All Sorts of Jaw-Drop Crazy — Justin’s Rebel Recap

by in Recap, July 21, 2014

Justin's Rebel Recap, Episode 8Last week, Luca returned from Star Salvation, and Chris couldn't prove himself as the culinary elevator. Emma showed her silver tongue describing her food, and Lenny was deemed "the man to beat." As the competition rages on in Las Vegas, we see a poker-faced dealer flanked by Giada an Alton.

The gang is dealt a single card with the name of a world-class Vegas Eatery. Little do they know, each contestant will use his or her edible experience to craft a course in a team-based tasting menu, to be presented at Guy Savoy. Alton reminds the gang that the food is just a part of a world-class dining experience — ambiance, showmanship and presentation are crucial as well. Bob and Susie will be back, joined by Penn Jillette, who will hopefully make terribly good fun of the soon-to-happen disasters.

Emma FrischEmma heads to Nobu to learn about the showmanship of teppanyaki. Lenny gets his culinary boots brilliantly polished with a few courses at Guy Savoy. Loreal eats a $777 burger, which I could probably make for you for about $80, but rent is so darn high.

Luca Della CasaSarah lucks out with a giant dry-aged ribeye, which is more like a bull's-eye for her beef-based Texas POV. Luca gets the noodle card and learns about Chinese hand-pulled noodles, and the welcoming hospitality. Nicole has a sundae, which costs $1,000 because the ice cream is made from milk of narwhal.

After they get to experience tremendously fancy food, the finalists must cook. But the mentors give them one more task: to incorporate one really fancy ingredient per course.

The Draw: Emma and Sarah, who scraped through the last challenge, are dealt a reversal of fortunes and get to choose their teams. Emma snaps up Lenny and Loreal, while Sarah grabs Nicole and Luca. Everyone pretty much thinks Emma has stacked the deck in her favor, but the kitchen always has terrible odds.

Emma, Lenny and Loreal are saddled with Mangalitsa pork loin, uni and langoustines respectively; Nicole heads from the beach to the pond with frog's legs, Luca gets Muscovy duck breast, and Sarah, clearly in the money tonight, gets Wagyu beef.

With Sarah getting the Wagyu, I thought maybe the game was rigged, but then I remembered that I was once on Food Network Star and everything is realer than real (aside from that guy dressed as Julius Caesar). Sometimes the Hawaiian guy wins the beach challenge; sometimes the most-fashionable guy wins the fashion challenge. It's just the luck of the draw.

Luck is clearly not on their side and the Team Emma competitors pretty much hate their special ingredients. Lenny realizes there are no cowboys underwater (but who wrangles sea horses?), and Emma hasn't quite heard of Mangalitsa. Loreal copes decently, but she crafts yet another surf and turf.

To make matters worse, the crew must "collaborate" on the dessert course. Read: Put the dessert on one person, who will assuredly flounder trying to do too many things at once.

Team Sarah - Food Network StarTeam Sarah: Team Sarah gets really creative with the idea of a "culinary voyage" — pretty much the same thing anyone ever does on FNS in a group challenge. Safe and smart, but lame. I would have probably made an Italian tasting menu and called out the various influences: Tex Italian, Grandma Italian and Coastal Italian.

Nicole tackles the frog's legs by Thai-ing them up. Good call. I call them Pond Wings at my restaurant and they definitely take well to spicy sauces. Her dish is super colorful, but her story meanders like the Mekong.

Luca channels his grandma with a duck risotto, but he's got more shakes than a green can of Parmesan. The dish is "meh" to most, but Penn is stoked about it.

Not missing what very well could be her final opportunity to strike, Sarah breaks out the big guns and makes three very Texified plates: a huge steak, a potato galette and lobster creamed corn. I don't know so much about Texas lobsters, but Bob sums it up as Tex-Vegas, so I guess it works.

The dessert, crafted by Coley, is a hot/cold rendition of the s'more, which really flaunts her beachside POV.

Team Emma: These cats definitely don't settle down with the "culinary journey" cliche. Team Emma gets Gilgamesh on the challenge and attempts to take the judges to a feast in the Garden of the Gods. As no godly meal is without some good drink, the team also makes an attempt at wine pairings. These ideas seemed pretty good on paper, but, well, let’s talk about the food first.

