Roy Yamaguchi (Roy's Honolulu) Imua Family Services
Art Smith (Table Fifty Two, Chi) Common Threads
Michael Cimarusti (Providence, LA) Grameen Foundation
Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto NTC) Meals on Wheels
Quickfire Challenge: Make a course from ingredients in one aisle of the grocery store with $20. Judges - 3 Whole Food employees.
Jonathan - mint, lentil and roasted pepper salad. I thought it looked yummy, but it did not score well. 3 1/2 stars
Roy - pasta with a fried egg and Asian flavors. Taste was a bit off. 4 stars.
Art - multi grain risotto with crispy rice salad. Given the problem from last week, risotto gave me pause. I am glad he pulled it off. 4 1/2 stars
Michael - Chocolate parfait with ginger sauce and sesame cracker. He says his wife is the pastry person and he was lucky he had chocolate. 5 stars
I was happy for once that no one messed up this part and all go into the second half on basically an even playing field.
Elimination Challenge: Shop for a box of goods for another chef. Use 7 of the ingredients.
Before the final challenge, all the chefs gathered at Kelly's house and made a meal. Like they were when they were shopping for each other, the chefs were helpful to each other and truly liked one another.
Roy: short ribs and mahi mahi. He admitted that he could not think on his feet and it hurt him in the contest
Michael: lamb loin with sunchoke puree, broccoli rabe and purple cauliflower. At a disadvantage because he did not have seafood, everyone raved about his sunchoke puree.
Jonathan: pork chop and sausage with celery root puree. He was aiming for comfort food. This did not look good on the plate, but oh, boy, I would love to be come home to this on a cold winter night and eat in front of a roaring fire.
Art: fried and smothered fried chicken with a mango pie. Comfortable Southern food that the judges swooned over.
J 3 1/2 + 4 1/2 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 20
R 4 + 3 + 2 1/2 + 3 + 2 1/2 = 15
A 4 1/2 + 5 + 3 + 4 1/2 + 5 = 22
M 5 + 3 1/2 + 3 1/2 + 2 1/2 + 3 = 17 1/2
I thought Jonathan would win, but Art won the Elimination Challenge and this round. Another one came from behind to take it all. Now the finals are set. Let the champions round begin!