The cheftestants check into their hotel and get a welcome gift basket from the New Orleans welcoming committee or something. Hey, New Orleans needs all the tourism help it can get. That's one product I don't mind placing.
After getting settled, the cheftestants head to Emeril's restaurant for dinner. Over appetizers, Carla notes that the new Top Chef is sitting right at that table. Jeff interviews that he has the added pressure of needing to win the next challenge, not just avoid coming in last. Fabio interviews that he wants to win so he can use the money to help support his mom, since he's vowed to always support his mother no matter what. Carla interviews that she's quiet during dinner because she's thinking of her husband and stepson, who have given her nothing but support. I hope so, since she gave them her tickets to the Super Bowl and all.
Hosea and Jeff discuss the food they are eating, which Hosea thinks is Cajun but not heavy. Stefan argues that it's classic French and Hosea just rolls his eyes. In an interview, Hosea says that when Stefan feels threatened, he tries to get inside your head and mess with you. Hosea adds that he's not there to make friends and he wants to win. Yeah, it's not Top Friends, it's Top Chef! I expect Fabio to bust that one out any minute now. Stefan adds in an interview, "It's not a butt rubbing competition." You know Bravo just licensed that idea and it'll be on the air in about six weeks, hosted by Andy Cohen. Project Butt Rub. Hosted by Mario Lopez.
The next morning, the cheftestants head to a mystery location to find out about their Elimination Challenge. Carla explains that it's some sort of warehouse with signs all over about Mardi Gras. When they walk inside, they are surrounded by tons of extravagant floats from the Mardi Gras parade; this is where they are stored. Padma and Emeril greet them and Padma lays out the challenge: the Crewe of Orpheus will be holding the annual masquerade ball the next night, and the cheftestants will be catering it. They each have to create two dishes and one cocktail for a hundred people, and one of the dishes has to be Creole. Emeril explains that Creole is the city version of Louisiana cooking, and it combines French, Spanish, and African-American cultures. Hosea interviews that it's all about the flavors, and letting food simmer for long periods. Padma says they will have five hours to prep in the kitchen of one of Emeril's restaurants, where they'll have access to the finest ingredients. Padma reminds them that if Jeff wins, two of the others will be eliminated. Yikes! I hadn't really considered that part. And then Padma introduces the prize for this round -- a new car! Just like The Price is Right! And, you know, every other season of this show. Fabio interviews that his "car is a piece of...[long pause]...poop" so he needs a new one. Padma wishes them all luck and sends them off.