Stephanie's biggest challenge was using the whole grain, as she doesn't include a lot of grains on her menus and had never before used barley, but she was pleased with the final results as they left the kitchen. True, says Ted, and even better: The soup was quite well-seasoned, in a season in which a lot of the chef-testants have had trouble with, uh, seasoning. Guest judge Sam gets to choose the ultimate winner. The one who "really embodied the challenge" with a dish that was "a little bit more substantial, a little bit more unique" was Dale. Another victory (well-deserved, in my opinion) for Dale -- and it is nice to see Stephanie back on solid footing. For his troubles, Dale wins a magnum of Rutherford Hill 2002 merlot, as well as two tickets to visit the Napa Valley winery (Padma doesn't clarify if that means entry tickets to the winery, or air tickets to California). Dale doesn't want to brag, so he does -- five wins out of twenty, which is, admittedly, a pretty impressive showing.
Winning comes with a price, though, and Dale must endure the pain of summoning Spike, Lisa and Andrew to the loser's round of the judging, which really hurts. Right, Dale? The beatdown starts with Andrew: Padma asks if he really thought that a salmon roll was a hearty enough lunch for a hungry cop. Sure did, responds Andrew, and then proceeds to dance around the question with a lengthy discourse on bringing something unexpected to the table, studying nutrition, choosing every ingredient in the roll "to basically make you stronger or make you feel a little more energized," leaving your audience wanting more, and eating fist-sized meals every three hours because that's the healthy thing to do. So you think the cops would go for another roll in three hours, wonders Colicchio. Try a candy bar. And then, says Ted, there was also that part about the food actually being satisfying. Andrew wonders if this was in his rule sheet (more on that later), and Padma assures him it was: "Hearty, nutritious, and delicious." Ted wonders if Andrew thought at all about his real audience -- as opposed to the one in his head -- in terms of reinterpreting something familiar instead of striking off for left field, and Andrew maintains that he wanted to showcase something new, which may have been insanely healthy, but unfortunately was also unsubstantial and gross.