The Taste (2013) s02e06 Episode Script

The Sweetest Thing

1 Last week, Nigella's only cook withdrew herself from the competition.
Don't know where she went.
I am gobsmacked.
And Nigella's kitchen closed shop My least favorite was Marcus' kitchen.
Saving Marcus from having to make a painful cut.
So, a stay of execution for Shehu and Sarah.
And Anthony said goodbye to his first cook.
It breaks my heart to have to send you home tonight.
Great time.
Jeff, you got lucky today, bro.
Tonight, the toughest challenge yet.
That is one seriously [bleep] dish.
We have a shot at this, guys.
You beat me one time in team challenge.
Kiss my ass.
Lemon.
Not lime, lemon! Fry, Marina, fry! Ay! You're a dictator, and it suits you.
- It's perfect! - Thank you, Chef! Plate! Two more cooks will be eliminated.
You've been doing really well lately -- not today.
It just didn't come together.
It didn't work.
It was a good idea, but it lacked focus.
- Ludo, be honest.
- I'm honest.
That was very good today.
- Be honest.
No.
- That's it.
My least favorite of the night was Whoa! Ooh ooh-ooh-ooh ooh How do you like the taste? So, today's theme is pig, the magical animal, right? - Um, no.
- Oh.
It's The Sweetest Thing.
Desserts, Tony.
Vegetarian last week, and pastry, desserts, sweet stuff this week.
Who hates me? Can you hear it? There's a tiny little man screaming.
I don't even want to talk about it.
I love dessert, but it's very, very, very, very difficult for a cook to do desserts.
So, who's our guest mentor? Since you asked - Ah.
- Look at that.
Aww.
Well, I'm already cheered up.
Christina Tosi is our guest mentor.
May I say how well your bicycle goes with my enchanted garden? Thank you very much.
Christina is an amazing pastry chef.
A lot of people copy her.
Almost all of the people who copy her can't hold a candle to the original.
- I brought you sweets.
- Nice.
- Do you know what this means? - Doom for me.
- Doom for you? - Yeah, I have -- You know, I'm a huge fan.
I think the world of you.
- But I'm not happy to see you here.
- Happy to see me at all? Dessert doesn't have to be a baked good.
It's not about it going into the oven or coming out of the oven.
It's just about not taking yourself so seriously.
It's just like savory cooking -- a balance of flavors, a balance of texture.
You can think laterally.
You can do all sorts of things.
Who have I offended lately? - Me.
- I have.
- Bonjour, guys, ca va? - Chef.
- Morning.
- Comment ca va? Good to see you.
What's up, boss? How are you? Well, we took a hit.
I'm not happy about it.
I miss Dana because she was super-steady.
She was great.
Big win.
Congratulations.
You took the challenge in your own way.
You know, I've cooked with my back against the wall so many times.
And each time, I've come out better for it.
It's our time to win a team challenge.
I was going to apologize for my lack of leadership on the vegetable question, but it's only going to get worse today.
This week's challenge is The Sweetest Thing.
Oh [bleep], desserts.
Are you no good at baking? I knew it.
I hate desserts.
I hate them.
I'm excited.
It's your job to make the best, coolest, sweetest pie.
Wasn't your mom a pastry chef? - Yes, so, I feel, like, really comfortable with it.
- Good! Anything that rises, it's like a horse.
It senses fear and misbehaves.
It's just all bad.
So, if you're looking to me for leadership or guidance here -- I was really hoping for that, because I'm - No.
- I'm going to need help.
I don't know about Marcus' pastry experience, but Ludo's will make you want to vomit with terror.
Yeah.
Food processor, flour, eggs, sugar, corn flakes, boom, boom.
Cream.
Mash them.
Boom, boom, boom, boom.
Just like that? We turned a corner.
We ducked some bullets.
And we're here.
Good luck out there.
Bring honor to your clan.
It's time to go to the kitchen now.
Get your apron.
- Be sharp, guys, okay? - All right.
- All right, let's go, guys, let's go.
- Let's go.
- Hey, Jeff, you're back, okay? - Thank you.
Welcome back, everyone.
Eight of you remain.
At the end of tonight, that number will be reduced to six.
Tonight's theme challenge is The Sweetest Thing.
The team challenge will be judged blind by our guest mentor, Christina Tosi.
Christina is an amazing pastry chef.
She is hugely influential.
Christina Tosi is a legend in the industry.
So, having her around is going to be monumental for whatever team wins this challenge.
Fortuitously enough, for us, Nigella has no one left on her team.
This means that she will be wandering freely among us and offering assistance to those of us who might need it.
You'll have one hour to cook your Sweetest Thing.
Let's get into the kitchens.
The team challenge will be judged blind by guest mentor Christina Tosi.
All right, you guys.
Sweet is good.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Sweet is good! - Yeah.
The winning team will get a master class with Chef Tosi and her help during the solo challenge.
We have a wonderful guest mentor.
And I think she's game-changing in terms of desserts.
The mentor of the team selected as her worst will be forced to eliminate a member of their own kitchen.
Each mentor assigns their team a specific challenge designed to give their kitchen a winning edge.
The theme today -- Sweetest Thing.
It's got to be sweet.
It's got to be desserty.
I hate sweets.
I don't eat dessert.
My idea of dessert is another beer.
I had sort of a revelatory experience.
It was the first Italian restaurant I had ever worked in, and the pastry chef there showed me something, like, ridiculously easy.
Basically, maceration turned a strawberry into super strawberries.
If you add acid, you know, a little vinegar, to sugar and fruit, it really makes those flavors pop in a very, very, very vibrant way.
Simplest thing in the world.
Those strawberries are awesome.
It's beautiful and it's simple.
It's nothing, like, extravagant, but it's good.
My specific challenge is a dessert highlighting fruit.
Tony's challenge is use fruits and make something sweet out of it.
As far as I'm concerned, this is the big one.
If we can get through this in any kind of a good shape it's -- it's going to be relatively clear sailing.
We'll be back in our comfort zone.
Yes.
I'm not so worried about going into this, uh, dessert challenge right now.
I cook really good cake for my kids all the time, and I want to win for them.
- Cheers.
- Good luck.
Today it's all about the Sweetest Things.
It's savory meets sweet in our kitchen.
Our challenge today is a dessert that is both sweet and savory.
None of us here are pastry chefs.
It's definitely pushing us outside of our comfort zone.
Every bite that we're going to get from here is balancing this walk between sweet and savory.
Some of the ingredients that I add in -- like berbere from my home country, Ethiopia, and some beet chips.
Marcus made a beet cupcake.
So, when I say savory sweet, it doesn't mean that it cannot be sweet at all.
It tastes great.
I'm picking up a lot of new stuff with him, so I'm feeling really confident going to this next challenge.
This is, for me, a savory dessert.
Uh, I'm going to show you a little French cake.
It's like a crunchy brioche.
A lot of chefs hate to bake.
I love to bake.
I was top of my class in culinary school in baking.
This is, like, my thing.
Put a good cream of diplomat inside.
Strawberry, lavender, that's it.
Ludo is showing us a French version of a strawberry shortcake.
I love this because it's not too sweet.
Mm-hmm.
Delicious.
So, today, our challenge is to have a crust.
Have, like, a cream, and some fruit.
Going into this challenge, we need to be creative, we need to be different, because we need to win this.
What you need to find in your dessert is something people crave.
Like me, you know, as a French chef, I can go like this and Love it.
You know what? Nigella's in the house.
So, you need a second taste, you need her to help in a direction, she's an excellent person to ask.
We love having Nigella around because she cooks a lot of dessert and pastries.
Now, I'm looking forward to sort of learning from her.
Okay.
All right, guys.
30 seconds to go.
I feel good about this.
This one is ours.
I love my chances.
Tony is miserable.
He hates this challenge.
And Ludo is just getting more and more nervous.
Go ahead and put your oven on, guys.
Don't forget ovens.
Set up your station.
He's all a-twitter.
He's all excited.
He's crazy.
He's nervous, and I -- I think, uh, he should be.
But if Ludo gets even a single red star, he's going to hang himself.
- So, you know what to do, guys, okay? - Yes, Chef.
Don't fail me.
Don't fail me.
Thank you.
Three, two, one.
Cooking starts now.
Come on, guys.
Get started.
All right, let's go, guys.
The cooks have one hour to make a dessert.
Put your oven on, guys, huh? Each mentor will pick the best bite from their team to be tasted by guest mentor Christina Tosi.
At the end of the challenge, one cook will be eliminated.
- Teacher! Teacher! - Okay, I'm coming, I'm coming.
I'm very glad that Nigella's free for this -- for this challenge.
It's a lot of help.
I'm very, very uncertain with pastries.
For me, this was the toughest challenge yet.
Now, what you don't know about pastry and cakes is not worth knowing.
I mean, the real thing that makes baking harder is that in cooking, you kind of can go with the flow.
Baking is a -- is a precise art.
You can't wing it.
Chef Ludo tells us that, uh, he wants to definitely use fruit and even to think of, like, a crumble or a fruit tart.
So, you have the crunch, and you have the cream, and you have the fruit.
