Not only that, but it's Stefan's 40th birthday. (A belated happy birthday to Stefan!) He's worried that the "birthday curse" that struck down so many of his teammates in season 5 may resurface this season just for him.
Padma greets them in her jammies and a sour look on her face. She's accompanied by the much more chipper Daisley Gordon, who happens to have two establishments at the Market. Apparently he thinks it's a swell idea for the cheftestants to cook breakfast for the farmers' market vendors who will be arriving shortly.
Daisley provides a pantry of ingredients for the cheftestants, but they have to set up their own "kitchens" with equipment from the nearby Sur la Table and $500. And everything - including the cooking - must be achieved in 45 minutes. Rush rush hurry hurry! Big Belgian Bart slips and falls with his panini press and it conks out while he and Sheldon are trying to cook their "green forest" breakfast sandwiches. Other cheftestants are making crepes, pancakes, or tacos, except for Lizzie and Danyele, who manage to grab only pancetta and berries from the pantry table so can't really make much of interest.
This time, the market itself serves as the chefs' pantry, and they run around picking up both the theme ingredient of their dish, and other stuff they might need. They cook their grub at Marché, which is one of Daisley's restaurants. The kitchen can't accommodate fourteen chefs working at once, so four teams get to work first while the others heckle them. At this point we really get to see how dysfunctional some of the teams really are. Mustache and TMHCiD realize that this challenge is important, and do their best not to get on each other's nerves. They politely agree with the other, despite not really agreeing. Mustache isn't keen on the idea of cutting a pork tenderloin into steaks before searing it, but he does it because TMHCiD suggested it. He's also not thrilled with TMHCiD's grits, but he claims they're fine. Oh boy.
Meanwhile, Padma, who doesn't get to change out of her jammies or comb her hair, is joined by Hugh, Gail, Tom, and the artisans who produced the special ingredients being
Stefan and Brooke had rose petal jam, which they used for a glaze on a tough duck breast and as a sauce on cloyingly sweet red cabbage. Uh-oh. Stefan doesn't seem to have any mojo this season. TMHCiD and Mustache get a thumb's down on both the grits and pork elements of their dish, with the added criticism that they didn't use the truffled popcorn particularly interestingly. Micah and Kristen, who had to use cheese curds in their dish, killed the ingredient. And I mean that in a literal, death sorta way. Finally, Sheldon and Bart present their salmon candy with sweet and sour salad that doesn't have enough salmon in it. They actually seemed to get the least amount of criticism, but its still good they have immunity.
While the tasting is going on, the other three teams are in the kitchen. Josie seems particularly impatient with Eliza, who just wants to be allowed to cook something. They're using cardamom bitters, and it annoys me that Josie says "cardamoN" every time. When it's their time to present, their dish gets dinged for being too fishy. And dirty - Padma gets sand in one mouthful, while Gail gets a rock. That'll learn ya to clean your shellfish properly, folks! Lizzie and Danyele have made a dessert with the special chocolate they're assigned, and the judges are all appalled. Hard to mess up chocolate, but they have managed quite well. Finally, CJ and Tyler's pork burger is judged. For some odd reason, they chose to put it on a crumpet, which is extremely porous (think untoasted English muffin) and became soggy fast. Tom thought they should have been more imaginative than a burger.
The next day, Tyler continues to Eeyore, saying if it's his time to go, it's his time to go. This pisses Mustache off for some reason. Guess he doesn't think it's his time to go if it's his time go? Will Seattle's Finest (no, that's not a brand of coffee) need to be called in to escort him off the set when it is indeed his time to go?
The cheftestants head off to the guillotine, but only three of the teams are actually at risk - CJ and Tyler, Stefan and Brooke, and TMHCiD and Mustache. Stefan is shitting his pants over the "birthday curse," and Brooke isn't particularly pleased at the prospect of sharing his potentially bad karma. I'm hoping that TMHCiD and Mustache are sent home. "John" and "Josh" are so much easier to type, but since I've started calling them TMHCiD and Mustache, I feel like I have to stick with it the whole way. So it's just better for me if they both go.
Two more chefs down - twelve to go!
Posted on Minxeats.com.