Colonel Belote gets everyone's attention and introduces some of the service men and women and gives a little bit of their stories. Everyone is touched and honored by the real sacrifices made. I don't mean to sound like I take it lightly, but this episode did kind of hammer you over the head a little bit and it almost reduces the impact of what these people have done and will do for us.
Judges' Table. Ash finally offers an alternative viewpoint when he says that he's a pacifist who opposes war and yet he was touched by what he saw. Which isn't really an alternative viewpoint but I was starting to think this episode was sponsored by the Pentagon or something. Padma walks into the Stew Room and asks to see the two Mikes as well as Eli and Kevin. Well, you know they are the tops, although the cheftestants probably don't yet.
Padma tells the two teams that they were tops. Eli talks about their dish, and Gail asks whose idea it was to use the flavors used. Kevin says that his family does competition barbecue and so this was a recipe they use at times when time is short. Wow, I didn't even think about the fact that usually barbecued pork is slow cooked over many, many hours and sometimes even days, and they pulled it off in four hours.
Colicchio has lots of questions about the braised bacon slab, and then asks the Mikes if they had an advantage because they worked together before the competition. Mike V. says they might have and when describing how they created their food, he reveals that they pretty much each worked on their own dish. Tom and Gail share a look like, "Huh. That Greek salad kind of sucked and Mike I. had nothing to do with the awesome pork dish. Interesting." Mike I. doesn't know when to shut up and keeps going on about his stupid salad, which even he admits was thrown together last minute with no thought. The judges reserve comment for the moment, and let Mark announce the winner of this challenge: Michael Voltaggio. Well, that certainly makes the pairs thing easier when they just admitted that Michael V. was the only one who even touched the winning dish.