The guest judge this week is Charlie Palmer, "pioneer of American cooking," and Bryan and Michael have worked for him in the past, but he promises no favoritism.
The challenge is about the art of pairing. They have to make a dish incorporating Alexia snacks - which look delicious, and I wish I had a bag right now, but have never tried.
Eli made a warm potato clam salad with cold fennel salad Alexia onion crunchy snack.
Red Beard made a warm bean confit tomato salad with frech herbs and creamed corn to go with the Alexia onion crunchy snack.
Bryan made a seared rib eye with pickled onion, sauteed mushrooms, chive puree to go with the onion crunchy snack.
Robin made a sweet corn pana cotta with an avocado moussiline with the jalepeno crunchy snacks.
Mike I. made chiliquiles wth waffle fries.
Michael V. made tuna tartare with avocado, pickled onions, and jalapenos.
Ash made chilled cucumber avocado soup with creme fraiche, crab, and red pepper, with the barbecue golden spicy waffle fries.
Laurine made swordfish with spinach, asparagus, and fava bean puree, paired with onion strips.
Jennifer C. did a sauteed pork chop with tomato sauce and feta cheese and was worried it was overcooked.
Robin, Ash, and Jennifer ended up in the bottom. In the top were Eli, Bryan, and Red Beard. Eli brought in the win.
For the Elimination Challenge, they drew knives for different parts of the pig. I love Red Beard more because he has a pig tattoo. Because Jennifer pulled "wild," she got to choose anything, and picked belly. They have to pair pig and pinot noir. They have to do 150 tasting portions. I think we've seen this restaurant before - it features a three story wine tower and wine angels flying to get the right bottle. The chefs got to do a pinot tasting. Each chef picked a wine to go with.
Cooking dinner at their apartment, and there as a lot of drama. Robin got on Eli's nerves something awful. She mumbled to herself a lot about every little thing.
When Tom comes around for his look around, Mike I has a ton of little tiny meatballs to make. He is sure of himself. The brothers were swearing at each other and getting on each others nerves. Michael was the instigator. It was clearly meant to annoy his brother.
At the event, the chefs were nervous about the huge groups of people. When the judges showed up, the chefs got to present their food.
Michael had pork cheeks and made Root beer braised pork cheeks. I will not be outlining what pinot they paired with. I simply do not know enough about wine for it to make any difference for me.
Ash made a chilled pork tenderloin with a cherry and corn salad. His pork was called clammy and overcooked and oversalted. Not good.
Eli made a roasted pork belly with roasted root veggies. It got some good reviews, but the pairing was questioned.
Red Beard made a pork leg pate with cherry salad and sauce with pork fat. It was called smart and punched up.
Mike I. made stuffed pork shoulder over orange blossom yogurt. The orange was called overwhelming by one of the judges.
Bryan made a braised pork spare rib with parsnip puree. It got good marks.
Jennifer made a braised pork belly with a salad. It made Padma go mmmmmm.
Laurine did pork bytt rillettes with a salad and pearl onion chutney. One judge said it was like cat food. Not good.
Robin did a brined center cut pork chop with a coffee cherry sauce. Toby thought it was slimy and Tom thought it was too thin.
Bryan, Michael, Red Beard, and Jennifer were called back first for the top of the pack. The judges were happy with all of the dishes, but in the end, Red Beard won it. Go Red Beard! He was invited to come back as guest chef the next year at the Pigs and Pinot event. As a pork lover and holder of a pig tattoo, that's wonderful for him.
Going back in the bottom of the heap were Ash, Laurine, and Robin. Robin stood by her dish. Toby didn't like the thin cut of the meat. Tom thought her sauce was gummy. Ash didn't have enough notes from the wines in his dish. He told them about the original dish he was going to make, which sounded delicious, but he changed his mind and did the less than stellar dish. The judges thought that something had gone wrong with Laurine's rillette, and she made it wrong, if she was going for traditional rillette. Back in the holding room, Ash lamented that his vital mistake was forgetting flavor. Oops. Robin forgot the pig. Oops. Laurine forgot to make food fit for human consumption. Oops.
In the end, Ash's lack of confidence doomed him, and he was gone. I think it was a good decision. He plans on making his original dish at his restaurant and inviting all the (male) judges.
Next time? Restaurant Wars!