- So, Louise? - Yes? What are you working on? Peanut butter is going to go in with some mascarpone.
And then I'm going to cook down some grapes with some port.
I am going to do a fun little play on a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.
I think, as long as I can nail the textures right and the flavor right, I think it'll be something that's fun to eat and unexpected.
Be careful with part two.
Be careful.
You want to taste the grapes? Okay.
Definitely a lot of hope with Louise.
I think she knows what's good.
I need to direct her a little more about how to cook a little more elegant, finesse.
So, what are you doing exactly, Marina? A banana dumpling with coconut.
Toss a coconut in there, yes.
And then, I put some butter caramel on top to add the sweetness because I don't think this banana is sweet enough.
So, lo and behold, Marina's making a dumpling.
You know what, dragon lady? Stick to what you're good to.
What are you doing, exactly? Explain to me, because -- I'm making a -- a spicy chocolate mousse.
- Yeah? - With, um, strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar.
And then I'm going to make a crumble, as well.
I was in the bottom last week, and it was really awful.
So, this week, I really need to be on my game, or I'm going to go home.
And we're right before the semifinals, so I need to, like, step it up.
Marcus wants us to impress Christina with doing some kind of sweet, savory dish for her.
Are you going to use brown sugar or white sugar? - Brown sugar.
- Good.
Having to come up with a recipe for dessert on the fly, right now, is very daunting.
- Is that potato chips I see? - Yes, ma'am.
Always good in a dessert.
I smell gingerbread, yes? Well, what Sarah's doing here, she's doing classic gingerbread.
Going to add in pomegranate and then eventually, potato chips to mix it up.
And with Shehu here, we're doing a classic brownie.
- We're going to add in spiced nuts.
- Yeah? And a little bit of fromage blanc in there, as well.
And we're going to use pretzels for that.
Oh, yes.
I make a bacon brownie quite often.
Oh, nice, nice.
How are you feeling about this challenge, Sarah? I feel pretty good about it.
And what, are you adding something on top, though, to get -- - Yes.
- Okay.
I'm going to make, like, a potato-chip crumble and, um, a glaze with some pomegranate molasses and rum.
It's not terribly sweet, though, is it? Pomegranate molasses is quite bitter in a way, sour.
But I could also do, like, a buttercream, as well.
I was kind of playing around with the idea of that.
So, um, Nigella came over and was, uh -- commented on the pomegranate seeds.
So I'm kind of a little bit worried about that because she obviously knows a lot more about baking than I do.
All right, great.
Now, what you don't know about pastry and cakes is not worth knowing.
The theme this week -- The Sweetest Thing.
Tony, you know, the idea of desserts for him -- I mean, he'd really rather eat crushed glass.
- You're doing a nest? - I am.
I'm going to do a phyllo nest.
- A nice, buttery one.
You're using figs, I take it? - Yes, I am.
For this dessert challenge, Anthony wants us to use fruit.
I'm going to make a mascarpone cream with a little orange zest and put that -- that'll be the base on the inside.
I took a zero in culinary school for baking and pastry, because I hated it so much.
I was like, "this is the test?" I was like, "here's the test.
This is your test.
Go ahead.
" And I walked out of the class.
I -- It was -- I hated it.
- Candied bacon.
- Candied bacon is always delicious.
I love it in my desserts.
I think it's going to work.
I've never -- I've certainly never done it before.
You don't think a bit of honey and, uh, some nuts, so that it's kind of baklava-esque? - Crunchy bacon, right? - Yes, yes, yes, so -- So, that's sort of going to sub for the nuts.
- Help.
That's going to help, yeah.
- Exactly.
I'm very glad that Nigella's free for this challenge.
It's a lot of help.
I'm very, very uncertain with, uh -- with pastries.
Are you thinking shortcake? It's kind of like a chiffon.
- A chiffon cake? - Olive-oil chiffon cake.
Light, kind of airy.
What sort of olive oil are you using? - Extra virgin.
- Mm, okay.
Brad is, you know, very confident.
But I'm not seeing any flashes of inspiration or particular genius.
I'm just worried about the heaviness of it because it's more viscous.
This is a cake -- I've made it before.
Definitely registered, but I'm moving forward with my dish.
Help.
Nobody's a pastry chef here.
So, I freaked out.
Everybody freaked out.
And people are going to go down.
This is going to be a tough challenge.
I really want her in our kitchen.
That would be so phenomenal.
Christina Tosi as a guest mentor -- we need her, like, oh, my God, like we're in a drought and we need some [bleep] rain.
Shellie, what are you doing? I am doing a crisp, um, cheddar cheese.
I don't know if it's a tuile - when you do it like that, like a cannoli? - Yeah? - Stuff it with some apple cream - Mm.
- resembling, like, an apple pie.
- Yeah.
- I have no recipes up my sleeve.
- I have nothing.
People sometimes put cheddar cheese on their apple pie.
I know they do that in the midwest and, um, in the South, too.
So, I'm thinking, you know what, I'm just going to do a play on that.
Over the top, I'm going to fry up some potato chips and salted caramel, - something like that, something very -- - Sounds delicious.
Shellie's dish has the most potential to wow Christina, simply because it is really a bit edgy, a bit mad.
There's a very old English saying, which is an apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.
You've done your pomegranate.
- Now, out of the way here.
- Okay.
Do you want me to flame off some rum with that? Perfect.
Each challenge, I decided, come in blank, just blank.
Like, I'm not bringing up the fact that Shehu has three red stars.
I'm not going to hold Sarah hostage for the fact that she has really lost two battles for us.
But you know what? I believe in Sarah.
Let's hit it with your alcohol.
There you go.
Good job.
A win right now, first of all, is going to boost morale.
Secondly, we get the guest mentor, so we get to learn a little bit from her.
And the most important fact is we get to knock one of the other guys off.
It's spring season.
It's time to slaughter some lambs.
So, we out.
Wolf pack is hunting, and we're hungry.
We have to put a different flavor with your -- with the salt and something a little spicy with your peanuts.
Ohh! Curry.
- With some curry? - A little bit, not much.
Oh, interesting.
Not too much.
A little bit.
I mean, I'm not sure that I've eaten curry in a dessert.
However, I've eaten a lot of Indian curry with a sweet mango chutney on top.
So, the sweet and the curry completely works.
So, I'm like, "all right, Chef.
Let's do it.
" - Oh.
- Little bit.
Oh, she'll -- Come on, you're Asian.
You like flavor.
You know about flavor.
It's you should win this competition about flavor, - it's you, Marina.
- Okay, okay, okay.
- It's you.
- Yes, Chef.
- So, you always do tasty food.
So, okay? - All right, all right.
I did listen to Ludo.
I want him to know that I listened to him.
My realization is, like, if I'm going to make this dish for Americans, I will do exactly what he told me.
But if I'm going to make this for Chinese, I will not put ginger.
It's a great day, Marina.
No, I love your idea.
You're in a good, good, good direction.
You are spicy.
You see, all of you? I make you put some spice, a little bit, in your dessert, guys.
Never forget about that.
It's like cooking food, okay? It's like cooking meat, fish, vegetables.
- Okay, guys? Same thing.
- Yes, Chef.
- I'm going to spy over there.
You okay, Louise? - Yep.
Hello, guys.
How are you guys? - Hello, Chef.
- So, Lee, how are you, bro? - Good.
How are you doing? - Yeah? You're -- what are you doing? Mascarpone and phyllo? It's an homage to the middle east, but a haram version, because there's candied bacon in there.
- Where is your bacon? - It's in the oven.
Yeah, we're not -- we're -- we're not lying.
So, Anthony, everything with no bacon is a very, very tough challenge for Anthony.
He always crying, you know? "One day, they want vegetables.
Now, they now want sweet.
I mean, next week, what are we going to see? Will they want fish?" Hi, Sarah.
How are you doing? Doing well.
How are you? What are you doing? Whoo! Very complicated.
Pull it off.
Whoo.
I don't know if Ludo is just trying to get under my skin or what's going on with him.
But I'm focused on what I'm doing, so I'm going to ignore him, beat him where it counts.
You need to taste the food of everybody! - Put cream here? - The cream.
- I told you, Louise! - Yes, yes, yes, yes, Chef! It's time to shine! Do you know, like, when you give a toddler too much candy and they are bouncing off the walls? That's Ludo.
Mixture! Cream, cream, cream, cream, cream, cream, cream! Yes, yes, yes, Chef.
Yes.
Be careful.
I don't want a piece -- piece of poo-poo on the spoon.
Marina, you know what you should put over there? Just -- just a minute.
Rum.
- Rum, rum, rum, rum, rum.
- Lime, banana, rum.
Yeah.
Lime, banana, rum.
Yeah! Yay! Yes, yes, yes! Ludo is shouting.
- So -- - Aah! He shouts at me.
Wait! He shouts at everyone.
That's it, Marina! You lose today! Lemon.
Not lime, lemon! - Fry, fry, Marina, fry.
- Fry, fry, fry, fry, fry.
He's shouting.
He's moving fast.
He's on a sugar rush.
P-powdered sugar.
A lot of powdered sugar.
A lot of powdered sugar.
