It's about the PIG. A whole PIG. Thatsalotta PIG!
Quick review in the Stew Room. We find out that Patty had only been cooking for 3 years. Sara calls herself a gooch, meaning bad luck for every team she is part of, they're on the bottom or the middle.
Back at the house, Travis notes to Stephanie that she needed the win. The next morning, they arrive at the TC Kitchen and Dr. John is there next to Padma.
For the Quickfire, they won't be making a dish. Padma tells them they'll be making a favorite condiment found all around the world - hot sauce. Dr. John says he's looking for "hip tang." Brian's confused as to what that is. Dr. John: "If it has flavor nicety of the highest order, and it has tang nicety that mixes in? Killer sauce! I hit it, can't quit it!"
They have 45 minutes to make and bottle their perfect hot sauce. The winner will have immunity in the next Elimination Challenge. Off they rush to the pantry to gather their ingredients. Carlos says "all the pressure will be on me, being the only Mexican chef. I work with chilies all the time, so everybody assumes it's going to be an easy win for me." However, he later states that he only used one pepper in his sauce - a habanero. He asks Nicholas about his sauce - Nicholas said in the confessional that he had his first ulcer when he was 20, and so he's not that fond of hot sauce. He was very nervous person in his 20s, so he's looking to make a balanced sauce.
Some are going Mexican, some are going Asian, some are going Caribbean.
Brian - Jalapeno & Serrano Hot Sauce with Lime & Yuzu Juices. Dr. John has no preference on color; looking for the hip tang. Dr. John said it's kind of different, and that's a good thing.
Shirley - Hot Sauce with Habaneros, Serrano Chilies, Ginger & Pineapple. Dr. John says "off the hook."
Carrie - Trinidadian Inspired Pepper Sauce with Habaneros & Green Mango. The heat hits first, but he's wondering about the tang.
Nicholas - Sweet & Sour Hot Sauce with Smoked Apricots, Vinegar & Coffee. Dr. John gives a "hip tang."
Louis - Fresno Chili, Distilled Vinegar, Maple Syrup & Chili Powder. Dr. John doesn't have a handle on this one at all. Louis isn't sure if it blew his mind, or what.
Stephanie - Peach Vinegar & Habanero Hot Sauce. Another "off the hook; I kind of like it."
Carlos - Yucatan-Style Sauce with Mango, Passion Fruit & Habanero. Dr. John said Carlos was wise to the ways of hot sauce.
Nina - Caribbean Hot Sauce with Habaneros, Ginger, & Apple Cider Vinegar. It's definitely hot.
Justin - Pepper Hot Sauce with Fermented Anchovies. Dr. John digs the anchovies.
(Sara's wasn't shown, nor was Travis's sauce)
Bottom group - Nicholas, Carrie, Nina
Top group - Brian, Justin, Carlos
And the winner is? Brian. He get immunity again, 2nd time in a row.
The Elimination Challenge - it's time to PIG OUT with a Boucherie. In comes a whole hog along with Toby Rodriguez (artist/butcher/chef) and guest judge, Chef Donald Link. A Cajun/Creole boucherie is where a community comes together to break down an animal, and everyone breaks off to use different food items. The 11 cheftestants will butcher a 300 lb. hog. Toby tells them that teamwork during the butchering is very key - so he hopes they all get along.
Padma tells them they'll have 5 hours to cook at Bayou Barn with over 250 guests. Each will serve one dish, but all eleven are responsible to making sure the entire hog is used. Toby and Donald Link will give them a taste of an authentic boucherie this evening by cooking dinner.
They all gather around to break down the hog. Nicholas, Travis, and Justin will be doing the majority of the butchering. Sara says she's taken down a few hogs in her career, but Louis notes that all she is doing it telling Nicholas what to do vs. jumping in helping to break it down.
After they've figured out what cut they're taking, they're off to Whole Foods to shop for the rest of ingredients. Back to the house where Toby and Donald are there cooking them dinner with some sous chefs. They dig in, talk with the chefs who cooked for them. Lots of family reminisces. Turns out that both Carlos and Justin will be making tacos with their pig parts. (Justin grew up in California, so he was familiar with Mexican food.)
The next morning, they head off to the Bayou Barn to start cooking. There's a China box, and a huge smoker-grill. Justin builds a huge fire on his grill, and several people go over to start using it. He complains, Nina tells him she'll remove her pressure cookers on the fire. She uses the "suck a dick' term to him, and Justin isn't happy. Stephanie sees a huge alligator just beyond a bamboo fence and freaks out.
Louis notes that the boucherie is friends and family getting together to share a pig. Back home, he's rather anti-social, just working. But here he's made more friends in the past few weeks than he has his entire life.
Tom Colicchio and Donald Link show up to ask the chefs what they're making. Shirley's Chinese New Year is very similar to the boucherie, and Donald Link is going to be interested to try different flavors.
