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Down in Africa

Curtis Stone explores the chefs' alliances.

By Curtis Stone

There are few places quite as beautifully dizzying as Morocco. The Medina is controlled chaos, complete with snake charmers and barrels of spices. It was amazing to watch our chefs leave their comfort zones entirely and embrace a culture and cuisine so foreign to their own. 

While the Medina is a great place to get lost if you have the whole day to wander around, our chefs didn’t have that luxury. After all, there was $15,000—and the exceptional ingredient—on the line. Finding the Ben Boubker spice shop definitely required sharp street skills and each team used their wits (and noses) well. Mint tea is a huge part of Moroccan culture. The tradition of elaborately pouring it in a thin stream is an honor and truly stunning to watch performed by a tea master. What our chefs lost in artistry they gained in speed. Congratulations to Nookie, Avery, and John for winning the $15,000. 

This episode found some of the chefs beginning to strategize and form alliances. Smart thinking for sure, but it didn’t get them very far this time around. It’s interesting that the one team that wasn’t conspiring and instead focused on being a team and making great food did the best. Chaz’s couscous with the roasted vegetables on the side was just weird and Nookie’s tagine was more like a stew. Nicole, Jenna, and Liz, on the other hand, really accomplished the balance of flavors that makes Moroccan cuisine so special. The sweet rice with orange flower water for dessert was a nice touch. 

The chef who stood out this episode was clearly Liz. It wasn’t easy to watch her struggle to pick who would go home. But in the end, Liz is a team player, so it wasn’t surprising that she would see Chaz’s fighting and complaining as a weakness. 

 See you in Italy!

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