I thought, uh, Ludo was going to have a heart attack.
- Perfect.
It's perfect! - Thank you, Chef! Plate! All three of these ideas are more creative than, um, most of what's going on over there.
- Shehu's making a brownie.
- He is? Okay.
You know, it may be the most delicious brownie on earth, but it's a brownie.
Ooh.
Whoops.
Watch it there, buckaroo.
Try not to burn my genitals, not today.
Now, finish your details here.
Now, finish your details, okay? Buttercream's all whisked up.
- Nice.
Nice job.
- Thank you.
- So, that's very sweet now.
- Yeah.
So, you've got to come back with salt, now.
- Right.
- Oh, baby! Right now, Shellie's been our star on the team challenges.
I would love to break out of that.
I want to go up as representing our team.
It's different.
Brad was super confident with his dish.
But that's because it was so boring.
- It's unbelievably good.
- You know, Anthony, you -- It's unbelievably good.
You know, Anthony, I'm tired of your saying all the time - it's unbelievable.
- It's unbelievable.
I heard it one time, and I hear it three times or 10 times.
You know what? My ass is unbelievable.
That's where your dish looks like it came from, my friend.
Uh, ca va, Chef? Feeling better every minute.
Why, because of your bacon or because you come here? You know what, Tony? You always say that to me.
And at the end of the day, I beat you three times, and you beat me one time in team challenge.
So, you know what? Kiss my ass.
I think he's very scared now, you see? He's so white.
Now, he's so scared.
He sees what we're doing.
Look.
He's going to tell them -- look, look, he's going to see what they cook.
Hey, guys.
Everybody else in this competition other than you and Shellie have gold stars.
- Yeah.
- Do we give a [bleep]? - No.
- No.
Tony is stressed now.
He's stressed.
Look at him.
He's stressed.
Look at his face.
Real stressed now.
Focus on your plating.
- And after, taste the food of everybody, okay? - Yes, Chef.
As the hour draws to a close, the mentors must pick one dish to be tasted blind by guest mentor Christina Tosi.
Oh, you're doing it that way around? Yeah.
It's great.
I think you should place it the way she wants it, too, with the grapes at the bottom.
Listen up.
Listen to me, Nigella.
I won three challenges.
Nigella is suggesting I put my crumble on the top.
Ludo's suggesting to put it on the bottom.
It's just confusing.
All right.
You're a dictator, and it's very good.
It suits you.
Where are your, uh I like Nigella.
I respect her.
But this is my kitchen.
My rule, my cook.
Taste -- taste -- taste your food.
Taste your food.
I don't need you.
Pbht! Can I have a little bit more cream? Shehu, taste it.
Excellent job.
I like this, Sarah.
This is banging.
Sarah's dish, it spoke to me.
It played music in my mouth.
And I almost cried because it was amazing.
Okay, I want a -- I want a suggestion from you guys, all right? I really like Sarah's, Chef.
- Are we going to win this one? - Yeah.
I want to win.
I don't care if it's my dish or her dish.
All right.
We're going with Sarah.
- Quick, quick.
- All right.
Again, make me a spoon of your crumble, quick.
It was a great idea.
Looked poo-poo, but tasted good.
Jeff is out.
Now that I'm seeing my dish, I'm like, "oh, it looks like poop on a spoon.
" - Guys, what do you think, guys? - Guys, what do you think? We have to know what to do! Which one are you going with? Give me room, Tony.
Give me room, please.
Chef Jeff, great flavor.
Great flavor, Jeff.
I want to trick Anthony, so I'm going to make Anthony think I picked Jeff's dish.
It will be funnier there.
Trust me.
We have a serious, serious shot at this, guys.
Yet again, Ludo puts Jeff forward, which was a failed chocolate mousse that never stood up.
Looked like it was just laying there like a day-old upper-Decker.
Oh, Shellie, I'd really like to taste yours sometime.
Okay, okay.
Let me plate you yours right now.
Brad -- he made a good cake.
It was exactly the sort of dessert I probably would have come up with.
Solidly, solidly good.
I'd sell that in a restaurant.
Competent, but not particularly inspired.
I really want to get up for the team challenge.
I have these gold stars.
But in my team, I'm never getting chosen.
I want to be the one that they debate over who's the best, you know? And I'm hoping it's me today.
Bacon completely takes over the whole thing.
- Too much? - Way too much.
- Lee's got five gold stars.
- That's that.
But frankly, any one of the last couple offerings during the team challenge would've gotten him sent home.
So, I'm sure hoping that he steps up.
It's awesome.
Make two really beautiful ones of them.
Shellie -- zero gold stars.
But the fact is, she's gotten us through a couple of team challenges, and I believe in her.
We're going with our usual executive-decision nonsense on this.
I'm stoked that he picked mine.
It's such a great feeling to be selected by Bourdain.
Yeah, but we're going with her.
Everybody's cool with the decision here? - That's really good.
- I think we're strong with this.
Tony chose Shellie's dish to represent our team.
So, I got upset with that.
- I think my dish had the best taste.
- I really do.
And I'm a little upset that mine didn't get chosen.
Two minutes, guys.
Two minutes, two minutes.
I taste Marina's, and I think it's disgusting.
It's not about my palate.
It's about what the challenge is.
I don't really like either dish, but it's not about me.
- What do you think, guys? - I say yours, Marina.
- You want to take Marina? - Yeah.
Why Marina? Why? Now, we're trying to figure out whose dish should go.
You want to put Marina? No.
Ludo eventually was like, "okay, we're going to go with Louise's.
" Fingers crossed.
Whoa, you're not going with a -- with a full tuile? - Do you want me to? - I am plating, like, a little bite.
- If you have time.
- But he wants me to do it the cannoli style.
- Can I get a time check, somebody? - 58 seconds.
Everybody help.
Everybody's helping me finish this dish.
Plenty of time.
Stay cool.
- Lee's helping me pipe it in.
- More.
Bourdain goes, "more.
" And I'm like [bleep]! - Other side.
- Yep.
I'm worried.
I'm like, "oh, my God.
There's too much filling in there.
" There's caramel in the potato chips.
10 seconds.
This could kill it.
Three, two, one.
Stop cooking.
Good job, guys.
Great direction today, guys.
Good job.
Good taste.
That is one seriously delicious, seriously [bleep] dish.
- I love this.
- Stoner special.
Yes, it is.
It's time, baby.
It's time, baby.
I got you on this one, bro.
You're going to go down, guys.
Not with that dish.
Did you see what was going on? Yeah.
I make that dessert all the time after a couple of weeks in India, eating street food.
Precious, precious, precious, precious.
Don't drop it at all.
I mean, I want to win the team challenge.
I want to win it, you know? I want to.
You know what it's all about.
We're doing a theme.
This is very nice.
I just want to win this team challenge today.
We need it.
All right.
Let's go.
Excellent.
And we need this boost, you know? We need a little good morale right now.
You've got to look at this thing.
It really looks bad.
My God, it -- That's it, right there? - Wait a minute.
- Grapes? - Is that different? - Strawberries in it.
- He -- he chose Jeff's? - Oh, no, no.
- I don't think that's Jeff.
- No, he chose Marina's.
- What, did he switcheroo? - Oh, la vache.
All righty, guys.
I thought he was going with Jeff's thing.
Damn it.
Aw, man.
- Green machine.
- Green machine.
Let's get one.
We need one.
Let's get one.
Guest mentor Christina Tosi will taste each dessert without knowing who cooked what.
The team with the best taste will win Christina's help in the solo challenge.
The team with the worst dish must eliminate one of their own.
Welcome, Christina.
Hi! How are you? Mwah! For those of you that don't know, I am Christina Tosi.
I am from Milk Bar in New York City.
She's a very amazing pastry chef, guys.
I believe that dessert should be eaten three times a day, if not more.
She is so cute.
What makes a great dessert is that single bite that really strikes a chord, that taps into something deep down and transports you.
I'm really excited to see what you guys have created today.
You like eating sweet things? You have The Sweetest Thing.
All right.
I'm a little nervous about this one.
The last time I baked a cake, I was in culinary school, like, 15 years ago.
I just hope that Christina is going to get our idea in one bite, one taste.
I'm typically anti-cupcake.
I would never do a cupcake.
Never.
I have never really found a cupcake that I really loved, that I thought was really sort of thoughtful and boundary-pushing.
I think there's some pomegranate seeds folded in.
Just the right amount of salt.
It keeps sort of, like, dancing on my tongue at the very end.
I got to say, I didn't want to like that one.
I kind of wish I had another.
She loved it.
Hmm.
It's definitely pressure.
You know, on one hand, you feel super excited that Ludo has picked your dish as his favorite.
But at the same time, you're the one up there.
And so, if they don't like it, that doesn't look good.
This taste almost just creeps me out a little bit, because I feel like someone is peeping into the window of my apartment and knows exactly what I like to snack on.
She felt like Ludo was being creepy.
Finally.
That's what I've been saying the whole time.
The peanut butter is super creamy -- almost a little too creamy, a little fatty.
It's a really smart dessert, because it really sits with you.
