Chef Bobby and Chef Anne are down to three recruits each and this week's episode is all about facing the fear of cooking for other people. And with several of these recruits having a bad track record with making people sick with their cooking, this is definitely going to be a dicey hour.
The contestant wake up to a note from Bobby telling them to pack up and head to the market. Waiting for them in the produce section are Anne and Bobby ready to explain their Skill Drill.
Each team (working together for a change) will have to create a variety of Chinese dumplings. But there's a twist. The teams' dumplings will be taste tested by the shoppers at the market. That's right, strangers are going to eat the recruits' food. I just hope that the shoppers have iron guts, but perhaps the recruits will surprise us. Only time will tell.
Anne and Bobby dive into the demo, forming three different styles of dumplings: Wontons, Shu Mai, and Gyoza. The recruits are also shown how to cook the different dumplings which involve both steaming and searing. To make things even more complicated, the recruits are given a riddle scavenger hunt in order to shop for the ingredients for the dumplings. And this is where the wheels fall off.
The blue team is an absolute wreck. You know it's bad when Carla is the only one figuring out the riddles for honey, scallions and soy sauce while both Alina and Chet are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. At least the red team seems to have some common sense in the grocery store. They beat the blue team to the cooking station by several minutes and therefore have a head start with the dumpling cooking.
Unfortunately, Alina and Chet's troubles don't stop at the scavenger hunt. The claws truly come out to the point that Chet slaps Alina's hand out of the way, which then prompts Alina to threaten to stick the Russian Mafia on him. Yowza. It's dumplings, people. Take it easy.
Much to my surprise, the dumpling forming is actually going pretty well on both teams. Michael is making some respectable Shu Mai and Rasheeda flys through forming her Gyoza. The Blue Team is doing decently as well, until Carla forgets to cook several of her dumplings and their cooking time literally comes down to the wire.
The shoppers dive headfirst into the dumplings and thankfully no one is turning green. It is also a good sign when watching this episode is actually making me crave dumplings rather than never want to eat another one for the rest of my life. This may be the first time this show has made me hungry rather than making my stomach do cartwheels. The shoppers finish up their tasting and cast their votes for their favorite teams.
Bobby and Anne pick MVP's for their own teams and it's Rasheeda and Alina that walk away with the title, much to Chet's chagrin. There isn't any love lost between Chet and Alina tonight, that's for sure. I think he's gotten his dumpling pleats in a twist. Relax, Chet.
After counting the shoppers votes, the Blue Team slides in with the win! Apparently, the rivalry between Alina and Chet didn't stand in their team's way. Way to not kill anyone, Blue Team.
We find the recruits back at the house, rehashing the Skill Drill, when they receive a phone call from Chefs Anne and Bobby. The Chefs are calling to 'invite' them down to a bar for a so-called party. After a short travel to the bar, the tables are turned when the recruits are told that they're going to be catering the party. The purpose of this Main Dish challenge is to continue helping the recruits overcome their fear of cooking for other people.
Main Dish Challenge
The recruits will have to cater a party for a bunch of bikers. That's right, bikers. And this party is hosted by someone named Andy Animal. I think Michael might not make it out of this challenge alive. He looks pretty nervous.
Anne and Bobby begin by demonstrating to the recruits how to make a few different BBQ chicken wing recipes. Anne's recipe involves a honey sauce and Bobby's is a red chili and chipotle wing. During the entire demo, Carla never misses an opportunity to throw herself at Bobby, which keeps things...interesting. I do think Bobby is starting to warm up to her.
For the Main Dish Challenge, the recruits will have to make their very own flavor of chicken wings. Something unique and interesting. But that's not all. In addition to their chicken wings, each recruit is going to have to make another finger food for the party. At least Anne and Bobby are providing each cook with a recipe for their additional dish so that there isn't as much risk with them 'winging it'. Get it? Winging it?
Here is the finger food assignment break down:
Chet - Grilled New Potatoes with Shitake Mushrooms and Goat Cheese.
