This episode, 14: final four - 1 eliminee = final three
Episode 15: final three - 1 eliminee = final two + Last Chance Kitchen winner = final three
Episode 16: final three - 1 eliminee = final two + Save a Chef winner = final three
Episode 17: final three - 1 eliminee = final two
Episode 18: finale
I could be wrong, but I'm probably not. Last year we had 18 episodes and were forced to watch Beverly and the other cheftestants compete in Olympic-like events, for the sheer ridiculousness of it. What nonsense will we be subjected to this time? Stay tuned. Or not. If you're smart, you'll give up now.
This week the cheftestants - Mustache, Sheldon, Brooke, and Lizzie - start the show off by lamenting the loss of dear, sweet, kind, thumb-like Stefan. They miss his good heart, or something like that. Surely he paid them to compliment him after he left.
The four are forced to walk the plank in Juneau, Alaska, where it is cold. They find Padma, shivering in a fuzzy vest and turtleneck, with a chef named Sean Brock, whom the network has flown nearly 4,000 miles from Charleston, SC to the southernmost part of Alaska. For what reason, we'll never know. I suppose there aren't any notable chefs in that area of the US, but certainly Canada could have lent them one from British Columbia?
Next, the chefs have to use still more seafood. And make bread. While salmon and sourdough seems an unlikely pairing, that's apparently what the locals eat. When they get to the charming little cottage where they will be staying during the Juneau leg of the journey, they find vats of 31-year-old sourdough starter left for them by a local baker. They immediately set to making their bread for the next day.
When they sit down to wait for their dough to rise, Brooke notices that Mustache has somehow gotten hold of a verboten cell phone. His wife is in labor and the network kindly allows him to keep tabs on the proceedings. Plus, it could make good drama for the show if the baby is born with three heads.
Later, the final four are cooking up their dishes at a place called Gold Creek Salmon Bake, which is an outdoor venue. Guess the locals are used to the cold, but Padma is wearing a hat and mittens when she shows up. She looks uncomfortable with the fact that she can't wear anything leather or low cut in this episode.
The judges this time are Sean Brock, Hugh, Emeril, and Gail. As they take their seats, they talk about bears being in the vicinity. Tom jokes that bears are a part of his fan base. The others look blankly at him, clearly not getting the joke.
Finally, Lizzie presents her sourdough rolls filled with citrus-and-beet-glazed salmon. The rolls are great, perfectly crusty and wonderful. But the salmon has little or no flavor. Tom wonders why she didn't marinate it before cooking, rather than glaze it, and where is the seasoning?
The judges finish eating and canvas the other 200 diners at the Salmon Bake to find out whose dish was most popular. Later, at Judges' Table, the four cheftestants hear the verdict while rain is pouring down around them. It's certainly scenic, but I'm betting it's cold and damp and the judging probably went pretty quickly that evening.
Brooke gets the win because her dish was close to perfect. Lizzie's dish was too simple to have been so bland, and she gets sent to face Kristen in Last Chance Kitchen.
Next week: helicopters! dog sleds! lots of non-cooking stuff! The Governor of Alaska! (I'm betting Sarah Palin wishes she were still in that position, so she'd have another chance to extend her fifteen minutes by whoring herself and her family on yet another reality show.)
Posted on Minxeats.com.