Today we find our heroes at NYC Grand Central Station and the theme of the Chairman's Challenge is "Storytelling".
Each chef must tell a story using various NYC landmarks as the inspiration, or the focal point. In other words, NYC on a plate.
Burrell: Central Park
Chiarello: Statute of Liberty
Falkner: Brooklyn Bridge
Zakarian: Times Square
Guarnaschelli: Empire State Building
Guarnaschelli says Zakarian is a rebel (that, or he can't color a coloring book to save his life).
Guarnaschelli's food takes a bath. Oops.
Two new additional judges today: Charlie Palmer and IC Marc Forgione
Onto judging ...
Burrell's story is about her journey to NY (e.g. small town girl makes it big in the Big Apple!) so she made cornish game hen, which the judges and they say it's "gorgeous" and "perfect"
Guarnaschelli starts with farm staples because the Empire State Building was built on a farm, but some judges did not like inedible things on the dish (no burnt items!). Dish is not as good as the story so say the judges.
Zakarian wanted to be magical because of his locale -- Times Square -- but ended up with a multi-course meal indicative of a Bento Box. One judge is confused, even though the egg is cooked "perfectly".
Chiarello is inspired to make a rabbit dish because of the Statute of Liberty because Liberty Island had rabbits. Story is good, but one judge had an issue with the plating but still thought the dish tasted "phenomenal" and "sublimely delicious"
Samuelsson's theme is "BIG" because it's Broadway, baby! But he (gack!) makes another duo, a steak salad and salmon. Does he never learn?? Judges don't buy the story.
Falkner goes German-Austrian because the architect of that darn bridge is German. One judge asks how the dish should be eaten -- i.e., in what order. But the dish is great, food is overall very good. The downer? Her storytelling sucks.
WINNER: Burrell (runner-up Chiarello)
LOSERS: Samuelsson versus Falkner
Elimination Challenge Secret Ingredient? Bagel, but of course.
Falkner makes "bagel with the works" which means ice cream and lox. Huh. Judges say it was "well executed" and "interesting" Ice cream was not a big winner. No surprise.
Samuelsson makes bagel dumplings (among other things), or "Lox, Bagels and Cream". He finally makes one dish, and judges say it was "well focused" but the gazpacho was a bit out of place. Overall? "Well done" says one judge.