Welcome Back to School, Recruits — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, March 26th, 2012

bobby flay and students
The school bell rang in the seventh episode of Worst Cooks in America, and the remaining four recruits dealt with some of their toughest critics yet: 30 second-grade students with impressive palettes. Each recruit was tasked to create their own healthy spin on a cafeteria classic, as well as a veggie side dish. Anne’s team took on chicken tacos, while Team Bobby tried their hand at quesadillas. While these dishes may sound easy, it’s a struggle for cafeterias across the country to make meals nutritious.

One rule that was strictly enforced: sanitation and dealing with raw chicken. Bobby had no problem with the recruits getting him sick, but he was adamant about maintaining food safety and avoiding cross-contamination for the children, making Melissa bring her sauce to a boil to destroy possible bacteria after she cross-contaminated her spoon.

While both teams were successful in satisfying the children’s appetites, not everyone was successful in seasoning and bringing the concept of nutrition to life. With only one episode left, we’re still seeing the recruits over-salting and over-cooking their meat. David also decided to make fried greens beans as his side dish. They were lightly battered, so this brings me to ask this question: Do you think fried green beans are healthy?

anne burrell and studentsAs if school children weren’t hard enough to cook for, Bobby and Anne decided to bring in the big guns: the recruits’ families. Remember, these are the people who nominated the contestants as “worst cooks.” The pressure was on. Each member cooked a meal for their mentors and loved ones, but with one twist: The family members didn’t know who made what. In the end, Vinnie from Team Bobby and Kelli from Team Anne made the final cut.

What would you cook for your loved ones?

Tune in for new episodes: Sunday at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central

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Comments (85)

  1. JLF says:

    In spite of my disappointment in Melissa's elimination, I think Vinnie has the edge for the finals. I like both of these contestants, so it will be a good cook-off. Vinnie will have to keep focused and organized (which is where I think Melissa would have been the stronger choice), but depending on what they are given to cook, I think Vinnie has shown more consistency in seasoning and flavors. Poor Kellie can't seem to find the right balance of salt – either too much or too little.

    I wonder if they will do a blind tasting for the finale? I have liked how many blind tastings they have done this season throughout the entire competition. The times that Bobby and Anne didn't know which team made which offerings made the judging more interesting and fair. Having the family members do blind tasting was a good move also, but I suspect that the cooks chose what they cooked to make it somewhat obvious to their loved ones who did what. Like Kellie doing seafood for her husband and Vinnie doing steak for his son.

    • JDJC says:

      I have to agree that it did appear that the cooks chose their meals to make it obvious to their loved ones. David's reaction to finding out that they would be cooking for their family was soooo funny! Everyone is excited and he's looking around saying "I don't get it". Even when Kelli tried to explain it to him, he still didn't understand, saying "oh so we're going to ship it to them?" Priceless!!!

      • jeri says:

        That was a hoot, wasn't it!!!

        • Foodiemommies says:

          Anne n Bobby rule as the final contestants are boring and drool/ Is Kelly married to Bennett's brother and Melissa is engaged to Anthony's father :)

      • JLF says:

        Poor clueless David – that was probably the funniest moment we've seen since Erica poured her sauce out of the food chute in the top of her food processor! :-)

        • Foodiemommies says:

          David shows stupid is as stupid does

          • JLF says:

            Go eat a spoonfull of sugar. Your disposition needs some sweetening.

          • Vera S. says:

            Its going to take more than just a spoonfull of sugar… Sorry Foodiemommies, I think David is very sweet – not stupid – just very exhausted. It was written all over his face. I loved his reaction when his wife flew into his arms – she is lucky to have him.

    • jeri says:

      I'm inclined to agree with you. I liked the blind judging and perhaps the contestants chose food based on loved ones o give "hints". Vinnie has shown great improvement in his choices of seasonings and flavors and, I think, is now the front runner. Melissa did have better organization and plating skills, and I'm sad to see her go. All the departed contestants grew a lot in their skills, some had absolutely none!! I hope Kelly can find the right balance of salt!!!

  2. Teri Lingle says:

    I liked the kid who said he liked chicken on a bone and Bobby says, "What's that" and he says, "You know, CHICKEN on a BONE." Ha! Very funny :)

  3. Rueben says:

    Team Kelly! Vinnie is good though. Anyone who can cook a steak that size and cook it perfectly is a contender in my opinion.

  4. Mary1957 says:

    I have a really hard time believing that people are THAT stupid when it comes to cooking. Totally clueless morons. 'There's more than one type of sausage'? Now come ON. What planet are these people living on?

    • JDJC says:

      Gee – that was pretty harsh . . . BUT you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

      • Betty says:

        I wouldn't call them that, but I too have been wondering how some of them manage sometimes. I think I may have met one or two of them on the road before! :)

    • jeri says:

      I don't believe they are stupid, just very uninformed. There are some out there that have very sheltered lives!!! Perhaps if they don't know there are different kinds of sausage they have ever been informed. Not excusing ignorance but defending the under dog, which sometimes is not a good thing. LOL

    • CJBC says:

      I've known people like that. All it takes is growing up with a mother who doesn't take the time to teach you how to cook.

