We're back after the Thanksgiving break. Gregory realizes he's very lucky to not have been asked to PYKAG. Katsuji is congratulated, and Adam asks “Who's ready for Restaurant Wars?”
The next morning, they get a note from Padma to meet at the Revere Hotel. They are met by Padma and Chef Barbara Lynch. Sure enough, Padma says since there are only 8 of the chefs left, it's time for Restaurant Wars! Barbara Lynch tells them it usually takes up to a year to open a restaurant; they'll have 24 hours. Padma says they'll serve in the space they're in in two teams of four, and they will serve 100 diners, including the Chase Sapphire VIP Cardmember guests. The VIP guests will be the only diners, along with the judges, who will taste all of the food at both restaurants.
They draw knives, and the first and second choices are Melissa and Katie. They will pick the teams. In order, they each pick:
Melissa - Doug, Mei, & Adam
Katie – Gregory, Katsuji, & Keriann
As a team, they need to decide who is the Executive Chef, and who will be FOH. Each chef must provide at least one dish. Barbara Lynch reminds them to stay focused, and to remember that less is more.
For Melissa's team, Adam will be FOH, and Doug will be EC. Doug offers to be EC, and Adam reminds him that being EC during Restaurant Wars is taking a risk, but Doug's willing to go for it. Their team is going with a family-style type of meal – that's 130 portions that everyone will serve themselves from single bowls/plates placed on their tables.
For Katie's team, Keriann will be FOH, and Katie will be EC. Katsuji says Katie's never run a restaurant, and she's good at “.....Uhhh, someone help me fill in the blanks? Good for her for taking a risk, but even better for us” (meaning the rest of his team). They're going to focus on a global-type menu – Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and French were thrown out. (This sounds like a mess already!) Gregory's happy to step back and take a back seat. Their restaurant will be called Magellan – inspired by the explorer “who traveled the world to find spices,” per Keriann.
They head to Arhaus Furniture to get some décor for their restaurant. Adam is saying “this is an area where I need to have a lot of say!” Adam goes for something that isn't liked by the others, but Melissa finds 4 piggy banks, and there's 4 team members – the name of their restaurant will be “Four Pigs”.
They then head to a party center for utensils, plates, etc., and then the teams split up and head to Restaurant Depot and Whole Foods for ingredients. Back into the TC Kitchen to begin prep. Keriann's dish will be cold, so the others on her team don't have to cook anything for her. Sounds like a good strategy....maybe.
Katsuji sounds rather condescending towards Doug, saying he's never been an EC in his life, so this is good for him. “Good for you, little thing, good for you!” with a few hand claps. Then he gets just as condescending towards Keriann and says her making her crepes ahead of time vs. made to order isn't the way he'd do it. He's saying he'll have time tomorrow to make them made-to-order, but is he going to offer to do so? “Noooo! Because at the end of the day, I only care about myself. It's a cooking competition.” (That might be so, but he still sounds rather douchy for saying it.)
The next morning, they head to the Revere Hotel and begin finalizing their menu. They have 4 hours to finish cooking and finish their restaurants. Keriann works with her FOH team and sounds like she's got things covered. Meanwhile, Adam is busy trying to finish as much of the prep on his dish as possible, and then has to run up front to meet with his team. Mei and Melissa are having a blast working on the same line – Mei calls themselves “Homies. We understand each other, and I honestly hope it's Melissa and me at the end.”
Meanwhile, Doug can't find Adam's clam shells so he can begin stuffing them. He goes out front to get Adam and ask him where his clams are. Adam looks for his clam shells; he had transferred them out of the dish tray into a hotel pan – and they're nowhere to be found. Doug realizes they bought extra clams, so he's going to clean them with Adam. Adam goes to get “suaved up” (licking his forefinger and pinky and “smoothing” down his eyebrows. Ick.)
The Chase Sapphire guests walk in with Kristen Kish and Stephanie Cmar as part of that group, and sit down at Magellan. The judges walk in – Padma, Gail, Tom and Barbara Lynch – and get seated at Four Pigs. Adam is not in the FOH, so one of the waitstaff asks Padma “Can I have your last name?” She replies “I promise you we have a reservation!” She finally says “Top Chef judges”, and the waitperson apologizes. Padma says “That's the first time I've had to fight for a table in a long time!”