The peanut butter really stays with you and continues to sort of tease your palate on and off from salty and sweet, which is really in the wheelhouse of what I love in a great dessert.
Nobody on our team is well-versed in baking.
But at least I'm being selected to represent the team for the group challenge.
I see a little potato chip on top here, which does not make me mad.
I'm definitely a little bit of a junk-food addict.
So, I think already this dessert is pulling me in.
I want to win, and I want to gloat.
Winning is not enough.
I want to win, and I want to gloat.
Hmm.
It's a really nice, unexpected surprise.
I thought the tuile, the sort of crispy outer casing, was going to be sweeter, almost like a pastry.
But it's actually shredded cheese, which I really love.
I think I'm just wishing that there was something just a little bit sharper to cut through that sort of cinnamon-apple creaminess.
But then again, I'm a really big fan of apple and cheese.
Okay, now you've got to tell us what your best was, and your worst.
We'll start off with your best.
Well, I'm a little nervous because she doesn't dislike any of them.
Ooh, this is going to be a really hard decision.
I always picture a positive energy that the guest mentor would pick our dish.
- My best one - Mm-hmm.
- was - Say it, say it, say it.
uh Yeah, say it.
Say it.
Say it.
Say it.
Ooh.
This is going to be a really hard decision.
My best one Mm-hmm.
- was - Say it, say it, say it.
uh Yeah, say it.
Say it.
Say it.
Ooh.
Yes.
Marcus' kitchen.
- Yes! - Yeah! Yes! Wow, really? Next time.
We needed that! She picked my cupcake! And I'm stoked.
Yes! Congratulations.
Thank you.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Because that was really good.
The cupcake won.
Whoo-hoo.
So, now, I'm at the bottom with Tony, which is very, very stressful.
I mean, if I'm going down, you know, I need to send somebody from my team home.
Now, this is much harder, - as you do have to pick your worst, I'm afraid.
- I know.
Wow.
We could be the worst dish here.
And potentially, any one of us could go home.
The other two tastes were really delicious.
If we lose, I personally feel like I'm not going to go home.
It's going to be Louise.
Just don't be the worst, because the worst goes home.
For me, it's not about the worst.
It's almost like picking my least favorite, because they were both so delicious.
If we get selected, then that's it.
I'm done.
My worst one was Anthony's kitchen.
I don't like that at all.
I feared the worst, and the worst happened.
I loved that, just to see Tony's face.
Tony, that means you have to send someone home from your kitchen.
All of you put up a good showing today.
I could easily have gone with any of three very fine desserts.
Shellie, you've been real strong for us.
You've been getting us through a lot of hard times.
Lee, you've been putting up a lot of stars.
Brad, solid.
No red stars there at all.
Brad, what do you think? Who should go home? Uh, you know, it's hard to say between the two of them.
I mean, I would say send Lee home out of a competition, because he's the competition, uh, you know, but Lee, what have you done for me lately? You, uh -- every team challenge, it's not you department.
Solid, but not thrilling dishes, uh, again and again.
We've had to rely on, uh, poor Miss Kitchen over here.
I guess we haven't been on the same page as far as the team challenges go.
But I thought it was really good, though.
And I thought it had the assets Shellie's might have been missing.
And I thought mine was -- was right up there.
Shellie Kitchen, you're a mess.
You have never your stuff ready on time.
We never have any idea what's going on over in your section.
You rarely have anything for all of us to taste in a completed form.
You have no gold stars.
Why, why, why should you get another crack at the, uh -- the gold? I don't know.
I thought it was innovative.
I thought I executed right.
But it needed something, for sure.
So, if you were me, who would you send home? I would have to send home Brad.
All right, Lee.
Um, five stars -- you're not going anywhere.
Thank you.
Lee, someone on either side of you is going home.
Who would it be? I have absolutely nothing against you, Brad.
I think you're a very nice guy.
But I just thought it maybe wasn't on the same level as -- as, say, Shellie's or -- or mine today.
That's just what I feel.
Shellie Kitchen, you're an uncontrollable, uh, wild card.
But I'm sorry.
You're not going anywhere.
Brad, it's you, my brother.
- Okay.
That's how it is.
- Come on up.
- All right.
- Thanks, guys.
Thank you very much.
- Next time.
- I appreciate it.
- You did honorable work here.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
It saddens me to know that I have to go home now, and I didn't make it to the finals.
Anthony, I'm going with you, buddy.
- Very happy.
- Yes.
But I have accomplished a lot.
It's definitely a highlight of my life and my career.
You know, it's very important for my family.
They know that their father is a great role model.
They still know what kind of a dad they have.
And they know that I'll do anything and everything for them.
That wasn't fun.
The solo challenge -- The Sweetest Thing.
Make it knock the socks off even someone like me, who's relatively immune to desserts.
Make it good.
Marcus, your winning team will have the considerable benefit of the advice and assistance of the extraordinary and brilliant Christina Tosi.
I hate you, by the way.
I love it.
Christina, please go join Marcus' winning team.
- Hi.
Nice to meet you.
- Hi.
While Marcus' team gets a little private mentoring time with Christina, the rest of you guys can take a break.
See you at the tasting.
We are still here.
That was not fun, though, you know? Yeah.
I wasn't even that mad about being in the bottom because I knew that Tony was going to pick Brad.
Well, duh.
Five-star general? Well, whatever, you know.
I mean, this is crazy.
It's the first time Marcus' team has won the team challenge.
- With a damn cupcake.
- Oh, my God, I know.
I thought cupcakes were over.
- Yeah, I thought so, too.
It should be over.
- Right? - I feel great! - A cupcake.
A cupcake! You know, it's bad enough I got to lose somebody, right? - You've got to be pretty brave to put a cupcake up.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Cupcakes are like blondes.
Everybody likes them but me.
I don't think there's much hope of, uh, your team having a -- - having a bad night, with Christina in there.
- Yeah, exactly, so between you and me.
So, obviously, I'm hoping for a nightmare on Planet Ludo.
I think now, the competition just got hotter.
Guys, congratulations.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
I have to tell you, I did not want to like your cupcake.
But I am going to be 85 years old and still thinking about how awesome the cupcake was.
- Who made the cupcake? - I made the cupcake.
If you didn't have confidence in dessert before, you better have confidence in it now.
So, my little cupcake prevailed.
And, uh, we've got Christina Tosi in our kitchen.
She's the best at what she does, and I'm stoked.
You're almost to the semifinals.
It's like, don't put it on the plate if it doesn't taste good.
And when you're making dessert, the first misstep is, like, taking an inspiration point and then going too literal.
So, I brought my favorite dessert with me today.
I start with a black-pepper shortcake, which I crumble it up and toast it on a pan.
I take that, a little bit of light brown sugar, and then I puree it down with a little bit of heavy cream and milk into a ganache.
You get the flavor of a baked good without just getting, like, a piece of cake.
From the ganache, it becomes this gooey element.
Just put it down on the plate and drag it.
Some blueberries, just so there's a little bit in every bite.
And olive-oil crème-fraîche ice cream.
A little bit of that black-pepper shortcake, because texture is really important.
- Madam.
- Thank you.
- Sir.
- Thank you.
She made, like, pureed cake with black pepper in it.
That was really nice and spicy.
It's like having, like, a jedi in your kitchen right now.
Having Christina Tosi here, that's a huge advantage She is super cool.
- lf they listen to her, though, you know? That's true.
Sarah and Shehu are both kind of stuck in their -- in their ways.
Who knows if they're going to listen - to what she has to say? - Yeah.
- I mean - I know I would.
- I would be really happy.
- Oh, are you kidding me? I'll just deep-fry my [bleep].
I think I'm deep-frying, too.
I - Yeah.
- Anthony loves your food, you know? Shellie is always on top in the team challenges.
She's a great cook.
Anthony called Shellie his favorite.
And I'm not feeling confident that I wouldn't go home if I'm matched up against Shellie.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
This recipe is like a couscous cake with a yogurt glaze.
So, it has, like, a-a crunch factor to it.
- So, when you bite into it, it still is crunchy.
- That, I like.
- That, I think, they're really going to dig.
- Yeah.
- They're going to be tasting a ton of desserts.
- Right.
So, think through making it as bright and as light as possible, even if that means you have to finish it with some zest, even a little olive oil, salt on top.
Something that's going to punch them in the face.
- Awesome.
- You got this.
- Thank you so much.
- You got this.
This is what we need.
Everybody else has been hogging the guest mentors.
And, like, we haven't been getting no special attention.
It's the best thing to happen to us.
I learned how to cook in New Orleans.
So, I've always got, like, bananas foster on the mind.
What do you like about bananas foster, because like, that -- - I like the rum.
- You like -- - Cut to the chase.
You like the rum.
- Yeah, exactly.
I think I would like to do it, you know, something soft, like a pudding, um, and then have some crunchy elements to it.
Maybe make, like, rum pudding and then garnish it with bananas - Yeah.
- So, it's reminiscent of without competing - for people's dessert memory.
- Right.
How are you going to get that brightness? Um, uh If it's not bright enough and punchy enough, you might have to, like, go grab a lime and zest it or something.
- Right.
