It's Thanksgiving during a Seattle summer! And based on the previews, they'll be cooking under Tom C. and Emeril to dish out a Thanksgiving dinner.
But first, we have a Quickfire. The cheftestants enter the TC Kitchen, and Dana Cowen, editor of Food & Wine, is there as guest judge. Padma shows them a world map that has 17 different knives that note where 17 different dumplings have been created - so each cheftestant has an hour to make the dumpling. Each chef will get a Kindle Fire to research their dumpling - they have 5 minutes to grab their dumpling knife and figure out how to make that particular dumpling. Carla is having problems figuring out how to make fufu (from Africa) as she cannot type it on the Kindle with her cut hand.
And Kuniko never got anything on her plate. :-(
Stefan - Klopse/Germany - Ground lamb, mashed potatoes, and caper sauce.
Lizzie - Szilvas Gomboc/Hungary - Plum & cinnamon filling in a potato pastry.
Carla - Fufu/Africa - Chicken & lamb filling with a red sauce (she didn't get to read the recipe online so she created her own)
CJ - Pierogi/Poland - Veal and pork filling with demi-glace
Kuniko - no dish to judge
Josie - Mandu/Korea - Pork, tofu, shiitake mushroom filling
Bart - Potetball/Norway - Potato ball with lamb & fried spaghetti
Kristen - Momo/Nepal - Pork & chicken liver with ginger and cumin
John - Kroppkaka/Sweden - Potato dumpling with bechamel sauce
Sheldon - Jiaozi/China - Pork & shrimp filling with shiitake mushrooms
Brooke - Siomay/Indonesia - Chicken & shrimp with peanut sauce & daikon (she didn't get any flour)
Micah - Manti/Kazakhstan - Ground lamb with dates, curry & cinnamon
We don't get to see the remaining five dumplings.
Bottom group - Brooke, Carla, Kuniko
Top group - Josie, Stefan, and Micah
And the winner? Josie! And Stefan looks bent out of shape that he didn't win. Good. ;-)
For the Elimination Challenge, they're cooking Thanksgiving dinner for FareStart, the recent James Beard Foundation award winner for Humanitarian of the Year. Padma asks the 8 on the left to be one team, the remaining 7 will be the other team. And Tom Colicchio and Emeril walk into the TC kitchen to be the team leaders. As CJ said "Holy f*ckballs, we're going to be working with Tom and Emeril - it's crazy!" Tom will lead the Red Team, and Emeril will lead the Gray Team. Tom C. and Emeril will help guide the teams, but the teams themselves will do the actual cooking.
Emeril goes with a Creole type of Thanksgiving, while Tom C. will go with an Italian-American style Thanksgiving. Both teams get cooking, and Tom and Emeril are helping with prep. They look like they're actually having a lot of fun.
The next day, they have 5 hours to cook their meal for the volunteers, students and chefs of FareStart. Josie calls the South vs. the northern Italian as the Civil War of Thanksgiving. Stefan bitches about not having any room for him to work because the other team has taken up all the space. He and John Tesar *just* barely start to get into a bit of name calling.
CJ is looking to take the lead to ensure his team is getting things done on time. John enlists Kuniko to help him because "her dish is basic and simple". Kuniko knows she has to time herself very carefully today so she doesn't run out of time. Kristen asks Kuniko "how is your dish?" and she replies "Haven't touched" (because she's so busy helping out John). Kristen asks her if she has time, and Kuniko says "I think so."
Tyler reveals that he's been sober for the past 7 months He said one of the traditions he had at his house was to get hammered really early. He's struggled with alcoholism for about 25 years, but feel he's now on a good path. Josie looks at her turkey, and she's not happy with the color of the bird. She drops down the temperature to try and go low and slow so it doesn't burn.
Tom C. and Emeril walk in to see the dishes - Emeril's concerned about how dark the birds are on his team, and is hoping it's not too dry. He said "as long as it's not overcooked" and Josie said "no." (She took responsibility with the turkeys because she has immunity).
Carla freaks out when Stefan and CJ both taste the base of what will be her soup. She's hollering there's no seasoning, and they both tell her they *know* there was no seasoning. She continues to harp about not being called sweetie or honey, don't tell her what the f*ck to do. Stefan says "That's why I left Europe - European women!"
The diners arrives, and Emeril's Gray Team is going to serve first. The director of FareStart, Megan Karch, is with the judges, along with Dana Cowin, and Thierry Rautureau, chef/owner of Rover's & Luc.
Josie explains that they are serving a Creole/Cajun Thanksgiving.
The turkey is carved, and it shows quite a bit of pink in the middle. Emeril said the seasoning is right, but Dana notes it was too raw on the inside. Josie was obviously not there when it was carved, as she said in a camera aside that she was happy with the turkey overall. She wasn't sure if it was overcooked, if it was dry, or if it was moist. I think it's VERY good she has immunity, as she would go home for raw turkey!
Danyele did Emeril's Mom's Bread Stuffing with Chorizo & Cayenne
John nailed Emeril's Cornbread Stuffing with Ground Turkey and Diced Bacon
Kristen did an Assiette of Root Vegetables, Parsnip Truffle Puree and Creme Fraiche - Tom didn't think it needed the creme fraiche, and Emeril thought the root vegetables were underseasoned.
Tyler's Andouille & Shrimp Gumbo - Emeril thought it had a bitter finish. Thierry said it was lacking depth. Emeril said he doesn't think Tyler added the Worcestershire and hot sauces.