Lenny puts the uni with a truffled cauliflower mousseline, which is kind of like rolling a 36-sided die of culinary flourishes and picking the first three. The dish is seen as having "too much going on." To make matters more weird, Lenny can't shake the idea of channeling Greek plays, which are about as Vegas as a knitting circle. Lenny also seems to have trouble addressing a small group in an intimate setting, and it comes off as borderline creepy.

Loreal GavinLoreal makes her langoustine with hollandaise and a chicken "skinaigrette," which is a smashingly good idea. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see a "skinaigrette" at my restaurant soon. Sadly, her presentation sounded like a female version of HAL 9000. "I'm sorry, Bob. I'm afraid I can't allow you to remember me — or my food."

With a creepy course one and an animatronic course two, Emma is the Atlas in the Garden of the Gods menu, and the weight of the world is now on her shoulders. She delivers her dish succinctly and elegantly, and then she begins to enlighten the judges on the origins of pork consumption. The tale involves pigs trapped in a flaming barn.

And this is where I get a little cranky. The judges, including my very own mentor, get all sorts of jaw-drop crazy when she talks about dead animals. I understand that maybe a four-course meal at Guy Savoy isn't the best place to talk about these things, and she deserves to be dinged. What irks me is that Emma is the first person I've seen on a culinary competition to remind us that when we eat meat, an animal dies. It wasn't meant to be horrifying. It's just the fact. If you can't handle that fact, that dead animals taste good to us, then you should probably stay in the vegetarian section of the Garden of the Gods.

Loreal torched the "ambrosia" dessert and it got really bizarre when she decided to throw flower petals at the judges.

Cue the Scary Music: Surprisingly, the gang learns that after this challenge, they'll be heading to New York City. Not surprisingly, Sarah's team pulls a win this week. Where it gets really interesting is who on Emma's team is going home. The food across the board was poorly handled on Team Emma, and the concept wasn’t nearly as cohesive as the overdone "culinary voyage" over on Team Sarah. So it all came down to personality and presentation. Loreal was odd at best, glum at worst, and she didn't talk about the best part of her dish. Emma talked about dead animals. Lenny was uncomfortable, like a carnie in a Michelin-rated restaurant.

Due to his strong performance in previous challenges, Lenny is saved. It comes down to Loreal and Emma, and Emma is tearfully shown the door.

The Moral of the Story: Sadly, the time and place to talk about how we get our food, or why eat the way we do, is not prime time. If you want to change the world around you, stick to your recap blogs and YouTube vids.

Threat of the Week: Did you see that smile on Loreal after Emma left? The butcher babe has a cleaver behind her back, and she won't stop until she’s at the top.

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Comments (210)

  1. FNS Watcher says:

    Sigh. Emma and Nicole are the only ones I'd watch on a regular basis. Maybe Sarah occasionally. If Nicole's out then there's no way of any star winning that I would really actually watch and enjoy. Who are your favorites?

    • guest says:

      Go Sarah!

      • FNS Watcher says:

        Yeah, actually I would watch Sarah on a regular basis cause she is pretty nice and funny. Go Sarah and Nicole! Woo hoo!

      • sickofsarah says:

        is that you sarah?

        • SSA says:

          Is that you, Giada? I know you still have a grudge against Sarah because she called attention to the fact that you used the wrong spoon.

      • Bay says:

        I wouldn't mind all that much if Sarah won, since when she's good, she's really good. But all she can cook, by the looks of things, is beef...and nothing else really...

    • egk says:

      Luca is actually my own favorite. He's just so naturally engaging on camera. When I think about it, perhaps he was sent home on purpose. I mean, how easy is it to fix such a minor mistake of not looking at the camera?! Even Zakarian on Salvation was saying" I can't believe Luca was sent for not looking at the camera!". Some of the challenges( like the Cutthroat) were pretty hard and silly, so sending him was probably some excuse to have him miss it and take on Star Salvation's easier challenges.

      • Monte says:

        Over the past few seasons, they've sent SEVERAL people home who couldn't do the camera challenges. Sending someone home because they don't look into the camera isn't something new.

