We're at the Chelea District in NYC.
And the theme of the Chairman's Challenge is "Risk", so the setup is a reverse auction.
Chefs must use their allotted time of 60 minutes to bid for the ingredient they will cook with. The lowest bid in terms of time, wins the ingredient. But the chef's winning bid in time equals how much time each chef has to cook.
The chef who loses in the auction -- i.e., none of the bids wins an ingredient -- is stuck with the fifth and last ingredient and by default is given 5 less minutes to cook than the otherwise lowest winning bid time.
Confused? Sorry, pretend to understand and just follow along.
Burrell = canned sardines, 50 minutes to cook
Zakarian = Wagyu Beef, 35 minutes to cook
Falkner = tuna jerky, 25 minutes to cook
Chiarello = lobster, 25 minutes to cook
Guarnaschelli = leg of lamb, 20 minutes cook
But wait, there's more! Burrell won the last challenge, so what's her advantage? Burrell gets to be the 4th judge! Or more precisely, she gets to choose 1 of the 2 "losing" chefs who has to compete in the Secret Ingredient Challenge.
With great power, comes great responsibility ... and irony?
So who did Burrell ding as a loser? No quite yet. It's signed, and delivered ... in a sealed envelope.
First, onto our regularly scheduled panel of judges.
Judges said Zakarian's dish was "fantastic" and the Wagyu was "light and fantastic"!
Burrell makes a trio (uh-oh!) of sardines maybe because she had too much time? Bread pudding was a loser. Cute little sardine can as a plating technique? Cute, yes, but it still has to taste good. And it didn't.
The butter poached lobster from Chiarello with risotto was "thoroughly enjoyed" by one judge even though some felt that poached lobster, in and of itself, was not very risky.
Guarnaschelli's leg of lamb in 20 minutes resulted in a lamb sausage and the effort was lauded as "well done" but the sauce was not a hit and maybe the sausage was a bit bland? Tough crowd. 20 minutes. Leg of lamb. Sheesh.
Tuna jerky souffle from Falkner was said to be "incredibly risky" and who would've thought that tuna jerky could be mistaken for bacon bits! Seems like a winner.
LOSER per Burrell: Zakarian (he would've been runner-up to Falkner)
(Sidenote: Wasn't Burrell's nasty comments towards Falkner sort of out of character?)
So the irony of ironies. Burrell chooses the loser and ends up being one. Hmm, takes one to know one, I guess.
Secret Ingredient Challenge: Burrell v. Zakarian
Secret ingredients: Panko and Ponzu (courtesy, of course, of Kikkoman)
But wait, there's more! No savory dishes. Must create dessert from Panko and essentially diluted soy sauce. Yikes.
Zakarian makes a ponzu blackberry souffle with a panko dipping sauce
Burrell goes with a zucchini involtino with a ponzu ginger kumquat ice cream
Irony of all ironies. Bye bye Burrell.
Next week it's the Final Four and we find ourselves looking at eliminating 2 chefs!??!