Kuniko's Potato Pave - Padma and Dana both note the potatoes were raw, and Tom C. said it was also underseasoned. Back in the kitchen, Kuniko asks John who asked about pave, and John said "just one gentleman asked."
Sheldon's Braised Greens with Ham Hocks were well seasoned, but needed to be cooked more.
Brook's Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits - Dana loved the "slight crunch of the [pumpkin] seed" and Tom said it could be a new tradition.
Chrissy's White Chocolate & Pecan Bread Pudding - both Padma, Thierry and Megan Karch all loved the bread pudding.
John's Spiced Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Ricotta Torte - Thierry loved it, but others noted it was a bit grainy, which John even noted in the kitchen when speaking to another chef.
Next up is the Red Team's Italian-style Thanksgiving Dinner.
CJ's Braised Turkey with Tom's Stuffing (which has foie gras, sausage, fennel and kale). Tom said there's probably 3 lbs. of butter used to baste the bird, and CJ said he's never basted anything so long in his life.
Carla's Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs - Megan said that there's a lot of carrot soup at FareStart because the students learn their knife skills on carrots. Dana loves the meatballs and the creamy soup.
Bart made Fennel, Gorgonzola, Orange & Pumpkin Seed Salad - Dana liked the bitter greens as a palate cleanser, but Padma thought the salad could have used a bit more refinement.
Josh made Sweet Potato Ravioli with Pecans - Emeril said it was the weakest thing on the plate - the dough was a little tough. Tom noted that the sides of the ravioli was double thick, and that he should have pressed down on the sides so the thickness was the same all around.
Michah made Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries, Bacon & Shallots - Thierry was looking for seconds very quickly! But Dana and Tom both think they weren't seasoned and a bit too greasy.
Lizzie made a Potato Puree - essentially Mashed Potatoes. Emeril was surprised to hear they were doing that, but said they were really, really good mashed potatoes.
Stefan made Panna Cotta with Orange Cardamom Crisp & Candied Pecans - the jam in between wasn't working for Thierry and Padma said the cardamom wasn't working for her, but Tom liked it.
Eliza made Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate & Mint Syrup - Emeril said the first bite was very good, but the second bite was an overload of chocolate. Thierry said the white chocolate wasn't necessary as it was already a chocolate bomb.
Tom said that since both he and Emeril were helping with the dishes, that the two of them shouldn't be part of the judging. Padma, Dana, Megan and Thierry have to decide which team is the winner. Megan and Thierry both choose Tom's Red Team, and both Dana and Padma also agree that the Red Team was the overall winner.
They discuss who should go home, and Dana tosses out Tyler and his Gumbo. Emeril notes that Sheldon's greens weren't cooked long enough, although all the taste components were there, and Tom notes that another 5 minutes and they would have shown. Next up is Kuniko and her Potato Pave. Emeril notes that they were cut to be plated - shouldn't she have tasted it to see if they were tasting properly? Tom noted "forget tasting them - you couldn't even put your knife through them!" Megan didn't mind the potatoes, but she only ate the top. Tom said that he knows Josie has immunity, but thinks that she needs to hear that she blew it for her team.
They head back to Judges Table, ad Padma comes in and tells the Red Team they are the winning team. She asks to see CJ, Carla, and Lizzie. She tells Carla that she loved her soup. Emeril loved Lizzie's potatoes. Dana asks her if she knows Joel Robuchon's potatoes - and was she aiming for his half butter/half potato? Lizzie said yes she was, and Dana told her she hit the mark. Tom and Padma tell CJ that his turkey was perfectly done.
Dana announces the winner - and it's Carla's Carrot Soup!
Padma asks them to send back Tyler, Kuniko, Sheldon and Josie. (WTH is John going off on Danyelle in the Stew Room about how she did/didn't do with her dish?) Josh and CJ both are amazed at him doing so. (Couldn't understand what they were saying though.)
Tom notes that Josie's turkey was undercooked, although she thought it was on the medium side. Emeril asked about Tyler's gumbo - what did he do? Tyler said he put more roux in - Emeril asked if he tempered it, and Tyler said he did. Dana asked what flavor he was going for, and Tyler said he probably should have added more Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce after he added the roux, adn he decided not to. Tom said the end result was it was underseasoned.
Kuniko said she learned about the history of Louisiana and southern cooking, which she didn't know. Dana noted the potato pave was undercooked, and Kuniko said she was pushed for time. Tom said they had 5 hours to cook - Josie jumped in to say that Kuniko jumped in every single place where she needed to, but Padma said she can only judge on the potatoes she got - and it was plain and undercooked. Sheldon's greens were supposed to be melted greens and Sheldon didn't want to cook them to mush. But Emeril said they should have been cooked more.
Back to JT for the decision - and it's Kuniko who's asked to PYKAG. I'm sad - I wish she had made it further in the competition. But she said that she has no regrets helping everyone else, as she thinks it would have been worse just taking care of herself.
And astonishingly, John Tesar is being a jerk back in the Stew Room by saying while he's one of her [Kuniko's] biggest fans, as a chef you can do potatoes in your sleep. They had 5 hours to cook, her mind was some place else. (YEAH! It was helping YOU out, John!) CJ asks why John has to say something like that *now* - John said "I'm not lecturing you" (speaking to CJ) but CJ said everything ends up being a lecture from John. Looks like it might be beginning with John getting up in people's faces. And some people aren't going to take it!
The preview for next week? They look to have to butcher a side of beef for one of the challenges!