Justin's grill goes VERY hot - and even though he tries to tame it down with lots of water, his pork starts to overcook. Then Brian checks on his pork in the Cajun oven (same thing as the China box, I believe), and his pork also looks overcooked on the outside, but once he checks it, he's happy. Nina realizes her dish is rather underwhelming, so she adds cayenne, and hopes she doesn't overspice it.
The guests arrive and begin to eat, and are loving the food. Tom and the judges show up, and Tom calls out "Can we cut the line?" Someone calls back "No!" and Tom swears and starts laughing.
Brian - Porchetta with Oyster Mushrooms. Padma likes it.
Sara - Pork Dim Sum with Crab & Shrimp Har Gow. Tom likes her dumpling.
Justin - Wood-Roasted Pork Breast Taco with Pork Liver Salsa Verde. Donald Link said the tortilla was good, but if you're going to cook something a long time, it needs some fat to baste it; otherwise, it's going to be dry.
Carlos - Pozole Verde with Fried Chorizo Tacos. Hugh said it's not the typical boucherie cooking, but Tom said the idea is the spirit of it, and it was delicious.
Shirley - Jiaozi Dumpling with Pork, Grilled Kidney & Crispy Pork Fat Salad. Padma said her dumpling was delicious. Guests said hers was the only dish with cracklings...how can you have a boucherie without cracklings? (referring to the other dishes)
Louis - Slow-Grilled Pork Leg with Spring Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms, Melted Corn & Popcorn. As Hugh is walking to get on line, someone whispers to him "This is the best line!" Tom also notes someone said it to him as well, but it's not the best one, according to Tom. The pork was very well cooked, per Hugh, but everything else was rather confusing and didn't work.
Stephanie - Pork Brodo with Braised Pork Belly & Summer Vegetable Pickle. Padma likes everything except the pork belly, and both she and Donald Link love her broth.
Travis - Cajun-Style Pork Ramen with Pork Bone Broth & Collard Greens. Hugh asked if he made the ramen noodles, and Travis admits he didn't. But both Hugh and Tom like his dish.
Carrie - Crispy Trotters with Snap Peas & Pickled Onions. Tom tells Hugh he thinks they're going to have a tough time figuring out who wins, because he really likes Carrie's dish.
Nicholas - Tete de Cochon with Summer Beans, Lemongrass Vinaigrette & Wheat Berries. Donald notes it's a very rich and heavy dish, and Padma said Nicholas was smart to give some brightness to the veggies. Donald really likes it.
Nina - Braised Pig's Head Ragu, Roasted Corn & Mustard Greens. Tom likes it - he said the heat builds on it - doesn't hit you all at once. Padma asks Toby assistants how they did - they said based on what they showed them last night, and what the cheftestants did today, they did really well.
In the in-between, both Carlos and Nina note that Stephanie overthinks too much about her food, and she is so nervous about everything. Stephanie agrees that she's a mess.
Back in the Stew Room, the TV comes on. Tom notes that this was some of the most enjoyable food in all 11 seasons that he's had. The best dishes came from Shirley, Nina, Brian, Carlos. However, Padma notes that Justin's meat was rather dry - it was one of the last pieces when they got there - Tom said perhaps they were getting the "dregs". Justin notes "It wasn't dry! It was brisket! There was plenty of fat!" Tom didn't like the corn in Louis's dish (although Donald did), and Padma notes that many guests were going back to get the popcorn. Donald said the popcorn was great, but unnecessary. Travis' ramen had good flavor but there were flaws in the dish. Hugh notes that Stephanie's pork belly was rather flat.
Padma comes in and asks to see Nina, Shirley and Carlos. They are the top group. Tom tells Shirley that he would travel with her and her mother for 3 days to go to her grandmother's house for her dumplings. Tom tells Carlos he wants his posole recipe. Tom tells Nina that Shirley and Carlos went with really traditional dishes, but Nina's dish came out of left field. He says if this isn't a national dish of somewhere, it should be - perhaps Ninastan?
Donald announces the winner, by a very slim margin - Carlos is the winner! The judges now want to see Justin, Louis, and Stephanie. They are the bottom group.
Justin is surprised that he is standing there. Padma notes that her meat was bland and very dry. Justin feels like it was a well-cooked piece of meat. Tom notes that *none* of the dishes were bad, and they were all delicious. Tom said he and Hugh ate Justin's dish first, and it was good. So it's an issue of consistency. For Stephanie, Donald notes that there was good flavor - but it was all in the broth. The pork had been drained of flavor. Louis's dish had the popcorn - Donald said it was unnecessary. Tom said the skin on the corn kernels were too thick. Hugh said there was just one too many ideas on his plate.
They leave while the judges deliberate. Hugh notes that there wasn't enough passion in these three dishes. Stephanie's dish really lack the most heart and soul. Justin's dry pork was the issue. Louis's problem was too much stuff on the dish, but at least his pork was delicious.
:::Whooshing camera of the cheftestants::: Tom reviews; Padma announces. And it's Louis who is asked to PYKAG. He's off to LCK against Janina.
Previews show Restaurant Wars! And it definitely is going to be an interesting one.