Hubert Keller

Hubert Keller critiques the final four's disguised dishes.

on Oct 18, 2011

We are down to our last four chefs, and the competition is stiff, as are the nerves of some of these chefs as they try to put their heads around this exciting challenge.

In this episode, surprise to our cheftestants, there was no Quickfire Challenge. We went straight to the elimination round, meaning of course that one chef will go home! To add to the drama, Iron Chef stud, Cat Cora, and Chef Suzanne Goin are guest judges, and now the stress unfolds!

The challenge: to make a creative dessert disguised as an iconic international savory entrée…

When the chefs were asked to choose an international country at the beginning of this Elimination Challenge, it was obvious that in their minds, they thought they would be making a classic international dessert from their chosen country. Wrong! When they realized that their dessert was to look like recognizable savory food, they almost lost their lunch. What an interesting wrinkle to give them in such a critical time.

Matt chose first, selected Italy, and quickly thought of making a sweet manicotti with crème fraiche cake, mascarpone ricotta mousse, strawberry sauce, and basil gelee. His dessert looked beautiful, and the flavors were clean, but there definitely was a layer of flavor missing… although his salty buns were great with the sweetness of the strawberry sauce. Johnny was right -- adding tomato would have been a cool idea and would have kicked that dessert to another level! The ridges in the pasta added texture, but didn’t make up for the lack of pop. I’m being picky, but that’s the name of this game. We are down to the wire and the winner will revel in the success of the details!