As soon as they get back to the house, the cheftestants gather to discuss strategy. Mike I. presents an idea that a bunch of them have allegedly been discussing: since they have fifteen people, they will have one person serve as a tournand or general assistant, and then everyone else pairs up and works on one dish as a pair. He nominates Jen to work alone since she has immunity so it doesn't really matter if she makes a dish or not. So he kind of wants to relegate her to a gopher, because he's totally threatened by her. Rather than get all argumentative about it, Jen just seems to decide to make the role her own once she gets in the kitchen, which is wise. Mike I. invites people to speak up if they disagree with the strategy or if they disagree with cooking an American theme. No one says anything, so they pick teams.
We aren't privy to the process of how the group decides who gets to pick first, and it probably doesn't matter since nearly everyone is okay with his or her partner. Preeti picks Invisible Laurine because they both cook California cuisine. Eli and Kevin pair up because they know each other from Atlanta and Kevin adds that they "bond on a fat kid level as well." Love Kevin. Mike I. and Mike V. pair up even though Mike V. admits that he'd like to work with his brother. Bryan chooses Mattin and that leaves Ron and Jesse together. Laurine points out in an interview that they have been "the weakest two" thus far. They didn't detail a few pairings there, so I guess we can be confident that they won't be in the top or bottom.
The next morning, Robin explains that they had to get up early since they'd be serving the meal at noon and had four hours prep time, plus primping time, plus travel time. The cheftestants arrive in the kitchen and find what looks like a Dharma food drop: lots of canned foods and dried goods. Of course, the cheftestants aren't happy, and even less so when they see the cooking equipment. There are not many pans and no burners or stovetops.