So there are 12 cheftestants remaining. That's a good number for musical chairs, isn't it?
Tonight's show starts back at the house with Nina sorry that Bene is gone. Carrie notes that Nina is the one to beat, as she's been winning a lot. The next morning, a doctor shows up at the house because Nicholas is very sick - probable strep, so he can be on antibiotics, but the doc says it's not a good idea for him to be around people or food.
The rest of them show up at the TC Kitchen - Padma notes that if Nicholas isn't well enough to show up for the later Elimination Challenge, he'll have to forfeit.
Kermit Ruffins is standing in the kitchen with Padma - jazz trumpeter, vocalist, and a chef. Improvisation is the Quickfire Challenge. Each cooking station has been pre-set with some of Kermit's favorite ingredients and cooking tools. They'll start cooking at one station, but when Kermit starts playing his trumpet, they'll have stop cooking and rotate around the kitchen. When he stops playing, they'll have to stop and start cooking again at whatever station they're next to. They have 30 minutes to create a dish, and the winner will have immunity in the next Elimination Challenge.
Kermit starts to play, they go round and round, and then he stops and they start cooking. As Justin said, it's not where you land first, it's where you land last. Kermit starts playing again, and they start walking around. Sara notes they can see the clock and see how much time is being used up in the musical food stations.
They end up back at their original stations for the third cooking session, but sure enough, Kermit starts playing again, and they end up at different stations for the fourth round. Justin throws away couscous at his fourth station, as it was pasty. These end up being their final stations.
The dishes (with the previous chefs at that station in parentheses) are:
Justin (Shirley, Patty, Shirley) - Marinated Tofu Salad with Crispy Bacon & Cucumber
Travis (Carlos, Carrie, Carlos) - Asian Inspired Steak & Potatoes with Soy Reduction
Sara (Carrie, Justin, Carrie) - Trout with Cabbage & Pepper Slaw & Deep Fried Cannellini Beans
Brian (Sara, Nina, Sara) - Duck & Mussels with Flavors of Asia
Patty (Louis, Stephanie, Louis) - Pork Chops, Tamarind Sauce, Shaved Red Onions, Mint & Jalapeno
Nina (Travis, Sara, Travis) - Liver with Serrano Chilies, Celery Salad & Coconut Curry Mustard Sauce
Stephanie (Brian, Carlos, Brian) - Braised Chicken & Clams with Red Bean Sauce, Green Apple & Red Onion Slaw
Carlos (Nina, Travis, Nina) - Pan-Seared Redfish with Cucumber Slaw, Red Beans & Butter Sauce
Shirley (Patty, Louis, Patty) - Shrimp Boil & Herb Salad with Parsley, Ponzu & Olive Oil
Louis (Stephanie, Brian, Stephanie) - Rosemary Okra, Rendered Pork, Confit Potatoes with Frog Legs & Queso Fresco
Bottom Group - Louis, Justin
Top Group - Carlos, Brian, Patty
And the winner is Brian. He thanks those that worked on his final dish, and he has immunity. Sara's a bit jealous that for a dish that she worked on, he wins immunity.
For the Elimination Challenge, they'll have to "band together" to create a potluck-style menu. Patty says she knows family style, but she's never heard of potluck - "is that a pot full of luck?" They'll be serving at Kermit's restaurant, Kermit's Treme Speakeasy. Kermit's invited lots of NOLA musicians to eat before they hit the stage. The cheftestants get to pick their own band members, and in a voiceover, Padma says that if Nicholas is cleared by the doctors, he'll join one of their teams. If not, he'll forfeit his place, and one team will only have 3 chefs.
Blue Team - Louis, Shirley, Sara and Justin
Green Team - Carrie, Nina, Stephanie, Carlos
Gray Team - Patty, Brian and Travis (and Nicholas if he's well enough to rejoin the competition)
Tomorrow they'll have 2 hours to cook in the TC Kitchen, and 30 minutes to finish their dishes at Kermit's kitchen. Kermit also invites them tonight to Vaughn's Lounge, where he performs and in between sets, he lights the BBQ and cooks for his fans.
They head out to Whole Foods shop for their ingredients. Nick calls into to his team's car to help formulate the dishes for the Gray Team and directs Travis as to which fish to buy while in Whole Foods.
They're back at the house - Nicholas is feeling better, but doesn't go out to listen to Kermit play music. The rest head to Vaughn's to dance, drink and have fun while Nicholas plays solitaire at the house.
The next morning, the doctor says Nicholas is good to go - he's not running a fever, but she warns him to stay hydrated. Off they go to the TC Kitchen to prep their dishes.
