Cast Blog: #80PLATES

Pick Up Your Game!

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Avery Pursell: "I Felt That I Did Not Perform Well"

Final Destination

The Suspense is Killing Me

Homeward Bound

Food Reigns

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Meat Sweats

Atta Girl!

The Final Four

Axis of Evil

Big Trouble in Little China

The Future is Hong Kong

Rocket Science

The Third Opium War

Cheating In Chiang Mai

Under the Radar

The Thai That Binds

Okie Dokie

Full of Bologna

Troop Bologna?

My Baloney has a First Name it’s J-E-N-N-A

When in Rome...

Super Tuscan

That's a Spicy Meatball!


Down in Africa

Funky Cold Medina

Spice Girls

The Art of Culinary War

Prawn Stars

Barcelona or Bust

It's in His Lisp

My Retirement Plan

Allons-y a Lyon!

Truly Exceptional

Lyon for Lambs

Truck Nutz

Playing the Game

The Dog's Bollocks

London on a Plate

Piss and Vinegar

Pick Up Your Game!

Cat Cora doesn't want to hear excuses.

In this episode, Paul Bartolotta says, “Everyone’s an authority on Italian food.” Especially Italians, as the contestants discovered! But to some degree everyone’s an authority on food. That’s what makes a career as a chef challenging. Of course, everyone’s a music critic or a movie critic too. 

Most of us can agree on bad cooking when we encounter it. There’s nothing worse than being under time pressure in the kitchen when something goes wrong. The Black Team suffered from losing the extra hour of prep time that the Red Team won by winning the Course. An hour would have been enough time for Avery to make more pasta dough. Instead, the team was forced to use her batch of dough. You can see in the show how thick and gluey it was — there was no elasticity to it. Of course the Italian customers picked up on that right away. We all did.

Nicole’s ribeye was also a failure. In her case, more time wouldn’t have helped—you don’t have unlimited supplies of ingredients. Lucky for her, she had immunity.

Liz’s pork loin started out as too salty—at least according to Jenna—but it wasn’t an irreversible problem. She had time to fix it.

As Paul says in this episode, “Italian cuisine is interpretative. There is no definitive benchmark.” That’s true, but he’s also assuming a base level of quality. This week, some of our chefs didn’t achieve that. They blamed the Italians, calling them picky. Come on, guys, excuses are for wimps! Pick up your game.

See you next week in Thailand!