- But I think you can totally kill it.
I'm really uneasy about it.
I don't know how it's going to turn out.
But, uh, I'm going to do my best.
- Excellent.
Thank you.
- Well, good luck.
Yeah.
- I think this is the toughest challenge.
- Very, very difficult.
- I really think this is the toughest challenge.
- Oh, yeah.
No argument.
Cooking sweet things is not for everyone.
For me, dessert is like guilty pleasure.
It's something I crave.
- It's flirting.
It's flirting.
- Mm-hmm.
Yeah, it is.
You know what I mean? It's -- I mean -- I mean, it's just that.
And also bringing back, maybe, chihood memories.
We all have very different childhood memories.
- We do.
We do.
- So that's going to be odd.
Right.
I just don't know what they want - because tastes are so subjective.
- I know.
I don't even eat dessert.
Well, Anthony doesn't like sweets.
Good luck, everyone.
Good luck, everyone.
- Hey, guys? - Yeah? Solo cooking starts in one minute.
- Ugh.
- Let's go.
All right.
Let's do it.
- Good luck, everybody.
- Good luck.
- Good luck, you guys.
- Good luck.
- You have your plan of attacks.
- Yes.
Go out there and kill it.
You've got this? - Got it.
- All right.
Welcome back.
The theme is The Sweetest Thing.
You have one hour to earn your place in the semifinals.
Marcus' winning team will, of course, have the assistance of Christina Tosi.
At the end of this challenge, of course, one of you will be going home.
Your time starts now.
Each cook must make a single sweet bite to be judged blind by the mentors.
The cooks with the best dish will receive gold stars.
The cooks with the worst dish will receive red stars and face elimination.
Little stressed about my team.
No, no.
You're wild card.
- I mean, Louise coming out of nowhere - Louise.
and -- and killing it lately -- hate that.
Today, I am making a glogg-poached pear.
I'm going to serve it with a parmesan crisp and a pine-nut brittle and some whipped mascarpone with lemon.
I am fighting for a place in the semifinals, so I am very nervous going into the dessert challenge.
I figure your boy Jeff is going down today.
I think he's going to have yet another bad day.
I think he's going to get mental.
He's going to make another spoonful of sludge, and bada-bing.
Right now, I'm making a pâte sucrée, which is a sugar dough for tarts.
It usually needs about an hour to rest.
And, uh, I do not have an hour to rest it.
So, uh, I'm just going to make it as quickly as possible.
I'm making a-a lime curd.
And I'm going to candy some jalapeños and make a, um -- a lime tart, basically.
So, very simple, but it needs to be executed properly, or I'm screwed.
Marina, uh, is Marina.
I'm a believer in Marina.
This is just egg yolk and a simple sugar syrup.
It's a Portuguese-origin dish.
It's called fios de ovos.
It's called egg thread.
I believe Ludo would not approve this dish because it's out of his range.
Marina is making something I don't even know.
It sounds weird.
I honestly think she's going to be at the bottom.
All right, Sarah.
What do you got working first? Um, first thing I'm doing is getting the rum pudding going.
The dish that I'm making is like a bananas foster with a pie-crust crumble.
So, I've got a lot of things kind of, uh, tricky to do today.
All right, Shehu.
You got your orange zest? Yes, got my orange zest, orange juice.
Orange juice.
You're getting your couscous going? - Yep.
- All right.
I'm making a couscous cake.
It's going to have a spiciness to it.
I'm going to make an icing made out of freaking yogurt.
And I'm going to have, like, a salty tartness come from my strawberries.
The couscous cake, I think, is really going to wow them.
Tony, one minute, you seem to have a full kitchen, and now you're down to two.
Yeah.
Uh, I'm making a fried cheesecake.
Ricotta, mascarpone, and cream cheese -- that's going to sit on top of macerated strawberries, a little balsamic, sugar, and mint.
I don't know whether Lee is playing a really sneaky-dekey game or whether he's just genuinely not rising to the occasion in the team challenge.
It doesn't matter.
He's still here.
He's got five stars.
I wish I was chosen today for the team challenge.
But hopefully, I can impress Anthony with the dish I'm making right now.
I am making a caramelized banana with a pineapple crème fraîche with spicy macadamia nuts.
I'm praying that this will -- this will get me through.
I don't see what is good with Shellie.
- Shellie? - Yeah.
She never tried.
She never have a gold star, nothing.
I need that gold star bad.
She is so different.
She is the dark horse that can win the whole damn thing.
No, no, a big difference between to be different and good and different and not that good.
You know, when you're creative, you need to taste good.
- She's good.
She's good.
- And you know, that's it.
I'm feeling a lot of pressure today because -- especially because I was in the bottom last week, and I want to show them all the things that I know.
And, you know, I don't think I deserve to be in the bottom.
I bake.
So, I'm the only one.
If I don't get a star, then, like, then, I'll be really pissed.
Today is, like, redemption day.
I was going to use wild eggs, but I realize the egg yolks are small.
Can I have your eggs? Are you done with your eggs? No.
I need my eggs.
I'm, like -- I'm making a custard.
These are my eggs.
You can get your own.
Like, I don't know how many she -- eggs? I don't know.
What is she doing, why she needs so many eggs? She can't have all the eggs.
So, he's saying he's going to use them, but I went back to the freezer -- there's, uh, six more, so, I use 18 egg yolks.
I believe Jeff and I, we are neck and neck.
I never felt that, um, he's competing with me.
But I think he thinks I'm competing with him.
Marina -- you never know what that woman's going to pull out of her ass.
Marina's got secrets you don't even know.
I don't know what I don't know.
I just know what I know.
And I don't know what they don't know.
I just know what I know.
You know, I don't know what you know.
I only know what I know.
But I know what you don't know.
And if you don't know, now you know.
Your egg-and-sugar mixture is looking real good.
Yeah.
It'll be okay.
Did your mom teach you this one? Yes, definitely, definitely.
She taught me this one.
- You can't underwhip it, right? - No, I cannot underwhip it.
You've got to get the air in there.
My ma is a pastry chef.
And, like, she definitely exposed me to, like, different types of foods.
So, by the time I got older, it was like, the only thing I wanted to do was go into culinary school.
I feel like I have to do jumping jacks next to you.
Like Shehu, how you doing over there? - I'm sweating like a pig.
- Ha.
And yourself? I'm doing good.
Feeling good.
Team Marcus has, uh, Christina with them.
I am not worried about them in the slightest.
Would have been nice to have Christina in here to taste, but I prefer working alone.
Lee is making a cheesecake bite with, uh, some crap around it, and he's deep-frying it, and he's -- it's something white-trash that Bourdain's going to like.
I-I'm, like -- I'm already ahead of the game right now.
I believe either Lee or Jeff -- they all have a perception about themselves.
They both have the most stars.
They forgot that, hey, you can be in the top today, and tomorrow, you're in the bottom.
I'm feeling good, seriously.
I'm not.
- You're not? - I don't know.
I think I -- my caramel's too -- it's grainy.
- Too loose? - It didn't cook off.
Because look how -- all the fat on there.
Yeah, I see it.
At this point, I'm really worried for Shellie.
As good as she is, she's really been off today.
Whoa.
Yeah, it is pretty grainy.
I'm not focused.
Being here and being away from my business and my family is all a risk.
But winning in this competition, it would be great for my family and my business.
I mean, I've made it this far.
I just have to fight to stay here.
It all, really, now, depends on if my, uh, tart shells bake.
And I'm nervous.
In fact What are you doing? - Don't cry.
- Ah! - What's -- what's going on? - What are you -- - Uh, I'm pretty -- I'm -- I'm -- - You're not using these? - Go ahead, take them.
Take them.
- Thank you.
You know what? I'm going to make some graham-cracker crust, because just in case my pâte sucrée does not chill and bake in the proper amount of time, I need to have a backup plan.
Caramelizing some pine nuts.
Cooking some caramel.
Reducing some sauce.
Cooking the pears.
Making parmesan.
It's all going at the same time.
- Honey, Jeff? - Huh? - Honey, honey? - Yeah.
Oh.
- You done? - I thought you were calling me "honey.
" - All right.
So, these are going in? - Yeah.
Let's make sure that they're separated enough in between - so that your hot air -- - Cooked evenly.
It's a nice, even cook.
Wow.
Mom is going to be super proud.
Are you baking? Oh, no, wait.
You're just frying.
Is that a -- is that a no-bake cheesecake over there? - Hey, cheers, all right? - Already? Ah! I'm not worried about Jeff.
Well, actually, I'm not worried about anyone because I know that I'm the best cook here.
Cook faster.
I'm a little bit behind because the pudding is not setting up.
- Is this on high? - Uh, no.
Let's bring it up just a little bit.
I'm just worried about -- you definitely don't want to serve a warm pudding.
You definitely want to serve a nice, chilled pudding.
- Right.
- But you've got this.
She really needs to make sure it gets to the right thickness level and gets spread out thin and cooled down with enough time.
No one wants a lumpy pudding.
The essence of a pudding is that it's nice and thick and creamy.
And we're still in the sort of heating and cooking and thickening stages, so, I'm a little nervous about that.
