It’s War! With just 10 cheftestants left, they should know each other’s cooking styles pretty well by now. That’s what Padma says when she and Jamie Bissonnette come out to announce the Quickfire Challenge.
It’s a head-to-head challenge sponsored by Reynolds Wrap with a prize of $10,000 to the ultimate winner. Katsuji choses his opponent first and selects Aaron. Aaron then is able to select what they’re cooking, which ends up being “smoked salmon.” Doug is called on next, and he picks Adam, who in turn picks “steamed mussels.” Keriann picks Stacy, who choses “trout en papillote.” Melissa picks Katie, who selects “smoked barbecue.” This leaves Mei and Gregory, arguably the toughest competitors, to face each other. Greg gets the last pick of steamed dumplings, which is risky against dumpling pro Mei.
Jamie and Padma taste the dishes, and Jamie announces the winners of each head-to-head match-up: Katsuji, Dougie, Keriann, Katie, and Gregory. The ultimate winner ends up being Gregory.
After the Quickfire, Padma announces that it is indeed war. The winners will face off against the losers in five battles, named after the five most critical battles of the Revolutionary War.
- For the Battle of Lexington & Concord, the “losers,” which become the Red Team, put up Adam. He will battle the “winners,” or Blue Team’s pick, Dougie. Rematch number 1 is on.
- For the Battle of Bunker Hill, Blue puts forth Katsuji. Red wants a stronger chef to take him on, and Melissa is that chef.
- For the Battle of Trenton, it’s rematch number 2: Greg v. Mei.
- For the Battle of Saratoga, it’s rematch number 3: Keriann v. Stacy.
- Finally, for the Battle of Yorktown, Aaron on the Red Team will face off against Blue Team’s Katie.
Because budgets run tight in times of war, they only have $1000 per team to shop, which works out to $2/head for the amount of diners they’ll need to feed at the Watertown Arsenal slash Athenahealth campus. They cook after their Whole Foods trip (“One Mexican minute left! That’s like 5 American minutes.” Can I tell you how much I’ve been enjoying Katsuji this season?) and a bit the next day onsite.
Before service, Aaron’s dashi takes a tumble. Mei bought instant dashi that she gives to him, kindly, to keep his dish moist until it’s his turn to serve.
Jamie, Padma, Tom, and Hugh Acheson (thanks to him for the titular quote of the post!) show up to eat and judge the battles.
Lexington & Concord: Adam v. Doug
Bunker Hill: Katsuji v. Melissa
Trenton: Gregory v. Mei
Saratoga: Keriann v. Stacy
Yorktown: Aaron v. Katie
This means the Red Team is up for elimination. Adam, Mei, Aaron, Melissa, and Stacy face the judges.
Since Adam and Mei got high praise from the judges, they’re off the table. Though they weren’t overly impressed with Stacy and Melissa, Aaron ends up packing his knives.
While I don’t like to see anyone go home, (I’m not heartless!) I think this was the right choice. I know my Boston girl has a lot more to show, and Melissa’s a strong competitor!
I can’t wait to see chaos in the cranberry bog next week!
Do you think the judges made the right decision last night?