At the bar after the last challenge, Richard says he wanted to go to the end with Dale - he's bummed. Tiffany notes that this upcoming challenge is where she got eliminated - and she *can't* go home at the same challenge this time around! Foretelling? Then Mike says he doesn't want to celebrate *too* soon - another foretelling?
Back at the house, Antonia and Carla both predict that Padma will walk through the house door - and she does! She tells them to get their chef coats on and meet her on the roof. Antonia says "Great - she's going to have us base jump off the room and scramble an egg before we hit the ground!" :-)
Nope - no base jumping - they're going to take a ferry over to Ellis Island where they'll meet up with her and the guest judge. But surprise! They find a note on the boat and their Quickfire is to assemble a dish from anything on the boat (mostly snack food!) - and they can cook from "horn to horn", however long that might be/ And when it first sounds, they scramble!
Antonia - puts together a grilled cheese
Richard - a hot dog version of a bahn mi
Carla - an orange salad
Mike - a bread soup with pork rinds
Tiffany - first she made nachos, then she made popcorn with dried fruit
The 2nd horn sounds, and they're done - just barely! Padma and Dan Barber, guest judge, come onto the boat. He's all about the natural foods - but they used all processed foods! LOL
He seemed to like dishes from Richard, Antonia, and Carla. And Carla wins the Quickfire! Richard's ticked off. I seriously thought Antonia's dish might win it. It looked good!
Padma says this will be the last Elimination Challenge in NYC. Using their family history, they are to create a dish that represents their heritage - and Bravo hired a genealogist to research their families to provide them some inspiration! Who brings out their genealogy books? Family members! Carla's and Richard's spouses are there, and the moms of Antonia, Mike and Tiffany show up.
Richard's wife is 5 months pregnant, so it makes it very emotional challenge for him. Meat seems to be his focus, as well as Worcestershire sauce (his family is from there and he loves it!)
Tiffany's going to go with something with okra in it, even though Tom doesn't like it. She says "But he hasn't tried mine yet!"
Carla's great-great-grandfather was one of the last slaves freed in TN. She's going to stick with Southern food.
Mike's background is Italian and Irish - he sticks with Italian and says maybe gnocchi and gravy. His mom says "Oh, I hope nice and light!" LOL
Antonia realizes that the genealogist has discovered that she and MIke be related! Mike says "that's why we fight so much!" Antonia tells her mother about Mike always farting, and her Mom says "That's on your father's side, not mine!" Not sure what Antonia was thinking of going with.
They go shopping at WF, and then they're back at the house, where Mike and Antonia hug it out. They compare genealogy notes, and Mike is shown in his book in PINK SPANDEX in dance school when he was about 6 years old - TOO funny!
They wake up to a DVD on the table...and go outside to see a Toyota, where they pop in the DVD to find out whoever wins tonight gets the Toyota Highlander Hybrid AND a spot in the finals.
They head in the a.m. to Giando on the Water and cook like crazy. The guests arrive - their family members are joining the judges!
First up is Mike with Grandma's Gnocchi with Pork Ragu and Whipped Burrata - everyone likes it, even John Barber, who said Mike's gnocchi were nice and light. Mike's mom said he did better than Grandma! LOL
Next is Antonia, who made Braised Veal with Risotto, Fava Beans, and Broccoli Rabe - also VERY well liked! (And to my eye, it looked SERIOUSLY good!)
Third is Tiffany - she's got that okra! She made Braised Short Ribs with Mustard Greens (cooked down with pig feet), Okra and Oxtail Marmalade. Tom actually *likes* the okra - that's a first!
In a quick pause between courses, Antonia's mother asks Tom Colicchio if they've ever had a Final 5 - he laughs and shakes his head "no".
Richard is up next - he's going with meat and potatoes from his Irish heritage - Braised Short Ribs, Potatoes, Fried Bone Marrow, and Pickled Glasswort (a.k.a. "sea beans" but Richard likes the word glasswort better). Tom says this dish is "alright." "Not just all right - it's ALL RIGHT!" meaning the ingredients are great together.
When asked, Carla's husband says they met on Match.com and got married about 8 months later! Finally, it's Carla's turn - she made Braised Pork Shoulder, Fried Grits, and Cheddar Biscuits. And everyone loved it as well - Tom said he couldn't imagine how hard Judge's Table was going to be tonight and Gail Simmons agreed.
The cheftestants all get to say goodbye to their loved ones, and then they're back in the Stew Room. Tiffany tells them that her Mom said *everyone's* food was good. Then Padma comes in and asks to see ALL of them!
Turns out that Carla used liquid nitrogen to get the grits the way she wanted - Gail said "You did WHAT?" and Carla said "I *know!" with a big grin and a bit of a squeal. :-)
Richard's dish "all made sense" per Tom. A story was told by his dish...which seems to be what Richard wanted to do. I think Tom was just blown away by Richard's entire dish.
Antonia's risotto gets rave reviews - Tom said her confidence came through with this dish. Risotto has had trouble being served on TC, and Antonia's version was nothing like what Tom says is often served in restaurants. Hers was spot on.
Tiffany was *thrilled* that Tom loved her okra - he was very pleased. It was "good." Hmmmm....could that be the defining word as compared to everyone else's dish?
Mike's gnocchi were highly praised as was the simple "gravy". John Barber said the flavor was fulfilling without being heavy. Mike gets emotional saying he hadn't cooked Italian food after his grandmother died since she was the one who taught him to cook. Gail tells him that his mother told the table that his grandmother's was the best gnocchi she'd ever had.....until she tasted Mike's.
So - HOW are they going to pick someone to go home? We're back at JT...They are effusive over all 5 dishes, and while Tom says he's going to steal Richard's sea bean idea, Padma said she wanted "more green" from Richard.
Dan Barber gets to announce the winner - and it's ANTONIA! She's been a dark horse for a lot of people here on CH, and you all were right! She gets the Toyota Highlander, and moves on to the final round - taking place in the Bahamas.
Tom says Mike also moves on to the final! And Richard is looking crestfallen - it CANNOT be him! Please!
And we're back at JT - And Padma says "Richard.....Pack Your Knives......You're GOING to the Bahamas! OK, Padma, that's just MEAN! He seriously looked like he was going to lose it right there! He heads back into the Stew Room and says "I'm safe" and Antonia and Mike are thrilled.
So it's down to Tiffany and Carla! Was the foretelling about Tiffany I noted at the beginning be correct? Or will they both be told they're BOTH going to the Bahamas to duke it out there?
We're back for the last time - Tom says it's a tough decision, and looks to Padma. Yup - they're BOTH going to the Bahamas! Antonia's mom's question to Tom was prophetic! They couldn't say goodbye to either of them - it was too tough, Tom said!
They're all crazy in the Stew Room when they find out!
Previews - they're going to go head-to-head against the chef who WON their season - so we see Stephanie Izard, Mike Voltaggio, Hosea Rosenberg (::::gag::::) and Kevin Sbraga. SO glad to see both Mike Voltaggio and Stephanie Izard back!
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