All right, guys.
There's 10 minutes left.
My tart shells -- I know that if they're just a little bit warm, my curd is going to be runny, and it's got to be perfect.
I need to be perfect today.
So, I'm going to go ahead and put them in the blast chiller.
We've got to get this pudding as cool as possible.
This isn't going to come together the way I want it to.
I could go down on this dish.
Better have [bleep] done for us.
I'm nervous, thinking that this isn't going to come together the way I want it to.
Right now, we're at nine minutes.
Anything I can do for you? Um, do you want to go to the blast chiller and pull out my -- my tart shells? Blast chiller? - They're at the bottom.
- Oh.
They're -- they're -- almost -- they're second to bottom.
Thank you.
I have no idea.
Oh.
Something that I did not understand.
What do you need, Jeff? Hmm? What do you need? My tart shells.
They should be on a sheet pan in the blast chiller.
- You mean the paper? - No.
Is something lost in translation? Because she speaks English.
Great color.
I hope it gets me a gold star.
The salted caramel is, in the end, I think, is what might get -- get it for me.
I'm going after Nigella on this one.
All right.
Six minutes left.
How did the caramel come out? My banana's mushy.
You got the hazelnuts, though, right, for some crunch? Yeah, whatever.
Sorry, is this -- is this what you're looking for? It's in the blast chiller.
In the middle of the -- in the middle of the -- Yeah.
Look at -- look at all of them, please.
You are not helping at all.
Like, what? Oh, right here! Wow.
I just follow her.
She probably has something there, too.
This section, to me, is unknown.
I had no awareness that the big device there is called blast chiller.
Oh, my God.
Is this yours? Yes, that's what I was looking for.
Thank you.
What about this? Go put it back? This must be someone else.
I don't need it.
Yeah, I don't need it.
This is poop.
I'm stressed out right now because I don't want to go home.
Want to see me cry? My crème fraîche is melting.
Ugh.
Final touches.
Just got to wait for my [bleep] to cool down.
All right.
This dish will get me a gold star.
It's golden, so it's golden.
Four minutes, guys.
Four more minutes.
Four minutes, and then it's, uh, death by dessert.
Let's taste that pudding.
My pudding didn't come together the way I wanted it to.
I'm just hoping that maybe I can slide through.
Guys, 1:20.
If you wanted to hit it with a little lime zest or something, just to, like, brighten it up before it comforts down, you could.
I got to get plating on this.
Otherwise, I'm not going to make it, so I ran out of time, and I didn't put the lime zest on.
I end up using the graham cracker crust, which -- I'm disappointed, because I really want to show my full technique.
And I didn't make the pâte sucrée.
I think it's time to go, guys.
Let's go and eat some dessert.
Good job.
- Good job, guys.
- Good job, Shellie.
Anybody want to check my pants? - Okay, guys.
- Okay, come on.
Let's have some dessert.
Let's have some sugar.
Here's how the tasting works.
The mentors taste every dish.
They have no idea who cooked it or what they are eating.
Each mentor must select their best dish and more importantly, their worst dish.
The best cooks receive gold stars.
The worst receive red stars and face elimination.
There's seven people left in the competition.
It's a 1-in-7 chance of winning this.
All of us are good at this point.
All of us are really talented.
It's really difficult now.
There's nowhere to hide.
We're down to the nitty-gritty.
Anybody who gets a red star could pretty much go home.
The Sweetest Thing.
Let's hope it is indeed sweet.
I really need to impress.
The lime curd is really sharp, very acidic, very sweet.
I made sure that the meringue was not very sweet.
And I even put cayenne in that.
I'm giving them full flavor.
There's nothing shy about my dessert.
When they're tasting my dish, literally, I feel like it's 10 minutes of silence.
Nothing.
Clever.
- Hmm? - Clever.
Yeah.
Clever, a little key lime pie.
Yeah.
Nice.
Finally.
And then I can breathe again.
The heat.
I enjoyed that.
I, uh, too.
- A little bit of sweet.
A little bit of pain.
- Yeah.
It's a very smart dessert.
- You know, it's -- Mm-hmm.
It's simple, crunchy, different texture.
Elegant, but, uh, a little impudent.
For me, with the chili there, and the sourness of the lime, high complexity.
And it shows skills.
Italian meringue on top of that after you made a pie? Smart.
I'm feeling really good.
If I can't beat Lee, I want to at least be on top with Lee.
I picked this dish because my mom used to make us caramelized bananas growing up.
I really want that gold star.
But baking -- it's not my strength at all.
I like the wonton, pineapple.
- Burnt caramel.
Too burnt for me.
- Yeah.
I think because I couldn't get it.
It's all on my spoon.
[Bleep].
Very sweet.
Oh, God.
Ugh! - The texture is all wrong.
- Yeah.
Texture is difficult.
What was the sauce, guys? Do you have any? It had the flavor of condensed milk, to me.
Not balanced for me.
There's no balance.
It didn't come together.
It just felt like separate elements in the spoon to me.
I mean, I think it was a good idea.
- But the execution was a little -- a little off.
- Mm.
I'm nauseous.
I'm a nervous wreck right now because I could be going home.
Any red stars right now means I'm going home, period.
Mm, very claggy dough.
A little heavy on the nuts, I thought.
A little heavy on the nuts.
- There was a lot of nuts.
- Heavy on nuts.
Was a little bit too doughy for me.
I would have liked a little bit more cream and -- and strawberries, maybe, but I liked it, I liked it.
It's flavor, sort of the flavor.
I didn't like it.
She's not digging it at all.
And I'm not feeling good about that.
- It's creative, though.
- Creative? Yeah.
I thought it was a bit interesting.
Very oddball, in a good way.
Clever choice.
I mean, three out of four is awesome, but I don't want a red star.
It's never a good feeling when you know you have a-a knockout dish.
It's never a good feeling.
I'm so nervous.
Ay, carumba.
Oh, my.
I think I need a bib for this challenge.
Try to find -- ah.
Oh.
[Bleep].
I thought it needed a bit more taste.
I liked the texture.
Just one problem for me.
It was, after, in the end, it was too doughy for me.
The doughiness of the bread made it a little bit -- - Yeah.
- I didn't know what to focus on.
Now, we have the taste of almost like a doughnut.
Like, a doughnut's flavor, now, in my mouth.
I mean, it wasn't a doughnut, but I'm okay with that.
I would have liked a bit of rum in it.
- Boozier would have been good.
- Yeah.
They were a little, uh, pedestrian for me.
It stings.
That one hurts.
I think I'm going to have at least one red star.
And I'm thinking it's coming from Anthony.
- Hold hands.
- Oh.
I decided to go with red wine-poached pears with a tangy mascarpone, a salty parmesan crust, and candied pine nuts.
Come on.
Please don't hate it.
You know, it's more like a dessert cheese, like, you know? I liked that, though.
I wasn't sure at first.
It comes on good.
- Yes.
- Yeah.
I like the fact that you've got the softness with the creaminess, and then the crunch.
Good texture.
Nice texture.
I'm feeling all right.
I don't think I'm going home today.
I'm not happy with my dish.
I've made, like, a bananas foster.
I don't think I'm going to get any gold stars.
But I don't want any red stars.
- Pleasant.
It was very tasty.
- Yeah.
I mean, look, it -- that's good.
Yeah, that was good.
It was, uh, pretty safe -- just was a banana and a piece of dough on top -- that's it.
[Bleep].
[Bleep] bananas.
But it didn't feel, like, com-- complete to me.
- Felt that it lacked focus.
- It was pretty flat.
Knife in the heart.
Tasty, but it seemed unfinished.
Yeah, missing -- it is missing something, for sure.
I could have just kicked myself for not putting that lime zest on there.
Bad decision.
If I go down, I'll be going down my way, happy that I showcased this dish and they did not like it, not because I made a mistake, that it's too spicy, too sweet, too crunchy, too sloppy, too that, too that.
I'm really mystified by that.
I never eat something like this in my life.
- Yeah, that's what I feel.
- That's what I feel.
That -- that's a good conversation starter, right? That's risky, because that you like or you hate.
I like the risk.
I don't think it was executed to -- I want to crave it.
Yeah.
- It's made me think.
- Absolutely.
Here we are in the quarterfinals.
Somebody's taking a chance, which is -- is -- we're going to remember it.
They'll never forget my dish.
I don't know whether I love it, but I really respect it.
I feel it really is the work of someone who is thinking differently.
Thank you.
Time for us to choose our best and worst.
We'll see you soon.
Oh, God, the vibe in the break room is just -- I don't want to be there.
I don't want to say anything.
I don't want to look at anyone.
I just feel like absolute death.
This is the type of challenge that they kept saying, you know, "we're going to get you out of your comfort zone.
" And, you know, these are the types of challenges that they're going to bust out at the end - because they're hard, you know? - Yeah.
Yeah.
I would venture to say none of us really wanted to make dessert today.
I think mine was executed fine.
I didn't feel comfortable with my dish from the -- from conception through to, you know, judgment.
I don't know.
I think I'm in the middle.
But who knows? Nigella hated my dish.
She didn't get it at all.
