like it, it was delicious, and just made sense. I think they do have that on their sides; more people would order short ribs than black pasta with black mussels, generally. So no strike three.
Tom asks Arnold why their dish would win. Arnold says that it was creative, and if he were a judge, he would want to see an avant garde approach. Except when you're cooking for a general audience of travelers, and then maybe not so much.
The cheftestants are excused while the judges deliberate. Tom seems to kind of recognize that it would be weird to eliminate Kenny already when he says that they have to judge based on this one dish, not the previous dishes. Padma brings up my point, which is that mussels and pasta is a hard sell in a hotel restaurant. Ripert thinks having the pasta cooked properly would have made it a nearly perfect dish. Tom wanted more glaze on the short ribs, but that seems to be his only criticism. He and Eric discuss how the horseradish tempura could have been more successful.
Back in the Stew Room, Arnold is telling someone that he represented himself and his food. Kenny is bitching that he is supposed to be on the top, not the bottom. Oh, Kenny. I liked you before, but seriously? Shut it. Then Kevin and Amanda get in an argument. Kevin thinks you need to tell the judges how to eat your dish, and Amanda thinks that's arrogant. I kind of agree. I guess there are some restaurants where I would accept instruction on how to eat a dish, but in a hotel restaurant? Not so much.