Cast Blog: #80PLATES

When in Rome...

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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?

Pick Up Your Game!

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

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

When in Rome...

Cat Cora explores the differences between Italian and Italian-American cuisine.


It's fair to say that this week the contestants are more out of their comfort zone than ever. You can see that the travel and rapid pace of the show are starting to take their toll on them. And both teams seemed confident in their abilities to make real Italian dishes. Everyone knows how to cook Italian food, right? Wrong. Americans know about Italian-American cooking, which has evolved into something different. Real Italian cooking is based on recipes and know-how that have been passed from generation to generation.

The Black Team busted their butts to win The Course but didn't have the patience to learn from Nonna Nara. Curtis and I were shocked. There are a few international languages and food is one of them. All they had to do was watch her cook and they would have learned so much -- not just as contestants, but as professional chefs. They would also have learned that Ribollita is a vegetarian dish and that adding prosciutto would have offended the locals. And it did. 

But they were in luck. The Red Team's missteps with the gnocchi and the antipasti earned them even more criticism from the locals. Note to self: when in Rome...