We're in the back stretch of Restaurant Wars. Seventy-five minutes long tonight!
They're back at the suite talking out on the deck about making it to Restaurant Wars. Josie asked Kristen if she's going to throw in any Korean influence into her turned-around classic French concept - and she isn't. Sheldon is going with modern Filipino. Stefan and Josh both aren't familiar with Filipino food, but Sheldon is confident in having Stefan as the FOH.
They head over the next morning to Georgetown Ballroom to check out the space. (A bit of product placement with the Toyota Avalons that they drive over in) They walk around looking for the kitchen, and Stefan realizes that there's no kitchen - they'll have to build them from scratch outside in the courtyard.
Kristen send Brooke and Josie off to get rental equipment. Josie tries a burnt orange napkin, but Brooke says she thinks it needs to be very simple and was leaning towards a muted forest green. She realizes that the dishes needs to be super elegant.
Meanwhile, Stefan heads off to a flower shop to pick out vases, flowers, pebbles. "Everyone thinks Europeans are gay, but we just like flowers. So what?" Sheldon and Josh are off to Uwajimaya for ingredients. Kristen and Lizzie are at Central Market getting their ingredients.
Back with Sheldon and Stefan getting equipment, Sheldon wants farmers tables, but Stefan says "Screw the farmers' tables; I want the 2-tops!" Sheldon realizes he'll need to keep a tight rein on Stefan. Stefan is taking over and admits he's doing so.
Sheldon starts some food prep, and Josie tells Kristen she's off to begin roasting bones. A bit later, Kristen asks if she's started roasting, and she said "I'm going to do it now." Later, Kristen asks if anyone is using the oven; Josie says no. She said she's going to mise everything and do it tomorrow. Kristen is frustrated. Josie says "Ideally, I would have gotten it done today, but there just isn't time. It doesn't really matter; I feel confident I can get it done tomorrow. That's just how I cook - I don't rush things!" OY FREAKING VEY!!!! They finish up and head out for the day.
Back at the suite, Brooke gets a letter and drawing from her 4yo son and gets emotional. The women get together and discuss how they're going to handle the initial rush of people at the door the next day. Josie suggests pre-plating, but Kristen wants to cook to order. Josie said in the confessional that Kristen does tasting menus for 10 people at her Boston restaurant, not 100 people. Josie is then back sitting with the guys on the deck and is telling them that Kristen wants to cook a la minute. Umm, Josie? Shut your mouth?
The next day, they have 6 hours until opening. Lots of frantic preparation, and confessionals of what each restaurant's courses will be.
Brooke will be taking over the FOH for Kristen's restaurant. Kristen notes that she's watching every single thing; she wants to be in control, and if something goes wrong, she'll take responsibility for it. But she also doesn't want anyone else screwing it up for her. She asks Josie when the bouillabaisse stock will be done - Josie replies one hour. Kristen said that she had been promised it would be done in Hour 2 of the prep. She's not happy. Josie says "patience."
Stefan meets with his waitstaff and gives them tasks. He sends back the dishwasher to help with prep. Meanwhile, Josie asks where the gelatin is - Kristen thought it was done. She has to throw that idea out the window for the stock, as there are only 30 minutes to go, bones are still in the stock; so she tells Josie to use cream. She's pissed off.
The doors open; some people are seated and served, but the judges show up in Atelier Kwan. Emeril, Gail, Tom, and Danny Meyer are the judges.
1ST COURSE (Lizzie) - Charcutierie: Rabbit, Pickled Turnips & YellowBeets in Chicken & Rabbit Broth. Emeril likes the broth; the mustard isn't overpowering, and Tom likes it as well.
Kristen begins to plate the 2nd course, but it's not working. The sauce hadn't been tested by Josie, and it's falling flat. She says "I'd rather have the dishwasher in place of Josie." She's angry. Josie says in the confessional "I'm sensing a bit of attitude; the rolling eyes; I'm not blind!" Kristen asks Lizzie to help her plate, as Josie's not doing it the way she wants. The judges are noticing that the next dish is late. Josie notes in the confessional that if they had been pre-plated, it would have helped.
2ND COURSE (Josie) - Bouillabaisse: Halibut, Dungeness Crab, Bay Scallops with Shellfish Broth. Danny and Padma note that crab was perfectly cooked, but Emeril's halibut is overcooked, and his scallop is almost raw. Gail sees that Tom has a "foamy substance" on his fish, but she didn't get any - or it's already dissipated. Tom notes there's not enough broth, and it should have been served in a smaller bowl.