Alina - Grilled Sea Scallops on Tortilla Chips with Avocado Puree and Jalapeno Pesto
Carla - Grilled Lobster Quesadilla
Raasheeda - Grilled Cheddar with Bacon, Apple and Bitter Greens Sandwich
Sue - Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola
Michael - Grilled Shrimp Crostino with Edamame-Goat Cheese
While all of these sound incredible, they don't seem like Biker Bar bites to me. Well, accept for the chicken wings.
Speaking of chicken wings, the recruits get to work on their original flavors. Carla goes with a lemon pepper flavored wing which could be good, but then she fries them to the point of burnt. Bobby's not impressed.
Alina is going with a citrus wing in attempt to 'lighten' them up, but then throws in some beer to appease the bikers. That could be an interesting combo.
Michael is producing some lack luster and pale wings. I'm not sure he's accomplishing the Asian flavors he was going for. We'll see. When the bikers start to arrive, Michael begins to sweat even more. Slow and steady, Michael.
While the chicken wings are going, the cooks begin their additional dishes.
Carla is butchering her lobster and not in a good way. It's a crime to food watching her handle the lobster that way. Then when she assembles the quesadillas, they completely fall apart. It's a train wreck. Please get it together, Carla.
Sue compares cutting a fig in half to brain surgery. I worry about her. Apparently she owns a motorcycle herself, so she's at least a little more in her element with the party crowd.
Rasheeda is rocking and rolling on her little grilled cheese sandwiches, but needs to pick up the pace if she wants any prayer of finishing.
Chet is moving...slow. At the end of cooking time, he only has 20 potatoes plated. Which puts him 10 short and in a position of vulnerability.
Sue made sesame Oil, teriyaki, soy sauce and ginger chicken wings and for the most part, Anne is very pleased. The only comment is that they are extremely salty and would force her to drink a lot of beer. Not necessarily a bad thing, if you ask me. As far as her figs go, Anne is quite happy. Everything is cooked well and the flavors are balanced. Way to go, Sue!
Michael whipped up some Asian inspired wings with ginger, garlic, scallion and mango. Anne is less than thrilled because they are completely tasteless. Not good for Michael.
Rasheeda's wings with molasses, hot sauce, ketchup and rosemary are tasty, but not crispy enough. Her grilled cheese sandwiches make Anne happy, though.
Alina's wings have beer, marmalade, hot sauce and orange juice and for the most part, Bobby likes them, but thinks they could use some more glaze. And believe it or not, she completely nails the scallops! They're perfectly cooked and full of flavor. Bobby loves them. Nice work, Alina!
Carla's lemon pepper chicken wings are cooked well, but lack any lemon. He's not thrilled with her quesadillas, either, saying that the lobster is cooked well, but the whole thing is soggy.
Chet is sweating bullets. Bobby scolds him for not having enough potatoes, even though the flavors are there. Needless to say, Chet is nervous. He's handling it oddly, however, amping himself up for a fight if he gets eliminated. I am definitely hoping he gets sent home because I totally want to see him let loose.
Bobby and the bikers pick Alina as the winner on the Blue Team and it looks like Chet is about to explode.
Anne shocks Sue by picking her for the win. Sue hasn't had a lot of recognition so this definitely makes the Red Team a bit more interesting.
Anne decides to send Michael home which doesn't come as a surprise. While Rasheeda didn't nail the Main Dish Challenge, she's been pretty solid all season, so I didn't see her going home.
Bobby ends up sending Carla home for her lemon-less chicken and soggy quesadillas, which is a little disappointing. While her skills are still pretty much terrible, she makes for entertaining television. Plus, I totally wanted to see Chet lose his cool.
Maybe next week.
Overall, this episode showcased the recruits' improvement as evidenced by the fact that I now crave both Chinese food and chicken wings. Being hungry after watching Worst Cooks in America is a first for me, but definitely a welcome development. Only one more episode before the finale and I can't wait to see how will be facing off in the final episode.
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The Worst Cooks In America airs on Food Network on Sundays at 9pm ET/PT.