So our four remaining Wanna-bes - Vic, Mary Beth, Susie, and Jeff - go to the Food Network Studios to find it made up to look sorta kinda almost like Kitchen Stadium. Alton Brown is there, along with Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon striking a pose.
If they are, that's just sad.
After some (but not enough) thought, Vic decides his third dish will be a grilled lamb chop with a mint jelly and Grand Marnier sauce. Just typing that makes me feel queasy.
While Vic and Mary Beth are cooking, Susie and Jeff are a-commentatin'. Susie makes the astute observation that Iron Chef is everything they've learned so far, wrapped up in one challenge. Then she makes the not-so-astute observation that while Vic is cooking largely with Mediterranean flavors, he's also using some Italian ones, too. When Alton points out to her that Italy is indeed in the Mediterranean, her reaction is to smile and act cute. Off on the sideline, Fogelstein twists her finger against her cheek, making an imaginary dimple, and remarks that Susie perhaps relies on cuteness a bit much. I am shocked SHOCKED I tell ya. How can she find fault with the faultless Susie? (Bout damn time.)
On Mary Beth's side of "Kitchen Stadium," Penny is being distracting by moving so slowly. Personally, I'm distracted by all the hygiene rules she's breaking by wearing her hair down over her shoulders.
When that ordeal is over, it's time for Jeff and Susie to commence to cooking. Their secret ingredient is lobster, which makes Jeff groan a bit because lobster can be easy to overcook. To keep with his Sandwich King theme, he's making a lobster roll, a "BLAT" (bacon, lobster, avocado, and tomato), and a Baja-style lobster taco with radicchio fennel slaw. Susie is infusing her lobster with Mexican flavors by making a ceviche, an enchilada, and a stew with a potato cake.
Mary Beth is obviously far more comfortable with commentating than is Vic (possibly more comfortable commentating than cooking, too). Alton, who is apparently feeling extra bitchy today, probably because he hasn't eaten all week, catches Vic offguard by asking what is in the harissa paste that Susie has out on her board. Vic doesn't know and ad libs an answer that makes Bobby crack up, but doesn't show much food knowledge.
Jeff realizes there's no avocado in the kitchen so his BLAT idea goes SPLAT. Now two of his sammies are a bit too similar, especially since he's using store-bought mayonnaise on just about everything he's touching.
Time flies in Kitchen Stadium and mercifully even faster in Kitchen Stadium, Jr. Jeff serves his Lobsterfest® first. Despite the very untraditional presence of walnuts, the judges think his lobster roll is incredible. Tushface says Jeff is really mastering his POV. While the batter on his lobster taco is too thick, Fogelstein loves that he's reinterpreting the sandwich. But they all noticed the preponderance of store-bought mayonnaise that Michael Symon says could have been perked up with a bit of fresh lemon.
Next up is Susie who is, as usual, heaped with praise. Her ceviche was very successful, vibrant and flavorful. Her enchilada was a "perfect spin on a traditional dish," with perfectly-cooked lobster. And Tushface thinks her lobster stew is a "heaping portion of sizzling sunshine." Wait, I thought that was Giada?
On to Vic. His lamb salad and burger were the most successful of the six lamb dishes they tasted, but the lamb chop with mint sauce was the worst of the bunch. His commentating wasn't all that great, and he was too nice during his stint as judge. Come on, it's not like he's ever going to be an actual Iron Chef judge! That's a privilege reserved for people like actress Cady Huffman and athletic wear manufacturer Marc Ecko. You know, food professionals.
On to Jeff, whose biggest issue was not making his own mayo, which he blames on time constraints. The Selection Committee praises the way he charmed Alton Brown during his stint as commentator, and they also liked his judging.
Finally, they gushed over Susie and her fabulous food. She was a good judge, too, without being harsh, but they felt her commentating wasn't up to snuff.
The winner of Battle Lobster is Susie. The winner of Battle Lamb is Vic. That means Jeff and Mary Beth are up for elimination. While MB has "talents that just can't be taught," she doesn't really seem to have the cooking chops. Jeff didn't impress Giada, but both Alton Brown and Rachael Ray thinks he has real star power, and that when he gets it, he gets it right.
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.