We're at tthe last episode before the finale of Worst Cooks in America.
Will this be the season that Chef Anne goes down in flames? Alina and Chet are fighting it out to be the Blue Team's finalist and Sue is giving Rasheeda a run for her money on the Red Team. Don't forget, they're not only hoping to learn how to use a spatula during this competition, they're fighting for $25,000. Not exactly pocket change. Let's see how they do during this last challenge before the final showdown.
Chefs Anne and Bobby completely turn the table during this Skill Drill by testing the recruits' ability to teach. Yes, you read that correctly. The recruits are going to teach the Chefs how to cook a specific dish.
The recruits are working as teams and are given head sets in order to communicate with their Chef. They have a "mystery" that they need to describe to their Chef so that they can attempt to cook up a replica. The recruits have to work as a team to identify ingredients, cooking techniques and knife cuts and then convey all of this information to their Chef via their head set.
Also, everything is hidden and only the recruits are seeing the mystery dish. As in the Chefs have absolutely no information besides what is told to them by their teams. Yikes.
Alina and Chet get off to a terrible start and it doesn't get any better. After pulling their lid off the dish, it appears to be a lamb chop dish over some sort of sweet potato hash and a green herb sauce (pesto, perhaps?).
Alina and Chet start digging into the lamb chop trying to figure out how it was prepared and what all is in the sauce and hash. Needless to say, their past issues of not getting along are right there again. Chet thinks it's lemon and Alina thinks it's lime and the disagreements go on and on. Grilled vs. Pan cooked. Roasted vs. Boiled. They seriously can't agree on anything and it's a miracle that Bobby even gets anything cooked and on the plate. What is shocking though, is that his final dish looks pretty close to the mystery dish, so maybe they have a chance after all.
The Red Team is having a completely different experience. Sue and Rasheeda work together great as a team and there is little to no fighting or bickering. In fact, Sue is having a grand time bossing Chef Anne around and insisting on properly cooked lamb and a clean plate. It's all in good fun and the Red Team does an impressive job of identifying ingredients and cooking techniques. Other than the fact that they thought a purple potato was a shallot. At least they were acting like adults.
Anne and Bobby come together and reveal the dishes they prepared as per their teams' instructions. Despite the Blue Team's struggles, their dish looks pretty good compared the mystery dish. Anne's does too, for that matter. After tasting the dishes, it is clear that the Blue Team failed to identify the lemon zest which was prominent in the mystery dish. It is that mistake that puts the Red Team slightly above the Blue Team and secures for them the win.
All in all, the Chefs were impressed with their teams (other than the cat fight) as well as their massive skill improvement. For people that couldn't even microwave rice before this boot camp, it is pretty darn impressive that the recruits are throwing around words like saute, julienne, and zest. Growth, people.
Main Dish Challenge
In this last Main Dish Challenge, Anne and Bobby will obviously be picking their final recruits to represent them in the finale, but there is yet another twist. I'm getting dizzy with all the twisting. Instead of your old run-of-the-mill Main Dish Challenge, Anne and Bobby have flown in the recruits' friends and family.
Alina's close friend and the man she takes care of, Marshall, arrives and Alina is bursting with Joy. Speaking of bursting, Chet breaks down into a sob fest when his mother comes in. He's so emotional that Bobby begins to get concerned. I think he'll probably be fine, but it's touch and go there for a while. Sue's son, Christopher, arrives and I even have a hard time keeping my eyes dry for that. It would be very difficult to be away from your small child for that length of time, but knowing she'll be able to use all her new found skills to cook for him makes her feel a bit better. Rasheeda's twin sister, Aisha, arrives and Rasheeda is thrilled to see her, as well.
The Main Dish Challenge will be for the recruits to cook a dish (with recipes provided by Bobby and Anne) for their loved ones. The family and friends will not know who's dish is who's, however, and could inadvertently send them home. Wouldn't that be a kicker?
The Blue Team is cooking up Southern dishes designed especially for them by Chef Bobby himself. Chet is working on Fried Chicken with Honey-Pink Peppercorn Sauce and Alina is cooking up a Breaded Chicken Cutlet with Ham and Triple Creme Cheese. They both get to work seasoning their chicken and assembling their coatings. What is so noticeable is that their movements and ease in the kitchen is greatly improved from where they were just weeks ago. Any nervousness they have could almost entirely be due to the fact that their loved ones are there and not because they don't know a pineapple from a filet mignon.
The Red Team has the task of making home made pasta dishes and I get instantly nervous because Rasheeda says she's never even made boxed pasta. Hopefully she can follow directions. Sue's dish is Tagliatelle with Bacon, Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula and Rasheeda is assigned Broccoli Rabe Ravioli with Parmigiano. They both get to work on making their pasta dough, and their confidence is rather encouraging.
After things get going, though, the recruits hit a few snags. Alina puts about 3 lbs of butter into her pan in order to fry her cutlet and I'm pretty sure Bobby is about to keel over. This is one of those times that sticking to the recipe is probably a good idea. Sue is struggling with bursting her cherry tomatoes and almost runs out of time to roll her pasta. Chet's chicken fries to quickly and he has to pull it out of the oil and finish it in the oven to avoid it burning. Rasheeda does, however, burn her pistachios not once, but twice. Third time's a charm and she pulls them out of the oven in the knick of time. Finally, some decent nuts.
After the cooking is complete, Chef Anne meets with Aisha and Christopher to do a blind tasting of the Red Team's dishes. Sue and Rasheeda get to secretly watch the tasting to see how their loved ones react to their dishes. When Anne, Aisha and Christopher taste Rasheeda's ravioli, Aisha is very complimentary. Her only complaint is that it's a bit on the salty side. Anne agrees but is overall very happy with Rasheeda's raviolis. Next up is Sue's dish and Christopher can barely stop eating it long enough to tell Anne that he (obviously) loves it. He gives it sixth thumbs up. Sue is ecstatic to see her son gobble up something that she made.
Next up is the Blue Team. Bobby, Marshall and Chet's mom sit down to taste Alina's dish first. Both Marshall and Chet's mom can't say enough how much they love it. Marshall goes as far as to say that it was the best food he's ever had. Alina is thrilled. That is until he tastes Chet's fried chicken, which basically have him swooning. Again, the reviews are glowing from around the whole table, but in the end Marhsall picks Chet's dish and Chet's mom picks Alina's dish as their favorite. In the viewing room, things are a bit awkward for Chet and Alina. They don't get along to begin with, and now their loved ones didn't pick their own dish. This is all topped off with an awkward hug. Not exactly heartfelt. Bobby will definitely have a tough decision.
On the Blue Team, Bobby has to pick between Chet the perfectionist and Alina the wild card.
The Red Team is between Sue, who lacks a bit of confidence and Rasheeda who has the tendency to get a bit distracted and make mistakes. Hello? Burned nuts.
And the finalists are...(drumroll)
Rasheeda and Alina!
This will definitely be a great finale. While Rasheeda making it to the finals isn't surprising to me but Bobby's pick of Alina wasn't quite as clear cut. Alina is a bit of a question mark in the kitchen. Bobby must see something in her and her mad scientist side that could finally clinch him a win. I think he could be right.
So, next week we'll see Alina and Rasheeda go head to head in an episode that is bound to be packed full of flavor and, hopefully, very few kitchen fires.
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