Nicholas takes on the role of major prep chef for his team, finishing a lot of the tasks. Brian notes he's doing a lot, but since he has immunity, he doesn't care. Stephanie says "Nick's use of performance enhancing drugs - it's a sensitive topic! If Nick starts to grow a mustache really quickly and his voice deepens, I'm going to call bullshit." :-)
They pack up their dishes onto racks to head over to Kermit's kitchen to finish their dishes in the remaining 30 minutes.
The musicians arrive and reminisce with Kermit. The judges arrive - Padma, Tom, Gail and Sue Zemanick, Executive Chef at Gautreau's. The dishes start to come out.
Justin - Hominy Grits with Brown Shrimp, Roasted Okra, Fava Beans and Smoked Bacon
Louis - Grilled & Pickled Vegetables with Crispy Sunflower Seeds & Mustard Vinaigrette
Shirley & Sara - Glazed Beef with Charred Onions, Melon Pickles & Pickled Ginger Vinaigrette
Grits are good - lots of butter, but one musician says not enough seasoning. The grilled pickled veggies are well received by Tom and one of the musicians. Padma and Kermit like the beef.
Brian & Travis - Togarashi Fried Chicken with Bee Pollen & Ponzu
Patty - Tomato Watermelon Salad, Szechuan Pepper & Goat Cheese Espuma
Nicholas - Barramundi & Red Drum Fricassee with Zucchini, Truffle & Yuzu Kosho
Travis & Brian - Caramel Glazed BBQ Ribs, Dehydrated Potatoes & Peanut Gremolata
Fried chicken was well received - nice and crispy, and flavorful batter, but the fish had no flavor whatsoever and is dry and overcooked. The ribs have a good heat, but Gail thinks that whatever was rubbed on the ribs was burnt. Sue Zemanick though the salad was refreshing, but thought better cuts could have been done on the watermelon, and Tom said it needed to be spiced up.
Stephanie - Fried Baby Artichoke, Preserved Lemon & Anchovy Aioli
Nina - Semolina Gnocchetti with Sausage
Carrie & Carlos - Summer Tiramisu with Nectarines, Pistachios & Cheese
People liked the fried artichokes, and the gnocchetti was well received, although someone said it was like fancy Hamburger Helper - although the musician who said it said he likes Hamburger Helper. Kermit loved the tiramisu, as he doesn't usually eat sweets ever (Sue thought it was more like a trifle).
Tom notes to some of the musicians that they have to figure out which is the top set and which is the bottom set - does that mean a whole team is top or bottom, or a certain number of individuals? We'll see.
In the in-between, the cheftestants go over the do's and don'ts of a pot luck - don't show up at the potluck with the same dish as 3 or 4 other people have. There's always too much dessert, and salads are always coated in some mayo dressing.
They're back in the Stew Room, and the TV comes on. Tom said for the most part, everything was cooked and seasoned well. The Green Team's artichoke and gnocchi were liked; the tiramisu wasn't. The Blue Team served some overcooked beef, and Tom liked the pickled grilled vegetables. The shrimp and grits wasn't what people were expecting - everyone was expecting a sauce. The Gray Team's ribs were good, but there was too much rub on them, and the tomato & watermelon salad wasn't savory or seasoned, and the fish was dry and overcooked, but the chicken was great. Nicholas realizes now that he might have taken on too much.
Padma comes in and asks to see the Gray Team. Stephanie said it was weird, as usually the winning team is called first. Sure enough, they are the bottom team. Brian has immunity, so he's safe. The judges ask how they came up with their menu, and the cheftestants explain that Nick was on the phone collaborating with them, and they came up with a Chef's picnic. The fish and tomato/watermelon salad get criticized. Gail asks Patty how the Szechuan peppercorns were incorporated and Patty said it was dusted all over. No one could discern the Szechuan peppercorns, and Tom said that usually there's chili pepper incorporated, as one is numbing, and the chili part was missing. Travis and Patty note that the chili didn't make it to the plate, as there was only 5 seconds left, and Patty said it was her fault. When asked, Travis liked how his ribs were perfectly cooked, but both Tom and Gail said there was too much rub.
They are sent back for deliberation, but are asked to send in the Green Team - and they are the top team. There's really nothing said against any of the dishes, although Tom tells Carrie that coffee would have been proper in the tiramisu and that it would have worked with nectarines. Sue announces the winner - and it's Stephanie! YAY!
The judges deliberate again about the Gray Team's dishes. I'm thinking it's either Patty or Nicholas, and I really hope it's Patty. We're back and Tom reviews each dish, and turns to Padma to have her announce who's asked to PYKAG. :::Whooshing camera shots::: and it's Patty. So she's up against Janine in LCK.
Previews show Dr. John and a whole pig - this ought to be interesting next week!