    • Dave says:

      Yeah, I really liked Emma. I would have watched her show. To me, I think Loreal needs to go. She's not good in front of a camera and really can't cook. The fact that she did that presentation a few weeks back where she stated that meat does not need to be seasoned before being cooked, should have been enough to send her packing. I mean, come on! You don't season your grill with bacon to infuse your meat with flavor. Any home cook knows that.

      • Cayenne says:

        But Alton cut her off with the "we are the Truth" comment. We never got to hear her side of the story. I suspect she has some techniques & tips we would find interesting if we simply knew about them.

        • FNS Watcher says:

          Meh. I kind of find her voice and what she says annoying. I'm not sure if the Butcher Babe things and the kind of "tough and tomboy" things she says are real or shtick. I'm not wholly convinced yet.

  2. MoHub says:

    Note to Justin: Please tell me you've read Charles Lamb's "Dissertation on Roast Pig." If not—and I've mentioned this on Alton's thread—it's the story of a Chinese farmer whose barn burns down and who subsequently touches a hot, deceased pig and puts his fingers in his mouth to cool them, thereby enjoying his first taste of roast pork. The practice of burning down the barn in order to achieve the delicacy becomes standard practice until it is realized that one can cook the meat over a regular fire without destroying the farm buildings.

    I believe this was what Emma was referencing, but as happened with Nicole's use of the word viscosity the previous week, it was a little to esoteric for the FN audience—as well as the judges.

    • Kate Morgan says:

      Good point, but I also think the problem was hearing the manner in which the pigs died. There's a difference between a quick death and slow, agonizing, burning to death.

      • C thomp says:

        Please tell that to the pigs who are slaughtered, how lucky they are to be killed quickly.

    • chef anne watcher says:

      MoHub, the real "irony" of the story is that it resulted in the discovery of "pulled pork", barbecued to perfection. I also wonder if Justin has read it.

      The tragedy of Emma's presentation was that Alton, Bob, Giada, and Suzy (as "educated" as they portray themselves) simply could not "connect the dots" with Emma's references, thus their reactions were over-exaggerated, due to their lack of knowledge about the story. I think that the 4 of them were 'gunning for Emma' (especially Suzy) and I wonder how Bobby Flay would have reacted last week if he was there.

      Alton's warning, 'pick wisely' after the Team Captains were announced and the coin toss revealed, foreshadowed the doom of Emma, along with her team, since all of the main ingredients that were chosen for them to prepare were the most difficult proteins in the contest.

  3. Wilbur says:

    I'm not so sure it was the burning of the pigs....but the baby pigs that really dinged Emma with the judges. Remember... most of mainstream America really doesn't want to know where its food comes from - and they are the ones who watch FN.

    • chef anne watcher says:

      Wilbur, you made an interesting point about Mainstream Americans. I wonder if many "veal afficianados" realize that their favorite meat is actually from "baby cows" ? Or that the delicious Capon dinner they enjoy at their favorite upscale restaurant is a young rooster that was castrated to make him more tender?

      • shannon says:

        CAW, My daughter will never ever let me forget that veal are baby cows. Not just baby cows but baby cows kept in a box so they can not walk around and get tough. I think my daughter is a future member of Greenpeace or PETA. I like veal. But not so much anymore it comes with a sermon in my house as the side dish.

      • c thomp says:

        Great, honest comment!

  4. guest says:

    Good gracious, I felt like I was watching a Bizarro World episode of FNS last night - everything seemed to be turned upside down and sideways. First of all, congratulations to Sarah! She came roaring back from the bottom of the pack and I think she had the best dish and presentation in this challenge. She was smart in the choice of team members, theme, and main ingredient. Of course an exceptional cut of beef is easy to prepare if you remember to not get in its way and let it shine, and Sarah did just that. This also left her time to prepare some stellar side dishes, and she skillfully pulled off a complete entree that wowed the judges. Honestly, even I would have eaten a bite of the steak, allergies notwithstanding, and would not have left a single bite of the sides behind. She also wisely kept herself low-key and professional in her presentation. Good job, Sarah!