- She just couldn't wrap her head around it.
- Yeah.
If it's her worst dish and she gives me a red star, that's it -- I'm -- I'm out.
I mean, I made this dish tons of times.
So I felt it would be, you know, pretty cool to come out with it now.
It made me feel good going up, but now, I'm like I feel like I'm probably going to get a red star today.
And I hope I don't go home, but it's certainly possible.
Just because I have five stars does not mean I can't go home.
They have said that from the beginning.
Stars are not the be-all, end-all.
Oh, my God, Lee is such a baby.
He is pouting left and right.
Well, it's about time for you - to get one red star, what do you think? - Eh, eh, eh, eh.
- You're just human, like us.
- No, I think it's about time I got four -- I couldn't -- I could not believe that.
I mean whatever.
- No offense to your dish.
- Oh, yeah.
I'm just saying, yeah, if they give you a gold star for being creative, I'll be pissed off, because it's about the taste.
And they said they weren't sure about the taste, so that would piss me off.
They know -- kind of know who I am.
But they cannot pinpoint who I am.
I'm kind of mysterious to them.
Yeah, I think they should be scared of me, because I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.
Who do you think is in the bottom? I'm in the bottom.
Ugh! I mean, my execution sucked.
I didn't manage my time.
Maybe I have one more chance to fly under the radar, but there are six other people, and everybody else pulled out some -- some cool stuff, so I hate baking.
So excruciating.
I desperately want this challenge over.
I agonized over my decisions.
- Let's do this thing.
- Let's do it.
Bring them out.
This is the most nervous I've been.
I think I'm going to have at least one red star for this one.
I'm trying to not think about it and, like, hope that I don't go home.
Semifinals is coming up.
If I get anybody's red star, I'm done.
No one looks happy.
All right.
As you know, we've chosen our best and worst.
Of course, we have no idea who cooked what.
Let's see who our best were.
Showtime.
It turns out I gave a gold star to Whoa! Whoa, Marina.
Marina.
- Marina.
- Wow, that's a good job.
Marina, good work.
Very, very creative.
Weird, wonderful.
Loved it.
I can't [bleep] believe that.
My gold star goes to Jeff.
Nice.
I think you like me.
- Jeff, well done.
- Thank you.
I thought you did a well-balanced dessert.
Thank you.
I agonized, and then I agonized some more.
But in the end, I awarded a gold star to Marina! Wow.
Congratulations.
I was bamboozled, but just seduced.
I told you, Ludo.
She's dangerous.
My gold star is going to Louise! Wonderful! - He's going to be really terrible.
- Nice job! For the first time in Taste history, Team Ludo killed it today.
- We killed it.
- Well done.
I think this is the first time in the history of this show, you know, one team got all the gold stars.
"My best is -- pop -- Marina.
" "My best is -- pop -- Jeff.
" "My best is Louise -- poof.
" All right, you guys.
Bye.
Thank you.
Go enjoy your victory But not too much.
But he's the one who's going to enjoy it too much.
Quite the accomplishment, Ludo.
Two gold stars for Marina, a gold star each for Jeff and Louise, making all of Team Ludo tonight's best cooks.
It's with, uh, a mixture of utter misery and real admiration that I feel -- let's take a look at what your winning dishes are.
- Marina, tell us about your dish.
- Yeah.
It was kooky.
It was wonderful.
What -- what was it? It's called fios de ovos.
This is a Portuguese origin.
It's made of egg yolk and a simple syrup.
Brazilians eat this as, like, a caviar of a dessert.
You know how people have sexual fantasies? This is my culinary fantasy.
You know, it had everything I don't normally like -- you know, a lot of sugar, and it didn't have a huge interplay of textures.
And yet I just was knocked out by it.
Marina, you are telling me, "Chef, I'm going to do that.
" No, Marina, no, no, no, no! But you know what? Well done.
I mean, who can do a thing like this? - Really, good job, Marina.
I'm very proud of you.
- Merci.
Marina, what I love about your food is we all don't really know what it is.
We don't know if we like it.
And then, we come around, and we love it.
I mean, you're really showing us a global range.
So, when your cooking's on point, you're on fire.
- Good job, Marina.
- Ah, thank you.
Thank you.
Uh, Jeff.
Tell me about your, uh, key lime pie.
Well, I just wanted to do something that I know I could execute that was simple, but it showed my talent.
I made a graham-cracker crust, but I wanted to make sure it had a lot of flavor, so I added a bit of salt and cayenne pepper to it.
And then I also candied a red jalapeño.
And I also added a little cayenne to the meringue, as well.
I wanted it to be really loud because last time, it wasn't.
To do a tart like this in one hour, I will never take this risk.
- I was sweating.
- But the fact is -- it -- it -- yeah.
- The spice was great.
The lime was amazing.
- Thank you.
- Jeff, does this mean that you're back now? - I feel -- well, I've -- I mean, I don't want that, by the way.
I -- I feel like I really needed to bring it because I don't want to be on the bottom, and I think that I have the talent to carry me through.
Jeff, I was really hoping you were going to have a bad -- uh, a bad night tonight.
Uh, terrific.
This was one of my favorite mouthfuls of the evening.
I hate you deeply right now.
I'll take that.
In a friendly way.
Uh, Louise, I love your dessert.
Thank you, Chef.
You know, mascarpone? Yeah, mascarpone, lemon juice.
I lightened it a little bit with Greek yogurt because I wanted it to be a little bit tart.
Yeah.
It was very, very well balanced.
Thank you.
It was exactly what I was looking for when I eat a dessert.
- Great, thank you.
- Good job.
You make me proud.
I loved the fact that you added Greek yogurt because it really was hardly a dessert at all.
It was like a hint of dessert.
It was really, uh, elegant.
Classics are classics for a reason.
And this is a very, very nice, very clever, very creative, uh, riff on a classic.
And you pulled it off with excellent, excellent technique.
It's exactly I want at the end of a meal.
- Thank you.
- You know, a little -- a little spice, a little cheese.
It's perfect.
I listened to my chef.
Thank you, Louise.
Good job.
Don't relax just yet.
It's time to reveal our worst dishes of the night.
I'm nervous as hell.
This is the most nervous I've been.
If it's the worst dish, that's it.
I'm -- I'm out.
Okay, let's get this over with.
Let's take a look at our choices for worst dishes of the night.
I'll go first.
My least favorite of the night was cooked by Oh.
Shellie.
My red star tonight goes to Shellie.
Uh I found this almost impossible, so I'll just say it quickly.
My red star goes to Whoa.
My, uh, red star Goes to Sarah.
[Bleep].
Ohh.
With Shellie earning three red stars and Sarah receiving one, they are tonight's worst cooks.
Now the mentors have to pick which one goes home.
Let the stars speak for themselves -- the gold stars on Sarah's chest and the red stars on Shellie's chest.
There's no way I'm letting her go home.
No way.
Shellie, Sarah, the bad news is, you guys made us our least favorite dishes of the night.
Let's take a look at what got you here.
Shellie, talk to me.
They are supposed to be caramelized bananas with a pineapple crème fraîche and sweet brioche croutons on top.
Good idea.
I can't execute to save my life.
I'm sorry.
No, that's -- you've been executing just fine so far.
I'm really sorry to see you here.
I did not like the dessert.
I thought it was too sweet.
Texturally, you had real problems.
Uh, real problems with the caramel.
- Just didn't come together.
- I know.
Shellie, I think you're an amazing cook.
You are a joy to watch cooking.
You -- you bring so much life to this competition.
And your flavors are fun.
But today, it didn't work.
You know, I think that your execution was not right.
It wasn't my worst one for me.
It was not.
Sarah, tell me a little about your dish, please.
It was kind of a play on a bananas foster.
I made a rum and burnt brown sugar.
Started out as a pudding.
Didn't quite thicken up as much as I wanted it to.
Um, a little bit of sour whipped cream.
And then a szechwan peppercorn crumble.
And what happened today? I mean, you have Christina with you in the kitchen, too.
Um, I just wasn't comfortable doing it, and -- Then why you -- why you -- why you go with that? - Why? Why, Sarah? - I don't know.
Why are you doing something you are not comfortable to do it? - Why? Never do that.
- I know.
Sarah, for me, this was an unfinished dish.
It felt all sweet.
There wasn't a lot of contrast going on.
My impression when I ate it was that you'd somehow run out of time.
It's a -- it's like a nice garnish, almost.
Um, you've been doing really well lately -- not today.
If you're going to go out, you'd better go out on your own food.
Yes, Chef.
And this -- I don't find your identity in here.
When I ate it, it was very sharp.
The flavors was okay.
I adore your cooking.
I love your skills.
You have no business being in this round.
Shellie, why you? Why should you stay, and why should Sarah go home? Well, this is my first time on the bottom.
And baking is not -- is not my forte.
And I mean, I have just been -- I've been doing well.
I've been executing okay.
Um, today was just not my day.
Baking is, like, my kryptonite.
I can't bake to save my life.
I mean, my husband bakes better than me.
And I cooked the banana too late.
It didn't cool, um, so my crème fraîche melted.
And I don't know.
I still think if I'm here, I can still execute.