(Meanwhile, back at Urbano, Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau are there waiting. Jason Franey and Ethan Stowell are also there. Stefan is trying to rush people out so he can seat 25 people waiting.)
3RD COURSE (Kristen) - Beef Bourguignon: Braised Short Rib, Garlic Puree, Mushrooms & Carots. Padma loves the beef, Tom notes no sauce/garlic puree. Gail is missing the red wine flavor, but Tom is still enjoying the dish.
4TH COURSE (Brooke) - Baked Gougere, St. Agur Blue Cheese, Roasted Radish & Stone Fruit Compote and Sticky-Sweet Pine Nuts. Emeril loves the cheese, but isn't getting the sticky-sweet. Danny said someone's going to lose a molar filling. Gail and Tom both like the dish.
DESSERT (Kristen) - Deconstructed Macaron: Almond Cake Macaron with Coconut Custard & Caramel Buttercream. Danny likes the flavor, but Gail said it wasn't a macaron. She feels she was set up.
The judges head over to Urbano. Stefan is still having problems getting people moved, but guests are saying they haven't yet had dessert. Stefan says to the camera "Really bitch? Get out! I'm getting my ass kicked as we speak!" Then he sees the judges walk in. He's stressing.
In the in-between, guests ask to "see the kitchen" at Atelier Kwan. So Brooke brings several groups of them out back and it's driving Kristen insane.
Back at Urbano, Stefan is still trying to seat people, and Stefan is saying people have to get out so they can seat the judges. They finally get seated, but Gail notices that the entrance is very crowded. Danny notes that Stefan should be putting drinks in their hand.
1ST COURSE (Stefan) - Kilawen: Yellowtail with Cilantro, Spicy Chili & White Soy Sauces. Emeril and Danny really liked the interchange of the flavors.
2ND COURSE (Josh) - Balut: Poached Egg, Duck Confit & Foie Gras Mousse. Stefan is rather brief in how he describes the "Balut" and walks away with a "nothing more to say." Gail said Stefan is assuming that they all know the "infamous egg from the Philippines." But with that said, Gail said she sort of loved the dish. Padma said it was executed perfectly, but Tom said there was nothing remotely Filipino-tasting about the dish.
3RD COURSE (Sheldon) - Miki: Prawns, Tapioca Roll with Achiote. Problem is? Stefan never shows up at the judges table to describe the dish and, in fact, walks past them several times without stopping. Padma said the plate looks pretty; Tom loves the tapioca pasta, and Gail loved it. Finally, Stefan stops by and asks how things are going. Padma notes that they don't know anything about the last dish they had. Stefan says "Miki? Miki is tapioca noodle with Filipino paprika." And he walks away. Tom said "Why do I think we were just scolded?" And Gail said "We were. We were just made to feel like idiots. Which is the worst thing to do to a customer." Danny said "I'd bet we'd have a complete different answer at Kristen's restaurant." Emeril said the way he made them feel was worst than the bouillabaisse. Sheldon asks Stefan if he knew what the judges think, and Stefan said "no."
4TH COURSE (Sheldon) - Adobo: Pork Belly with Mung Bean Puree and Pea Shoots Salad. Tom said it was the best dish of the day - the sweet and sour, the pork belly was perfectly cooked. Danny said he wanted to go back and continue eating it.
DESSERT - there are two desserts
(Josh) - Halo-Halo: Coconut Sorbet, Avocado Mousse, Banana & Shredded Coconut. Gail likes the dish - pure flavors, clean, strong. Emeril liked it as well, not too sweet.
(Stefan) - Dark Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts, Ginger, & Peppermint Oil, as well as some ginger tea. Gail notes that the tea was good timing to have at the end of both restaurants' meals. Tom said "To wash the taste of bad service out of your mouth?" He notes you go to restaurants for food and you return for hospitality. Then he said "I don't know if I'd return to this restaurant."
And they're all done! Sheldon is tired, he can't even feel his legs. But he's proud of what he accomplished. And back at Atelier Khan, Kristen notes the flow of service was off because of Josie's time management, but she's confident in the flavors of her dishes.
Danny liked the food at Urbano - all dishes. But he had issues with service and hospitality. Gail said it was inconsistent in its concept. Padma said Stefan should go home for the service he gave today, but Tom says that Josie should go home for the bouillabaisse. Emeril notes that both the bouillabaisse and service were awful. Padma says it comes down to which restaurant gave them a better dining experience.
