This was hands-down my favorite episode of the season. So far, of course. Every one of the chefs BROUGHT IT. But let's talk quickfire, shall we? Padma, clad in an adult onesie, and Eric Ripert (hubba hubba) instruct the chefs to cook a dish in 30 minutes, using three ingredients from the many that are being circulated on a conveyor belt.
Some of the ingredients are less desirable (goldfish crackers, beef jerky) whereas others are in high demand (lobster, for example, which Chris J. misses three times because he jogs over to the conveyor rather than sprinting.)
Lindsay ends up winning the quickfire, as well as immunity, but on a technicality, because Beverly's rice crispies didn't make it on the plate.
To explain the elimination challenge, the guest judge comes out and it's ... OMG CHARLIZE THERON OMG! Charlize, who's going to be playing the evil queen in Snow White and the Huntsman, tells the chefs to make an evil and wicked dish.
Each dish that comes out, from Ed's black and white sauce with tuna tartare, to Chris J.'s apple pie with "maggots," is well-received by the judges. During service, the judges have nothing bad to say about any of the dishes, which I'm not sure I've ever seen with seven chefs left in the competition.
I'm totally digging Grayson's black chicken with the giant talons still attached, as well as Sarah's lamb heart with red wine risotto.
Beverly goes for a more "refined" dish, i.e.: nothing wacky and crazy on the plate, although did anyone notice how she picked halibut, presumably to show Lindsay (from last week's challenge) that she is capable of cooking halibut properly? Lindsay, meanwhile, goes for a scallop over "witch's stew" with dragon beans.
Ultimately, Paul wins with some sort of pumpernickel/foie gras/beet concoction, of which I remember nothing but the hand-print he put on the plate.
In the bottom are Grayson, for ill-placed quail egg and foie gras; Beverly, for a sticky sauce; and Sarah, for undercooked risotto. After nitpicking ("because I have to nitpick," says Tom) Beverly gets set home. Finally.
I think Chris J. really redeemed himself this week and I was also glad to see Linsday do so well, especially given that she had immunity. I'm still not entirely getting the allure of Paul, but then again, I'm just looking at the food through my television, not actually tasting it.
And then there were six! Until next week!