I can still come through.
I can do it.
I hate baking, and now I hate it even more.
I'm with you on the baking.
Never again.
I'm never having a dessert after tonight, ever.
That's it.
Sarah? You know, I'm a strong chef.
I want to still be here.
I made a mistake today.
I had a bad day.
Um, you know, I was at the top earlier today.
I've been at the top a lot recently.
And, you know, I'm not done yet.
I know I can go on to the finale.
I said I wasn't comfortable with what I did.
But, uh, I'm not going to make that mistake again.
Shellie, Sarah, all you guys, go and hit the break room.
We have a very tough decision to make.
Two very good cooks facing elimination.
We'll be back with you shortly with our decision.
Now the mentors must decide, based on their performance in the entire competition, who will be eliminated.
I'd rather throw this thing across the room than put this on my apron.
I'm embarrassed that I was on the bottom.
There's no reason why I should be on the bottom.
Just totally missed the mark on it today.
- It's on now, yeah.
- Is that on? - Where would you like it, there? - Here.
I got two, and one from Anthony, someone that does not like to eat sweet stuff.
I think that -- that star from Anthony's worth a million bucks.
Good job, Team Ludo.
- Thank you.
- Congratulations.
Thank you.
I'm really -- yeah, I'm really proud of us.
Yeah, yeah, Team Ludo, we all know they love each other, this and that.
They're standing strong.
I'm surprised Anthony gave you a star, because he said he didn't like your dish.
It was creative, and they -- and they liked the flavors.
But he said he wasn't completely sold on it.
So, I'm very surprised that Anthony gave you a star.
She did not deserve two gold stars.
That is bull.
I will say it all day long.
I don't care.
I said it to her face.
It's [bleep].
Jeff thinks he's really good.
But the thing is, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.
And I know what he doesn't know.
I don't care what they call me.
I just want to be here and stick to the end and show my dishes.
I'm pissed that she got two stars.
Like, some sort of egg drop nest that she put some sweet grapes into? It sounded gross to me.
And then she ends up getting two gold stars from it.
And I don't understand.
Can't be mad at it? Well, I can be mad at it.
I am mad at it.
[Bleep] [bleep].
The stars of shame.
I just got three red stars.
My first stars were three red stars.
I just produced the worst taste for this challenge.
I have regrets today, for sure.
Sarah had a bad day.
I'm a huge fan of Shellie, too.
I've said it many times.
But, uh, you know, for me, I think Sarah's been cooking by far the most consistent.
She's been putting out really solid food, really good food.
She has three stars to show for it.
Sarah has, um, everything in her favor in terms of the honors - Yeah.
- Which may mean she's earned her place.
However, I will say, honestly, that what you said is right.
She's solid.
She's not exciting.
She's solid.
- Yeah, exactly.
She's nothing great.
She's not.
- Well, you know what? Sarah's got three stars.
Please.
You're safe.
You never know.
She's good.
My dishes are really less -- I don't know -- showy, flashy.
I totally feel like I'm behind the eight-ball.
I don't know if my three gold stars are going to, you know, balance out Shellie's creativity.
I'm totally a wild card.
Um, I don't know.
I mean, at the same time, I didn't even think I'd make it this far, so I mean, I always pull [bleep] out of my ass.
I always do.
But I can totally, if I make it through, I can -- I can pull [bleep] out of my ass all the time if it's not baking.
I said it before, and I mean it.
I think that if there's anyone, competition-wide, anyone who is actually and truly touched by genius, I think -- I think it's Shellie.
I think -- And with an erratic genius, to be sure.
- Sure.
Sure.
- Yeah.
Um, and that's a tough thing to be in a competition like this, to go out on the wire again and again and again.
Anthony is definitely going to fight for you.
You know that.
I know that.
I think everybody knows that.
- Yeah.
- He loves your food.
He loves your style.
He loves your cooking.
I'm just keeping my -- my fingers crossed and hoping that Anthony can fight hard enough to keep Shellie here.
She is an amazement, a thing of wonder to me.
She's unpredictable.
She's wild.
She makes me believe in -- in, you know, magic again.
She sucks at -- at pastry.
I suck at pastry.
I hate this whole challenge.
I don't want to go out on a bad note like this, a dish that I didn't believe in.
It's just stupid that I did that.
I'm so insanely angry.
I want to rage so bad right now.
I want Sarah to stay, you know.
I don't want to hunt by myself, you know.
There's still lamb out there to be slaughtered.
We are the wolf pack.
So, if I lose Sarah, pbht! It's -- I'm in that position, and I'm by myself.
But as exciting as Shellie might be, this here does not go together.
Marcus, listen to me.
I'm going to hurt you now, very badly.
I like you.
But you're going to go home today.
No.
No, no, no, no, no.
Yeah.
I want to keep Shellie.
No, Ludo.
Ludo, be honest.
- I'm honest.
That was very good today.
- Be honest.
- No, come on.
- I want to keep Shellie.
Okay.
Ludo, be honest.
- I'm honest.
That was very good today.
- Be honest.
- No, come on.
- I want to keep Shellie.
Sarah's a star here.
She's really, really a star here.
She's come a long way, and we're taking someone out with sweet stuff.
That's absolutely -- they are a star.
I hate the idea of there not being any room - for someone like Shellie in this competition.
- Well, we -- we shouldn't honor consistency over genius.
- It's time now to believe one cook now - Come on, Ludo.
and stop with this gold star or whatever, guys, and just go with people.
That's it.
You know, it's just this gold star drives me nuts.
I mean, Sarah's badass.
She's a badass.
You know, the chefs are like To get through to the semifinals, it's something that I want more than anything else in the world.
I made it this far.
The further I go in, the more I want it.
But I want to be here because I don't want to go home.
No way.
- We love you, Shellie.
- I know.
To the vote.
I vote Sarah to go home.
I like Shellie.
At this point, you know, someone is about to go home.
And we've all become close.
And every single person deserves to be here.
It was nicer having team hot mess around because they could take all the heat.
- We agree? - I guess we are -- all agree.
Let's bring them out.
Today wasn't my day.
I hope I have one more chance to prove that I can cook.
I'm absolutely not ready to go home.
I need to redeem myself for what I did today.
I love Shellie.
I don't want Shellie to go home.
I think she has a different take on food.
I want Sarah to go home.
Shellie, there are a lot of trained, experienced, extremely talented professionals in this competition.
But I truly believe that, of all of them, if any one cook in this competition has been truly touched by occasional flashes of genius, it's you.
I'll tell you, you're my favorite.
I've been waiting for that lightning bolt to strike and have you knock one out of the park.
It just didn't happen tonight.
I'm sending you home.
Breaks my heart, but I want you to know I think you are extraordinary.
30 years in the business.
I've seen a lot of cooks.
I've eaten a lot of food.
You have something really, really special.
And I hope -- I hope you walk out of here real proud and feeling some kind of good about that.
I adore you.
We're going to miss you.
So heartbroken to see you go, Shellie.
- It's okay.
- I know you'll do great things.
Thank you.
Thank you, Shellie.
- Ciao.
- Merci.
I hate that Shellie's going home.
I wanted her here at the end.
And now I'm all alone.
I am the team.
I'm the only person left.
- Today was not my day.
- Baking is not my forte.
I wanted to stay longer.
I wanted to make it to the finals.
I own a food truck.
What kind of food you doing in your food truck? Uh, stoner comfort food.
This entire competition, it's been awesome.
I think you'd work out real well with my kitchen.
I say yes.
Oh, thank you, thank you! Being around four great mentors, and being on Bourdain's team Oh, my God! who I look up to, and That is one seriously delicious dish.
- Stoner special.
- Yes, it is.
My family's going to be proud.
My husband's going to be proud.
And you know, honestly, I'm proud of myself.
Anthony's kitchen.
Oh, yay! I'm Bourdain's favorite.
That's pretty badass.
This is not the end.
This is just the beginning for me.
Sarah, dining -- a taste, a bite -- should be a blend between precision and skill, but also excitement and flair.
And it should never be boring, Sarah.
You have to start making us exciting food.
- Yes, Chef.
- And you can take a note from Shellie.
She maybe didn't cook perfect, but she made her food exciting.
- Yes, Chef.
- Go and join your team.
This is how it's going to be from now on -- one great cook after another going home.
But you guys are all in the semifinals.
Congratulations.
Get some rest.
Have some drinks.
See you in the semifinals.
Bye, guys.
You need to taste the food of everybody! Powdered sugar.
A lot of powdered sugar.
A lot of powdered sugar.
Sugar.
Sugar.
Sugar.
Sugar.
Do you know, like, when you give a toddler too much candy? That's Ludo.
Yes, yes, yes! Ludo was particularly cray-cray today.
Aah! Wait! - It's perfect! - Thank you, Chef! Plate! Some foreign substance had been introduced.
- Sugar.
- Sugar.
Lime, banana, rum.
- Sugar.
- Sugar.
Lime, banana, rum.
- Sugar.
- Sugar.
- Lime, banana, rum.
- Yes! Cream, cream, cream, cream, cream, cream, cream! Yes, yes, yes, Chef.
Yes.