Paul and Sarah learn that their final challenge is to create a four-course tasting menu in the restaurant of their dreams. But first, there is a competition to be the sous-chefs for the finalists amongst some of the eliminated cheftestants, the last two out before the show started, and two professional chefs. Paul and Sarah taste the dishes and pick their sous chefs using those. Paul gets Barbara (one of the master chefs), Ty-Lor, Keith, and Chris Hollywood. Sarah gets Heather, Nyesha, Tyler (the weirdo who screwed up the butchering in the first challenge), and Grayson. They get six hours to prep on day one, three hours to cook on day two, and they have to serve a hundred people.
Sarah has to ride herd on Tyler, who didn't get eliminated first for no reason. He's really annoying and inefficient and keeps asking questions and making suggestions instead of just putting his head down and getting shit done. Lucky for her, the women on her team are incredible. Paul's team seems to be doing well until there is a crab problem and Paul has to rework one of his dishes. Luckily, he has shrimp as a backup and slides it in with no problem.
There are two sets of judges, and they rotate between the two restaurants.
Here are Paul's dishes:
First course: chawanmushi (Asian egg custard), edamame, pea shoots, and spot prawns. The first round of judges like the flavor profile and the texture, but the second rounds gets overcooked and Paul doesn't have any extra eggs to make a new batch.
Second course: grilled sea bass with clam dashi, pickled radishes, and mushrooms. The first round of judges think it's really beautiful, and Tom adds that it was well balanced and you can't fault it at all. The second round think it's cooked perfectly and has great crispy skin.
Third course: congee with scrambled eggs, uni, kale, and smoked albacore. The first round of judges think it's fine but not as interesting as the other courses, and doesn't fit as well into the menu. The second round think he's nailing contrast in texture.
Fourth course: coconut ice cream, puffed rice, kumquats, mangosteen, Thai chili foam, and jasmin gelee. The first round of judges think it's powerful, and that Paul knocked it out of the park. The second round of judges like it, but aren't sure about the puffed rice.
Here are Sarah's dishes:
First course: squid ink tagliatelle, spot prawns, and coconut. The first round of judges think it's delicious and perfectly pulled together.
Second course: rye-crusted Steelhead trout with fennel sauce, pickled beets, and gras pista (whipped pork fat). The first round of judges like the trout but think the beets taste raw and weren't pickled enough. Sarah's fiancé tells her that his fish had a bone in it, so she rushes to check the judges' portions before serving. None of them mention bones, so I guess it's fine, but Tom thinks it's underseasoned.
Third course: braised veal cheek with crispy veal sweetbreads. Sarah has a lot of doubts about it before sending it out, but the first round of judges seem to like it just fine. The second round think it's good, but needs some crunch.
Fourth course: hazelnut cake with candied kumquat and roasted white chocolate ganache. So I don't think she sent out the stupid ice cream that Tyler spent a ton of time on, which might be wise. The first round of judges have tons of praise for the roasted white chocolate. The second round are also impressed.
The judges go through the dishes course-by-course and neither finalist seems to have the edges. Gail points out that Paul was doing what he does every day while Sarah took more risks. So shouldn't that mean Paul wins because what he does every day is awesome? Tom thinks that Paul sweated the details a little more, but allows that he hates to see either chef lose for what was a great meal. In the end, Paul wins, as we all knew he would from about week two. I think Paul is a great chef, but I'm really happy this season was over because it was super boring and ugly with all the bullying. On a sweet note though, Paul and his dad are both criers.
Immediately after Lindsay walks out of Judges' Table, Padma congratulates Sarah and Paul on their performance and Tom tells them about their final challenge. They are going to create a four-course tasting menu in the restaurant of their dreams. They'll each get to cook at a fine Vancouver restaurant and Padma promises them "the finest sous-chefs" so you know that means former challengers are returning. Sarah interviews that she's wanted this forever and even postponed her wedding. Someone is marrying Sarah? Awful Sarah? If I were single, here's where I would sink into a deep depression. Maybe her fiancé is awful too.
Back in their suite, Paul and Sarah muse on who the sous-chefs will be. Sarah wants Heather and Grayson, while Paul would like to see Nyesha and Keith. Sarah brings up Chris Hollywood, mostly because she thinks he's cute. He's not THAT good-looking. Maybe he's one of those people who sparkles in person.
Anyway, as Paul and Sarah muse over who will return, we see the returning chefs walking into a kitchen. I spy Heather, Ty-Lor, Nyesha, Grayson, Chris Hollywood, someone from the bubble group that I think was named Ashley, and the two dudes who got cut without even serving any food (Tyler the Bad Butcher and Colin Who Didn't Plate His Food). Padma explains that the two unfamiliar faces are two actual chefs, Barbara Lynch and Marco Canora, and that they will all be competing to become one of the sous-chefs for the final two. What's in it for these guys, though? Redemption, in some cases, but I kind of understand why some of the eliminated cheftestants probably turned this down. Anyway, they have to cook a dish. Any dish.
They all start cooking. Tyler doesn't think that everyone got to see what he can do, since he wasn't allowed to even cook last time. There's chopping and cooking and burning and whatnot. Meanwhile, Sarah and Paul are discussing their nerves. Paul interviews that he's had a fear all along that he would choke, but he hopes to just stay steady. The potential sous-chefs are plating and time runs out. So Paul and Sarah enter the kitchen; they'll be tasting the dishes and basing their decisions on that without being told who made which dish. Yikes. This could get ugly, but it is pretty fair for the people who are there to try to get redemption.
Padma tells Paul and Sarah that there are eleven dishes to taste. They will pick their favorite four and those chefs will be their sous-chefs. Chris Hollywood interviews that he made an Asian dish to try to lure Paul into choosing him. Paul's first choice nets him Barbara Lynch, and he interviews that it's great to have that talent behind him, but it could get awkward since she's not used to being a sous-chef. Sarah chooses Nyesha's dish, and she's really happy. Paul gets Ty-Lor and they're both smiley and happy. Sarah interviews that she really wants Heather and she knows that her dish has biscuits. But then Sarah second-guesses herself because there is a scallop with raisins and curry and she knows Heather has that on her menu in her restaurant. So Sarah picks the scallop dish and it's... dun dun dun, Tyler. Sarah jokes that she's not letting him butcher and everyone cracks up.