Chef Chauhan is going home.
Winner of the Iron Chef Chairman challenge is Chef Tsai.
But, first the Secret Ingredient Challenge
Secret Ingredient Challenge: Potato
Guest Judge: Lt. Col. from the Army (in charge of kitchen and mess hall?)
Winner: Chef Canora (by a hair)
Loser: Chef Forgione (by a mile)
So the judges have to Respect the very versatile and "Rodney Dangerfield" ingredient of the food universe, the potato.
Did Caswell steal all the truffle before anyone else could get to it?
Tsai made sweet potato risotto with star anise that many found too strong
Chauhan? Potato ravioli with a leek sauce that everyone raved about, incl. the Lt. Col.
Canora made sort of a "petit four" of potatoes, which was a big hit.
Chef Forgione made a "nudi" which he said was a ravioli without skin ... and it turned out to be a "badi".
Ultimately, Canora and Chauhan tied amongst the self-judging, and the Lt. Col. gave the tie-breaking vote to Canora (But, of course, right? If there wasn't a tie-breaking vote needed why have a "guest" judge?)
Onto the Chairman's Challenge
Each Chef had to prepare a dish that represented the four geographical regions of the U.S. ... North, South, West, and East.
Garces was the guest judge.
Canora made the best dish with his lamb (with lavender and rosemary) with Simon saying it was the "single best piece of lamb [he's] ever tasted". w
Coming in a close second (or a 1A) was Tsai, esp. with his gazpacho which Graces raved about.
Garces loved Tsai's dishes but said Tsai's plating was not contemporary enough (huh?).
Caswell's food was not very good, with the collard greens being the best. 'Nuff said. More comments about his "looking like a linebacker" and cooking "like a ballerina".
Chef Chauhan's avocado cup was called, derogatorily, "chef jr." which is ironic because she made a bread pudding that was spiked, nay, soaked with overpowering rum. Graces called her cooking "unrefined".
Forgione came up with five dishes (which prompted Alton Brown to ask whether his compass had "five regions"). The one extra region was repped by a strawberry shortcake that might have saved him because his fish was almost inedible.
Tio impressed the judges with her overall technique (incl. use of the pressure cooker).
Chefs Tsai and Canora are on top, with Tsai winning.
Forgione and Chauhan bring up the rear, with Chauhan (finally) biting the dust and going home.
5 left and next week we are off to Las Vegas .... where it's a double-elimination.
(Feel free to correct, add, amend, etc. as I was doing this while handing out Halloween candy ...)