FOUR PIGS' APPETIZERS
Adam – Salt Baked Clams, Ramps, Bacon & Sunflower Seeds
Mei – Chicken Liver Toast with Plum Puree
Barbara Lynch thought the clams were a bit salty, but it all tied together. Tom thought it was a bit dense, but the seasoning was right there, as were the flavors. Gail likee the toast, and Barbara thought it was like eating melted peanut butter and jelly, which Padma didn't mind.
Meanwhile, in Magellan, dishes are being double-served to various tables, and some aren't going to the correct tables. There's no unison between the BOH and FOH. Katie comes upstairs to see what the problem is, and talks with Keriann, but it doesn't seem like they understand each other. Over in Four Pigs, meanwhile, Tom notes that Adam is doing a great job as FOH – people are happy, servers are happy.
FOUR PIGS' ENTREES
Doug – Braised Pork Shoulder, Baked Beans, Pickled Red Onion & Mustard Seeds
Melissa – Seared Scallops & Radish Salad with Grapefruit
Mei - Fried Brussels Sprouts with Anchovy-Olive Vinaigrette
Gail said the acidity of Mei's Brussels sprouts was good at the beginning, but then it's too much. Tom loves the pork shoulder from Doug. In the confessional, Mei said that Doug is doing a great job of expediting. Melissa's scallop is way too salty for Tom and Padma. Meanwhile, at Magellan, Katie has no idea what she's doing in expediting her dishes. There are extra dishes still going out, and Katsuji is glad he has way more dishes than he needed.
FOUR PIGS' DESSERT
Melissa – Buttermilk Biscuit Cobbler, Apples, Mixed Berries & Cardamom Cream
Gail said “I heart cardamom!” and Padma says “The cardamom cream makes this cobbler!”
Ultimately, Tom said there were some mistakes, but conceptually, from start to finish, they did a great job.
Meanwhile, back at Magellan, Keriann is asking how desserts were for several diners, and they reply “We haven't received them yet!” Other diners haven't yet received their forks. The judges arrive at Magellan, and no one is there to greet them. So Tom steps behind the host's table to greet themselves. Down in the kitchen, Keriann's mousse spread is too stiff and unable to be spread on the crepes, and Gregory is going to heat some up, hoping that everything will work.
In the in-between, Doug notes to the camera “Adam likes to talk, which is a huge bonus for FOH!” - and Adam tells diners that he was the one who got put out front in the awkward role to be “chipper and cheery”, and that he worked FOH when he was 18 years old. Some of the diners ask him “Are you a Yankees fan? We can smell it on you!” He nicely said “I'm far outnumbered here, so leave it to me to make sure I pronounce things like 'skawlup' and 'cawd'!” LOL He actually pronounced those words perfectly – if you're in Bawstin. :-)
Back at Magellan, Keriann comes down to the kitchen and asks for the judges' appetizers. (Quickly at Four Pigs, the VIP guests say they like the sound of the menu better.) Padma is noting that Keriann isn't out in the restaurant at all, and only a few diners are eating.
Katie – Roasted Beets, Sri Lankan Curry, Toasted Coconut & Pickled Cauliflower
Katsuji – Hamachi Sashimi, Roasted Poblano, Blistered Tomato, Citrus-Habanero Salsa & Garlic Chips
Katsuji – Dry Pozole, Chili, Dungeness Crab & Chicharrones
Gail thought the beets looked very pretty when they came to the table, but Tom said the curry didn't tie together with the beets. Barbara Lynch liked the Hamachi, but it had too many onions.
Gregory – Seared Haddock, Spiced Tomato, Garam Masala & Pickled Mushrooms
Gregory – Hoisin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Bay Scallops, Broccolini & XO Sauce
Gail said the seasoning on the fish was good, and Tom thought the fish was well cooked. He liked the tomato....but said Gregory should have stopped there. Padma said the pork was nicely cooked, and likes his scallops 100x more than Melissa's.