  5. FanFare57 says:

    When the kids rejected Melissa's food, I believe that sounded her departure. Bobby seemed surprised too. However, her main meal had a nice presentation and seemed more interesting than Vinnie's steak. She was also always more composed than Vinnie. By contrast, David seemed brainless when Kelli had to explain what "cooking for a loved one" meant. I didn't find his yokel-hero persona funny at all. He would have frustrated me if I was Anne. It's probably why she dumped him: because he couldn't follow instructions or conversations. The best scene was when after David made out with his wife, Bobby turned to Anne and then gave her a big hug. That brought some levity to the otherwise sticky moment.

    • jeri says:

      I, too, that the kids not liking her food lead to her demise. I have learned, through three kids, don't underestimate their taste!!! They can be, and usually are, brutally honest!! I was frustrated with David's apparent brainlessness. He really looked clueless. The Bobby-Anne hug was kinda neat. At least we don't have to deal with Melissa's goo-gooing over Bobby and the claws of Tiffany!! I hope Kelli figures out her salt problem.

    • JLF says:

      Anne made a really big deal about David not "following directions" when he used pancetta instead of her recommendation for chorizo. I have a problem first of all with how specific she was in telling her team what to do as opposed to Bobby letting his team make their own decisions. Then for her to be so angry at him for doing his own thing (I thought pancetta was a viable option) shows how little she trusts her people. Or maybe she's just that controlling. By this round it was appropriate to let them show what they can do on their own.

      • jeri says:

        I think Anne should have let her recruits make their own decision and stand by them. I believe David was exercising his choice, maybe he thought chorizo has too strong of a flavor and he can't stand it!!! A lot of cooking is being creative. Anne needs to believe in and trust her recruts, as I think Bobby did. At this point in the competition you either can or can't, and the contestants have only one more opportunity to they are not the worst, but the best. Whomever looses certainly will no longer be the worst cook, but will be able to brag about how far they have come!!!

        • FanFare57 says:

          Yes, I was surprised how strident Anne was when David went against her suggestion. However, his choice was too salty. It's possible that the chorizo would have had a better contrast of texture than the pancetta. I also got the sense that Anne was feeling less secure in her team and wanted to push them a bit more to be successful. Bobby is much more relaxed than Anne. He also had stronger recruits. I'd like to see him continue with this show. That said, I'm still rooting for Anne's recruit to win to keep Anne's winning streak alive…

          • Vera S. says:

            David looked really tired – not brainless in my opinion. He may not have slept well the previous night! I know I wouldn't have under that pressure.

      • Foodiemommies says:

        Luckily, Vinnies son doesn't have an eating disorder like his morbidly obese dad

  6. Foodiemommies says:

    The best are gone and the boring may win. Im waiting for Bennett, Erica and Anthony to have the bsst show on FN

    • JLF says:

      If all you want is comic nitwits for your food shows, then Bennett and Erica are all yours. I think Anthony had some potential and probably achieved his own goal of improving his kitchen skills, but none of those folks belong in the finals. Sorry you think those who took the competition seriously are boring. I think they did great and I'm rooting for a great final.

  7. Foodiemommies says:

    Kelly is my vote. Vinnie has the predictable edits to win but I wan t Kelly to take it home. She seems more genuine. I heard Vinnie is an actor or announcer-even more reason for my gal to take it all the way. Go team Kelly!!!!!!

  8. Foodnetwork fan says:

    Every time I watch this show I'm struck by how nice the contestants are to one another. They all seem like genuinely pleasant people. How refreshing for a reailty show! Especially in this episode, when they were watching their family members eat, you could really tell that they enjoy being around each other. It definitely makes this show stand apart from others. This is my second season watching this show and I've gotten all my friends hooked on it.

    • JLF says:

      I so agree with you. It was especially nice how Vinnie and Melissa were so encouraging to each other while watching the family tastings. Each really tried to ease the other's anxieties about their dishes. So different from other competitions like Chopped where you see the cooks bashing each other while they're waiting to be called back for judgement.

      • jeri says:

        So true, nice to see nice!

        • Vera S. says:

          I picked up on that too. I am glad the food network didn't edit out the niceness. On Next Food Network Star, I got so sick of the mean childish behavior portrayed, that I finally stopped watching. Its all about the ratings. Maybe the network learned something.

          • JLF says:

            Boy, I am so with you about NFNS. And the nastiness rolled over into the fan blog. I've never seen such venom. So glad this one has been a kinder and gentler forum.

          • jeri says:

            Agree, hopefully NFNS will be better. They advertise new format.

      • CJBC says:

        Not sure what episodes of Chopped you have been watching, but about 90% of the ones I have seen the competitors have been supportive of each other. Did you miss the episode of Chopped Redemption where Lance gave up his price money so the girl who lost could go see his dying grandmother? You really shouldn't claim something is the norm when it really only happens occasionally. I agree about Next Food Network Star, last season was horrible.

  9. Concerned says:

    Wonder where DT is in all this. Doesn't he (she) haves conspiracy theory?

  10. jeri says:

    Looks like Team Bobby is ahead in the pole.

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