They all file into Judges Table. :::STUPID whooshing camera shots::: The judges start with Atelier Kwan. Padma notes that Kristen was responsible for the dessert and the beef. Gail said she was waiting for the red wine flavor of the dish. Tom said they felt let down. The macaron was too heavy handed for Gail, and Emeril thought the cake was a bit dry. Brooke, however, as FOH, Emeril had kudos as a leader in the dining room. Lizzie's charcuterie was praised as well, and Lizzie said it was a joint effort with Kristen.
Josie's bouillabaisse had lots of flavor, but Gail didn't get a lot of it. Josie said it wasn't her concept and Kristen helped her plate the dish, and *she* would have served it with more sauce. Tom asked Josie if she ever told Kristen that there should be more sauce. Josie said no. When Tom asked why, Josie said Kristen showed her how it was to be plated. The issue of gelatin came up and Kristen said there was no gelatin but she does *not* throw Josie under the bus. Josie said she would have stuck with the original concept of bouillabaisse, but "that's not what today is all about." Gail notes to Josie that yes it was - that there has to be some level of collaboration because it's just not chef-to-chef that could be eliminated. Josie's on the line with her dish.
They move on to Urbano. They immediately discuss service. Emeril notes he was blown away with disappointment as to how Stefan handled the room, and Stefan looks shocked. Tom asks Stefan how important it is for the dish to be described when it is delivered, and Stefan said it's very important. Stefan agrees that it was poor service, but he said it's because he's a chef and not a server. Tom looks pissed off at that reply. Tom tells Sheldon that the dishes he was responsible for hit the sweet spot they were looking for between being modern and having the Filipino flavor. Josh's balut didn't read Filipino, but the dish was good, according to Tom.
The winning restaurant is Urbano! Wow. I didn't see that coming. Sheldon wins Restaurant Wars and he gets a new Toyota Avalon. But Padma notes that Stefan is *very* lucky, and Stefan absolutely knows it.
Tom tells Lizzie and Brooke that they are safe. Tom asks about the bouillabaisse sauce and why the gelatin wasn't in the dish. Kristen notes she told her not to put it in because they were running out of time and she wanted it already in the canisters so she could see it before service started. Josie does her standard bus-throwing-under-routine and said "she said to just leave it out and told me to use cream." Gail asked Josie that she knew the intention was to add the gelatin, and Josie said yes, she was aware of it. Josie said "Yes, I was asking for the gelatin - I didn't know where anything was." Kristen is shown saying under her breath "Bite my tongue. Bite my tongue." because she's SO pissed off at Josie. Gail said to Josie that while she's taking direction from her chef, Josie still needs to be her own person, to some extent. Josie makes yet MORE excuses and said everything was cooked well, and puts it all back on Kristen for saucing the plate. Kristen interjects and said at the end of the day it was her responsibility; Josie said "no, she's saying it was *my* responsibility." Kristen still took FULL responsibility and takes blame. Gail said if you take responsibility, you're falling on your sword. Kristen said she made some executional errors, but so did some other people.
Damn. So help me God - if Josie stays and Kristen goes, I will be SO PISSED OFF. Josie makes yet more excuses in the Stew Room, while Kristen sits quietly.
The judges argue as to whose responsibility it was. Meanwhile, they have *no* idea about executional errors made by Josie during prep (i.e., not roasting bones, not preparing things appropriately and in a timely manner). Gail makes a very good point and says they've been down this road with Josie before many times. Everyone else takes responsibility because SHE'S not stepping up, so Josie continues to skate by. Padma is still insisting that it falls on Kristen. Emeril and Tom are both torn as to who should go home.
We're back. Tom notes it was a tough decision to make, and Padma tells JOSIE that she is safe. Kristen is told to PYKAG.
Crap. Crap, Crap, Crap. I detest Josie right now! I REALLY HATE it that the best chef in the contest is going home and she gets to stay. But Kristen said at least she knows she's leaving with her integrity intact and without backstabbing anyone. After Kristen leaves, Josie notes to the confessional that she's sure the other chefs think she took the low road to save her own ass. (YES, YOU DID!) She claims in the Stew Room that she thinks she didn't point any fingers. Brooke says in the confessional that Kristen should have said something and put the blame where the blame belonged - on Josie.
I HATED this ending. I can only hope that Kristen wins LCK.