Keriann – Vanilla Crepe, Burnt Banana Mousse, Macerated Cherries with Ginger & Pistachio
As Keriann was picking up the dishes to serve them to the judges, she said “Why are they f***ing hot?” She realized that the BOH had changed her dessert without telling her. Gail said there's no color on the crepe, and Tom said “I have no idea what this is, but it's dry as … you could play hockey with this thing!” Barbara said she's pissed off, and she's not paying for dinner. :-)
Keriann asks down in the kitchen why they were hot, and Katie just looks at her. Keriann says “What?” Katsuji says “That was the decision.” And Keriann said “To make it hot?” He replies “It wasn't my decision!” Meanwhile, back at the judges table, Gail said “Magellan has lost its way.”
Padma comes down and asks to see the team from Four Pigs. Padma notes how tired they look, and Adam says it was a long 48 hours, and it's a “tough job out here. At no point did that escape me!” Barbara Lynch said she admires him – he got respect right away from his servers, and it showed. Tom thought his clam dish was very good, and Gail said Doug's dish had great flavor and everyone liked it. Gail said it seemed like all of the dishes came from one kitchen with a unified vision. Melissa notes that Doug was on top of the expediting. Barbara said she was proud that they worked as a team. Padma asks them to send back the team from Magellan.
Tom asks the group from Magellan that, when they were putting their restaurant together, did they ever think they were going to have trouble keeping track of the tickets?. Keriann said that dishes kept coming out, when they hadn't been ordered. She wasn't in the kitchen to see what was happening. Gail asks if the servers were educated on the system, and Keriann replied that they had been educated. Padma asks where Keriann was, because she wasn't on the floor. Keriann replied that she tried to be on the floor the entire time. Gail asked if she was worried about how disparate the dishes were, and Keriann had thought about that, but she wanted the chefs to be comfortable with the dishes they were making.
Tom said the beet dish didn't come together. Barbara asked Keriann “You delegated your crepes, right?” and said they were soggy. Keriann wasn't aware of that until they came out – the chefs in the kitchen had heated them up; she said the dish was supposed to be served cold. Barbara Lynch asked “Who decided to change the dessert or refire it?” Katsuji said “A little butter in a pan, heat them up on low; and I warm up the crepes, and I warm up the filling.” Gail asked him how he would feel if someone changed his dish; he said he would be upset...but that it wasn't his call. Gail immediately asked “Who's call was it?” He said “Not mine.” Gail repeats even more firmly “Who's call *was* it?” After a very long pause, Katsuji finally said “Executive Chef.”
Katie said “I guess at the end of the day, I was picturing a mousse texture, and this was not a mousse.” Tom asked Katie if she had thought about calling Keriann into the kitchen to tell her the crepe was tearing, the mousse was too thick” - and no, Katie did not. Tom then asks Keriann why she didn't tell the chefs that her dessert wasn't being presented correctly when they were going out. Padma notes they were the last to get their desserts and Keriann said she didn't get a chance to see all of the desserts before they were served. Padma asks them to leave so they can deliberate.
Padma said there's a clear winner – Four Pigs. Barbara said they respected each other; they worked towards the mission. Tom said Adam did an amazing FOH but Doug created a great dish and held his team together.
As for Magellan, Keriann had no urgency in the dining room, and she didn't train the staff well. Gail recognizes that Keriann's dish was hijacked, but Katie was in over her head. She didn't have control of her team. They all head back to Judges Table.
Congratulations go to the Four Pigs team, and the winner is Doug. Barbara said the concept would be tremendously successful. (So much for Katsuji's condescending remarks about Doug!) As for Magellan, it seems to be between Katie and Keriann as to who is going home. And Padma asks Keriann to PYKAG. Tom notes the disorganized service and the worst dish on the team was what caused her to be picked to be asked to leave.
Previews show a Sudden Death Quickfire – and the chefs who were previously booted will return for a competition, and it looks like whichever chef wins who is “enlisted” by those still in the competition, he or she will rejoin the competition immediately. And Padma says there's one more way to get back into the competition – Last Chance Kitchen is back. We're also shown that the judges will be doing the shopping – and Padma dumping a load of fish and hauling around some watermelons. That part looks like it'll be funny!