As for the challenge itself, I do give our chefs a few bonus points. Cooking in a yacht galley can be rough on a good day, but having only $350 to feed 60 Floridian fashionistas might make me seasick too. Creating hors d'oeuvres can be a tricky business. They need to be small so as to be eaten in one bite, standing up. They need to have a base or be served in some sort of vessel that a guest can easily hold in one hand, while holding a drink in the other. Of course, every component of each hors d'oeuvre needs to taste fresh, but the sum of its parts must also be well-balanced, as each individual morsel is essentially a complete dish in one tiny mouthful. Dana Cowin, FOOD & WINE's editor in chief, pointed out at Judges' Table that they must also appeal to the eye, as they account for an important element of the look and feel of a party. This all evidently added up to a lot of pressure on the contestants.
Here are a few recipes inspired by the episode that I think will go over a lot better than theirs did. I hope they inspire you to get into the kitchen and plan your next soiree! Heirloom Tomatoes Stuffed with Summer Succotash Savory Spinach and Artichoke Bread Pudding Cabrales Phyllo Rolls with Sherry Dipping Sauce Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Orange Marmalade Red Pepper, Garlic & Pecorino GougÃƒÂ¨res Mini Herb Frittatas with Smoked Salmon Mushroom and Goat Cheese Phyllo Triangles Chicken Liver Crostini with Beet Salsa Beef and Fontina Tostaditos Ginger Marinated Tuna Ribbons with Spicy Avocado and Radish Salad