Back at Hugh's, he is presenting his fried okra salad with tomato, fennel, bacon, and green goddess dressing. James and Hugh then get in a fracas about whether or not the mayonnaise was "broken," which is a fancy culinary term for broken. Hugh said hell no, and looked to Augustine for back up, but Augustine is in a snit over Hugh's lack of curiosity and won't look up from his meticulous okra frying. Over at Traci's demonstration, she shows Padma and Curtis what happens when acids are introduced to proteins. So she makes ceviche and gives a vague explanation of how the acid breaks down cell structure to make it "looser," which is a fancy culinary word for slutty. Meanwhile, Naomi is explaining all about elasticity to Ruth and James. She uses the word "elasticity" to define "elasticity," a lot, but whatever. Traci serves three different ceviches, including a tuna carpaccio and a tuna tartare. She interviews that she is worried that she didn't actually cook anything, but Padma and Curtis don't seem to care. Naomi serves a fried pizzeta with mozzarella, salumi, and olives, a calzone and a gelee. It's stretchy and stringy and oh so delicious.
Over at the Maillard Reaction station, Floyd is concerned that his sauce is evaporating too quickly and making his sauce salty. So he had to add water. This science stuff is hard! Luckily Padma and Curtis arrive for snackies before Floyd is bitten by a radioactive spider or his stock gets salty. As Floyd serves them a spice-encrusted beef with mushrooms, asparagus, and fried potatoes, followed by a beef shabu shabu that does not brown you realize that "meat browning" is not a very challenging scientific reaction to show via food. The bigger challenge would be to show meat browning without using food. As the judges nibble, Floyd reminds them that he was going to be a scientist, but decided to be a hospitality industry specialist instead. This is important information apparently. Then the judges walk around and try everything while the chefs try to lure the students into a love of science, okra, and raw fish. Naomi makes more excuses. Ruh-roh.
The chefs stand in front of the firing squad of judges. Everyone makes the necessary small talk ("I learned a lot" "It was fun") and then Judge James cuts to the chase. They had two favorites: Mary Sue and Floyd. Mary Sue demonstrated viscosity in a really compelling way while Floyd's meat browning was very meaty. The winner? Mary Sue! And she doesn't even have a scientific background! How did she do it? Floyd has now lost three competitions to Mary Sue. He pouts in the stew room and complains that he's always second best. It's a good thing his father is already gone so he can't see the shame his son has brought on the family. Out at the Table of Judgment, Naomi is skewered for not only oversharing on the science stuff, but for making a soggy calzone and forcing Padma to eat it. Hugh gets raked over the coals by James as they dredge up the old argument about whether or not the mayonnaise was broken. Too bad there isn't any footage of the sauce in question lying around anywhere. Hugh won't budge in his belief and neither will James. Ruth, however, is simply disappointed that Hugh used the most obvious application of emulsification. Speaking of obviousness, Traci's ceviche was that. Also, she didn't use her mad culinary skillz to make the dish interesting, she simply tossed some lemon juice on fish. Padma reels off a laundry list of more desirable acids proving that she has culinary chops to match any of these so-called Masters. Curtis tucks his tongue back in his mouth and sloppily nods his head in agreement with everything Padma says. The judges send the chefs off to think about what they've done.