The judges discuss how to judge this one, since you could judge on whether the cheftestant went traditional, or whether he or she executed the meal they decided to make. Padma says the winner must be either Carla or Fabio. Colicchio says that the chicken Fabio made could be his signature dish in a restaurant, but Toby reminds him of the salad. They also wonder whether or not they should take his injury into account. Pepin thinks Carla's peas and Fabio's potatoes were the two best components. Padma says all dramatically, "I thought those peas were perfection." Seriously, it sounded like she was reading a cue card. Colicchio admired Carla's dish, but kind of wishes she had incorporated the components together more.
The judges move on to discuss who should go home. Colicchio brings up Stefan's overcooked salmon first, and says that everything else on the plate was well seasoned and garnished. Colicchio had a bigger problem with Leah's eggs Benedict. Toby defends it, saying that often the Hollandaise overwhelms the dish, so Leah went too far the other way, perhaps. They all agree that the bacon was good, and the eggs only need a few more minutes and a few more degrees in temperature to be perfect. Toby hates Hosea's dish, but Colicchio defends it since Hosea was doing what they always tell cheftestants to do in finding his own way. Toby agrees that it was well-executed, but thinks it was dull. Colicchio says that's why it didn't win, but he doesn't think it merits elimination. The judges concur and it's time to call the cheftestants back in.
Colicchio tells the assembled cheftestants that they delivered some great dishes, but the winner was chosen unanimously. Pepin announces that the winner is...Fabio! Yay! I like that at least the judges are mixing it up and keeping things interesting (and hopefully deservedly so). As the winner, in addition to going to the semifinals, Fabio also gets a giant bottle of fancy wine and a trip to Napa Valley. Fabio interviews that he's not in the semifinals because he's funny or he paid someone; he's in because he "made good food through the competition." Well said. Colicchio tells Carla that her peas were superb, and she's through to the semifinals as well. Carla interviews that she's a tortoise picking up speed and then she mimes looking over her shoulder as she passes people and gets a goofy victory grin on her face and it's the most awesome thing of all time. Someone please make me a .gif of that scene. Anyway, Fabio and Carla leave to go celebrate.