    Emma, I am sorry to say, was her own worst enemy in this episode, starting with her choice of team members. Both Lenny and Loreal have proven that they can cook and on the surface they may have seemed like the best options, but their personalities are so different from Emma's that their team was bound to work together awkwardly at best. Neither Lenny nor Loreal seemed comfortable with Emma's theme choice. They should have spoken up and let Emma know, but both of them seemed so unsure of themselves in this episode for some reason. Perhaps they were intimidated by Emma's air of calm self-assurance? The main ingredients they were given were possibly a bit more difficult than the ones for the other team, but again, if Emma had done a better job as team leader she would not have been stuck with a type of meat she did not know how to prepare. Lenny actually did try to give her some good tips on how to cook the pork, but she chose to ignore his advice to leave the meat alone as much as possible and prepare it simply. She should have done as Sarah did, roasting the pork with minimal tweaking and preparing some awesome side dishes to complement the meat. And then, oh my, her presentation! She was doing so well until the burning barn comment. Even if true, this information is not the sort of image you want to present to diners at an upscale dinner. Like I said, Emma was her own worst enemy in this episode and basically left the judges with no choice but to send her home. I did really like her, but once the serious cooking episodes began she was just not coming through with great food.

    As for the other contestants, I think Nicole did a decent job on all but her presentation, which was rather jumbled and confusing. She got the most challenging ingredient on her team and turned it into a dish that the judges loved, plus she took on the dreaded dessert course and impressed them again. If she keeps this up I may be able to forgive her transgression in last week's episode. Luca is so sweet and sincere, you just can't help but like him. His duck was not his best dish (except to Penn Jillette, who really seemed impressed by Luca), but it was good enough to keep him a contender in my book.

    As for Lenny and Loreal, all I can say is they both seemed so uncomfortable in this episode. Loreal appears to have lost all confidence during presentations lately, although her food was apparently the best of a bad lot. Her cooking and Emma's many mistakes as team leader saved her from being sent home. Lenny got the most challenging ingredient in this competition, so I will give him allowances for that, but his presentation was uncharacteristically lackluster and I am not sure why. I really think he was intimidated by the grand theme of their meal and did not feel confident that he could present it properly. He also knowingly took a risk in creating his dish and it did not work, but at least he made an attempt to do something daring.

    Things are heating up now, and the Rachael Ray episode next week should be interesting!

    • Georgie1960 says:

      >>Both Lenny and Loreal have proven that they can cook and on the surface they may have seemed like the best options, but their personalities are so different from Emma's that their team was bound to work together awkwardly at best.

      Yes! If the theme was Duck Dynasty or a biker/tattoo thing it might have worked. But Garden of the Gods/Greek mythology was too highbrow for them. Doesn't make 'em bad people or anything, it is what it is...

    • James says:

      I agree. Nicole did very good in all but the thai presentation. She will learn from that. Her cooking is excellent. Sarah came roaring back. The Steak was LOVED by the judges and her side dish with the crab or lobster was creative and delicious. As you said, she was professional.

    • Monte says:

      Unfortunately, I think this is the episode where they set up a sabotage (whisk missing, blender not plugged in, time check cards out of order, whatever) to see how the contestants react to it.

      Heck, why don't they just set up flaming hoops like you see at the circus and have people jump through them?

      • guest says:

        Oh no, I fervently hope they decided not to do that this year! These complications are so pointless and unnecessary, especially this late in the competition, when we would really like to get a feel for how each contestant performs in a setting similar to what their own show might be like.

  5. Buffy says:

    I did not understand how the story tied in with Greek mythology. As noted by other posters, the story referenced different stories from different eras.
    I think the little piglet story parents tell their kids using their fingers/toes would have been better story. :)

    • guest says:

      You may have something there, Buffy. I think both Lenny and Loreal would have been more comfortable with a fairy tale theme than the Garden of the Gods! Emma would have done better to tie her dish in with ancient Greeks sacrificing food offerings to appease their gods. After all, in Greek mythology those immortals could not eat the food and were only interested in the tantalizing aromas - the mortals got to eat the food!

  6. gorillo says:

    You can almost tell who the judges have it in for. Just like last week, the judges were waiting weeks to send Chris home, and the week before Reuben, and the week before Christopher, and this week Emma. I feel like a part of the elimination is already biased before the actual challenge and unless the contestant they want to go home does really well, they end up being eliminated. Just like next week, I'm pretty sure they'll send Nicole home based on their views of her, unless of course she does really well again.

