Stefan does two preparations: Yellowtail with grilled shiitake, and raw lobster with seaweed and unagi;
Josie: Halibut with yuzu and bacon aioli;
Lizzie: Lobster, micro greens, pickled ginger with yuzu-sake broth;
Brooke: Octopus with yuzu and grated wasabi;
Josh: Tempura bacon, omelette, salmon belly and yuzu-kosho aioli;
Sheldon: Hamachi sashimi with fresh ponzu, mitsuba and lemon charcoal.
Katsuya didn’t really like Lizzie’s or Josh’s attempts, but was pleased with both Brooke’s and Stefan’s dishes. Stefan gets the Quickfire win.
For the Elimination Challenge, we welcome David Chang and Tom Colicchio to the kitchen where they announce a fried chicken challenge, which will take place that night. Josh says fried chicken is his jam. Tom’s invited a group of chefs who love fried chicken to help judge. Padma grinningly tells them the winner wins a year’s supply of Terlato wine, while the camera cuts to Stefan who grimaces in response.
The cheftestants start breaking down chickens and prepping their stations. Josh injects brine into his chicken pieces with a syringe. Josie prepares a spice blend, ostensibly to cover the fact that she can’t cook chicken clean and has to cover it with other crap. Brooke opts for a breast-only approach. The others go about their work. They later drive over to a house Tom claims on the show that he rented for his time in Seattle — and then tweeted during the show that he really didn’t. They share kitchen space inside and fryers outside. The cheftestants all seem to struggle with oil temps, prep space and time challenges.
The judges arrive: Chang, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Michelle Bernstein, Vinny Dotolo, Jon Shook and, of course, Tom and Padma. Here’s what they ate:
Sheldon: Umami drumsticks and thighs; wings with usukuchi, grapeseed oil and rice vinegar [sounds pretty darn good to me];
Lizzie: Chicken with coriander, black pepper and brown sugar rub with pickled peach-cabbage slaw;
Josie: Chicken with black garlic, cayenne, thyme and hot sauce with daikon salad;
Stefan: Chicken cordon blue with garlic aioli and lemon [welcome to “Top Nursing Home,” everybody!];
Josh: Smoked fried chicken with hot sauce, blue cheese and celery salad;