Hello, hot stuffs! This week's episode was full of things I'm afraid of: heat, riding on horses, and the separation of the Moto boys. First, the heat. This week's Quickfire Challenge was all about peppers! And who better to guest judge than two hot tamales Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken! Padma presented the chefs with a bunch of different kinds of chiles (I spell it that way too, Hugh), each with a different monetary value. The chefs had to create dishes highlighting one of the peppers. If they won they would win the amount of money associated with said pepper. The higher on the Scoville scale, the higher the monetary value, with the highest being the ghost pepper. The adorable Paul Qui goes for it! He knows he needs to step up his game and he sees the ghost pepper as the opportunity to do just that. And guess what? He does it! Gotta hand it to Padma, Susan, and Mary Sue -- I can't handle peppers at all! I have a very mild palate (I force my friends to order mild guac with jalapenos on the side if they want!) It's weird because I can have wasabi, horseradish, etc. I guess it's a different kind of heat. What's also weird is that I love the smell of peppers, but can't eat them. Sigh. Oh well. The only other dish I care to comment on is Beverly's. I was just as baffled as the judges as to why she didn't cook her pepper. Part of me thought it was smart, that she truly wanted to highlight the freshness of her pepper. The other part of me was like "Umm, this is a cooking competition. You have to cook the ingredient."
Onto the Elimination Challenge! The chefs are broken up into groups to make chili. I hate chiles, but I love chili. I personally make a turkey chili at home all the time. Freezes well for easy re-heats after work. My turkey chili with beans is certainly not traditional Texan chili, which we discover later certainy does not have beans. I love beans in my chili, so this would be hard for me to give up. Anyway, the chefs are told they'll be cooking in their home. They use different parts of the itchen and outdoor grilling space. They drink. They don't sleep --proper chili takes all night to cook. Watching the montage of the cracked out chefs pulling an all-nighter cracked me up! Chris was by far the loopiest! The chefs present their chili dishes to the judges, but not before Gail dropping a gem of a comment that needed help with her beer bottle because of a bagel incident. I obviously couldn't let this go, so i asked her about it, and she happily obliged with this story. Poor little 8th grade, Gail!
Each team took a pretty different take on their chilis with commonalities including choices of meat cuts and side dishes (so much cornbread!) Heather's pickled peaches were a true standout to me, and I'm glad they received such praise. Unfortunately the chili itself wan't good enough to win. And even more unfortunately, Nyesha, Richie, and Beverly's chili was the least satisfying of the bunch. They weren't only told they had the least favorite dish, but Padma made the announcement atop horse! (Milo the horse!) In front of the entire rodeo! As Gail and Tom said, we really are a--holes!
Since you can't/couldn't really tell who was responsible for what in the chili, Beverly (may Icall you Bev?) Nyesha, and Richie had to compete in one final challenge -- they had to create a dish out of their losing chili. I really thought Beverly was going to break seeing as how she already cried about missing her family this episode. But she dug deep and came out with the best dish of the three. In the end, poor Richie went home, and then I cried like Beverly. The bond between Chris and Richie is just adorable. Chris was so upset to see his Richie go. Little does Chris know his little buddy has the chance to compete to get back on the show in Last Chance Kitchen against Keith! Watch what happened.
Until next week in Dallas, Have a Nosh!