The diners and judges arrive. There's a boring segment of going around the room to meet all the couples and hear their hook-up stories, but as no one lived in the next "willage" or compared their husband to a melon, I'm not remotely interested. They do have a token gay couple and some token racial couples, though. Son of Sam serves his first course of Organic Beets and Seared Scallops with a Lobster-Umeboshi Plum Sauce with Baby Asian Greens. Umeboshi plums -- which are pickled Japanese plums -- are supposedly good for constipation. I'm just saying, it's right there as the first Google hit. ["I can't believe the first hit didn't have something to do with this." -- Joe R] Maybe SOS should eat one to give himself a new expression. Oh, and by the way, Sam, what's you're obsession with pickles? Eleven dishes, eleven pickles! Hear how ridiculous that sounds, jackass? Son of Sam paired his dish with a 2003 Chappellet Chenin Blanc. I think Chappellet is the most beautiful vineyard I've ever visited. It has an amazing view of valleys and lakes in Napa, and you're far, far away from the madding crowd and continuous traffic of Yountville. The judges like the dish and wine pairing. Diners also like the dish.
Ted Ilan seems to be taking up way too many burners as he plates his clam dish. Of course, when Marcel is SELFISH enough to ask for the use of one burner, Ted Ilan has to be a little bitch about it and snaps, "Marcel, you have to wait a second." Oooh, he snapped at Marcel! By his own logic, Marcel is now relieved of helping him plate. Marcel complains to us about having to pick up thirty different pieces of fish from one burner. Cliff and Sam help Ted Ilan plate. Out in the dining room, women seem to be feeding their dates, even though I'm pretty sure everyone has the exact same dish. The judges tuck into Ted Ilan's Fideos with Clams and Saffron, which is paired with a Naveran Brut Reserva Blanc de Blancs NV. "Blanc de Blancs" just means it's a white sparkling wine made exclusively from white grapes. "Blanc de Noirs" would make it a sparkling rosÃ© because it is a white wine made from red grapes. Both of those are what the French use when describing their Champagnes, the "Blanc de Blancs" would refer to the exclusive use of Chardonnay grapes, and the "Blanc de Noirs" would normally be for Pinot Noir grapes. However, as is his Spanish wont, Ted Ilan is serving a Cava, which is a sparkling Spanish wine, and so their specific grapes are going to be very different. They've just co-opted the French terminology because people are familiar with it. The "NV" means "non-vintage". The judges like the dish and the wine pairing.