This particular episode sagged faster than a thin slice of Gruyère placed on the engine of an idling F-16. If you watch it after reading this, keep your ears peeled for how often:

A) A cheftestant mocks the quickfire judge for not knowing what he’s doing (“You’re from California! You should know about Mexican food!”)


B) A cheftestant essentially laughs off the contest and/or a setback that should be taken seriously in the context of the contest.

If you read this after watching it, you’ll get what I’m talking about. Overall, blood pressure—and therefore, entertainment—remains pretty low.

This week’s quickfire was to make something (in 12 short minutes) using a piece of cheese from a massive, massive stack of stuff at the front of the studio.

Question for the producers: Where was the American-made cheese, you ignorant jackwagons? Wisconsin often wins more international medals for its cheese than any other country (country!), and California and Vermont put out some damn fine product, too. Instead, blah blah France this blah blah Italy that. Ugh.

Traci won for melting the indoor-scarf-bedecked Beverly Hills cheesemonger judge’s favorite French cheese on some bread.

Far more impressive was runner-up Naomi, who managed to pull off a properly cooked (if rare) cheese-accented steak within the time constraints. Naomi’s emerging as a real front-runner on the show, in terms of both personality and skill.

What seemed like hokey cross-promotion was, in fact, thought-provoking cross-promotion. Cast members of The Biggest Loser came on to talk food and nutrition with the chefs, and each brought a favorite meal (a Chinese buffet, meat-laden thick-crust pizza, French toast, etc.) that needed to be transformed into a low-cal equivalent. Working in teams of three, the chefs were tasked to create breakfast, lunch, and dinner using a total of 1,500 calories.

Contestants considered three main routes: Just scale down? Sub out ingredients to try to re-create taste? Just ignore the Losers’ (no pejorative intended) preferences and do whatever you want?

Floyd won by following route two, re-creating a meatball grinder with a buffalo-meat meatball and farro.

Suvir picked route three, lecturing everyone at length about the evils of red meat while re-creating the bacon hamburger as a falafel-like pile of vegetable protein and Asian slaw. Restaurant Girl called it “a lecture on a plate.” Thus, Suvir left the show in a manner befitting his behavior on it: totally insufferably.

Judges: well done.

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