Before heading to the Quick Fire, Stefan and Fabio are worried and a little humbled about being in the bottom last week. Fabio had a sponsored phone call to his wife, which was pretty cute. Hosea brings up the fact that he's the last American Male Chef, and Carla is sure she is underestimated by the others.
Eric Ripert is the guest judge in a 3 round Fish Fillet tournament. They have 5 minutes to clean and butterfly 2 French Sardines, according to Eric Ripert's example.
Hosea has a seafood restaurant, but doesn't do a lot of small fish, so it's kind of a mess. Carla's hands were shaking and admits that she did a bad job. Leah did a good job, bettering her previous fish attempts on the show. Stefan did a good job, but Jamie butchered hers. Fabio, Italian that he is, is used to sardines and did a great job. Hosea was decent, but not great.
In the first round, Leah and Fabio are on top, and Jamie and Carla are on the bottom and are out.
Next round, they have to do an Arctic Char (?) and Leah just gave up. Stefan left some flesh on the bone, and some bone in the flesh. Fabio cut a whole huge chunk of meat off when he beheaded the fish. Hosea did a good job.
Fabio and Leah are out on this round.
Stefan and Hosea are up against each other, and they have to peel and fillet freshwater eel. Because eels are creepy, they are moving still, even though they are dead. Stefan says that skinning eels is like riding a bicycle, and expertly nails the eel to the cutting board, which my brother used to do when he caught eels, nailing them to a tree. It was creepy then, and it's creepy now, but it got the job done. Stefan peeled the eels like a banana and made beautiful fillets. Hosea did a decent job, but Stefan took the win because he could hop back on that eel bike.
Hosea is grumpy about European dominance.
The Cheftestants get an invite from Eric for lunch the next day at his restaurant. (I smell a surprise challenge)
Before they head out, everyone gets spiffied up. At the restaurant, they get six different dishes from the menu.
The first course is Sourdough Encrusted Red snapper with tomato basil consume.
The second course is Baked Mahi-mahi in miso and masitake mushroom sauce
The third course is Baked Lobster with asparagus in hollandaise
The fourth course is Oil-poached Escolar with potato crisps in a red wine bernaise.
(Jamie said she was bored with this kind of food, and that's not going to be goof for her I think)
The fifth dish is Za'atar coated monkfish (missed the sauce)
The sixth dish is sauteed black bass and braised celery in green peppercorn sauce.
(Jamie didn't like that dish, which means it is going to come back to bite her)
And I was right - the seventh course is the knife block!
Six Chefs = Six Courses
They have to recreate each dish.
They have 2 hours in the restaurant's kitchen, with all the ingredients available to them.
Because he won the Quickfire, Stefan chose the Lobster.
Carla chose the Escolar
Hosea got the Monkfish
Leah got the Red Snapper
Jamie (surprise, surprise) got the Black Bass.
Chef Eric did got through and give some advice to the chefs on their dishes. Eric did not taste Jamie's dish, because she didn't have enough of it done for him to taste. That's no good.
Fabio is up first, and the judges get the Eric-dish and the Fabio-dish side by side. The judges say it looks like someone forging a painting - it's a good forgery, but you can tell that it's a forgery when you scratch the edges a little.
Leah is up next and she wasn't feeling great about her miso. The fish is overcooked for some of the judges, and the depth of flavor is not there in Leah's dish. Tom says the only thing he can taste is ginger. Not good.
Stefan is cocky about his lobster, though his sauce is not as light. Eric said that the restaurant makes their sauce in the blender, so that's the secret. It's a win, all around.
Carla had some issues getting her food to the plate, and her oil was not hot enough for the chips. The others help her plate, and in the end, though the chips are not quite crisp enough, it gets good reviews.
Hosea's monkfish is not quite as crusty as Eric's, but he got close with the sauce. Eric says he put on too much za'atar. Tom said the fish didn't rest, and monkfish really does need to rest. Tom told Eric that Hosea has a seafood restaurant, and that came as a surprise to Eric.
Jamie's celery turned into "a salt lick," but Toby called the dish remarkably poor. I think Jamie's gone.
Judge's Table, and Fabio, Stefan, and Carla were called back first.
That's got to be a relief for Fabio and Stefan, who were in the bottom last week and it made them both grumpy. Carla's catch on the sauce being not a real bernaise was impressive. In the end, it was Stefan's lobster that won the night. As a gift, he gets a copy of Eric's latest book, and a week each at three of Eric's restaurants, with accomodations at the Ritz Carlton. Nice.
In the bottom are Jamie, Leah, and Hosea.
Hosea admitted that he was unfamiliar with Za'atar seasoning, and knew that the monkfish should have rested for longer, but he just didn't have the time. Leah asked Eric how he did the sauce, because she couldn't figure it out. He indulged her with a nice answer. Tom asked her if she wants to give up like she did in the Quickfire. She denies that. Jamie knows that she messed up on the celery, and claims it was overreduced. Padma said that she would have sent it back if she could have. Toby said that a metallic aftertaste in the sauce made the whole dish unpalatable. She said that she knew the mistakes she made, but it was just too late.
The judges seemed to have serious trouble figuring out who to send home.
In the end, it was Jamie to go, and I am not surprised, since she didn't really like the food, and she didn't really like the dish. I liked her, but I think her attitude was just bringing her down.
What did you think?