    • Buffy says:

      The elimination does come across as biased because the same judges who have appeared on different programs would have called Sarah out for a safe choice and given high praises to Luca for cooking the duck properly which is key when serving duck.
      I would like a double elimination next week: Sarah for playing it safe and Loreal because while she calls herself a butcher, she calls shellfish, meat. Which leads me to believe she will prepare horsemeat and compare it to the unicorn.

      • Deb says:

        That's pretty lame I think. Well-executed trumps playing it safe. Sarah making a Steak does tie-in nicely with her POV and she did it well. It wasn't just the Steak, which *all* the judges reeeaallly liked!, but also her side dish with the crab was very tasty. No pageant girl here. Professional. Clear presentation and great food. I'm sick of these folks who find 25 ways of dismissing her anytime she does something good. And tonight, was very good!

        • Buffy says:

          It not so much as dismissing Sarah. Think about the comments each and everyone of the hosts have made to contestants over the years. Her dish was safe. If she had taken the duck and created a southwest dish, then she should have shown true growth. Duck is not easy to prepare, It is not hard to make crab salad. It is not hard to prepare potatoes with an twist. She played it safe. She did not want to make the frog legs because frog legs are not easy to prepare without drying out. Frog legs are sold in many places but I mostly hear about frog legs in the south.

          As a leader, she picked an easy task and placed the challenge on her teammates.

          • Deb says:

            And most of those "safe" dishes were either dictated by Food Network or limited all the finalists or put them out of their element. As for things being hard to make, when it's Sarah people will tell her to adapt because that's what a star does. When the shoe is on the other foot suddenly it's a different set of rules. So much for objectivity.

          • Buffy says:

            I understand your point Deb. I like you know the safe dishes were dictated by FN. As I write this statement, I see an image of a wind-up monkey hitting the symbols.
            This is what I see when I see the judges and think of those behind this program.
            We were not able to witness the real person this season. I think many people are likeable as they are. I like when people have a sense of humor. It is important to be adaptable, FN is not going allow a new star to give a lot input. So, it will be important for the individual to practice being memorable and likeable with the direction and material they will be given. That is the real job. I am thinking in seriousness, take an acting class, this will help them move to another avenue when their program does not last. The example I use is Kelly Rippa. I don't watch her program but she was a co-host and now she is the host. This take adaptability

          • chef anne watcher says:

            Sarah "adapted" quite nicely last night. SHE got to choose her team members and SHE appointed the proteins to Luca (duck) and Nicole(frog legs), while claiming the coveted beef for herself. THE TEAM did not make the dessert, Nicole did (and it was a hit with the judges). Good for her! Sarah only "delegated" last night (and she also prepared the easiest/safest dish on her team). Yes, The Team Captain FINALLY got to prepare 'her beef', but how did the lobster, in her side dish, fit in with her Texas POV? (Yes, I need to correct you about your previous post - it was not crab that she used). I've never heard of a Texas Lobster...crawdads, yes, but they are not "lobsters" in the true sense of the usage. Since the kitchen at Caesar's would only stock premium East Coast (Maine or Mass.) lobster , one could only assume that Sarah fibbed about her ingredients to tie it into her "Texas" dish. The SAME debate created quite an uproar last week about Nicole's use of Serrano ham vs. prosciutto for her dish. I'm wondering why the judges gave Sarah "a pass" on that.

            Here, the shoe IS on the other foot, and it was ignored by Giada and especially Alton. How quickly HE forgot his comments/judgment of Nicole last week, while he devoured Sarah's yummy steak ( and, obviously, he forgot the true ingredients she used in her side dish while promoting her POV).

            So much for "a different set of rules" and "objectivity" that you have adamantly debated in your posts on this thread. The judges need to be fair and, without Bobby being there for the last 2 weeks, the results/eliminations have been questionable during the past 2 competitions. He needs to be there to provide his clear-minded analysis of the finalists as well as his input of their food/presentations. I hope he will be on next Sunday's show!

          • Deb says:

            It is not Sarah's fault that the network LET her and Emma be the two who picked from the coin toss. You would use it to your advantage as well.

          • Buffy says:

            As a leader, I would not use something to my advantage over my teammates. I believe Sarah needs work in many areas. Perhaps, this is FN's way of leaving her with dignity before next week. Winning will take her where character will not keep her.

          • BOB says:

            The way people micro-dissect everything about everybody on here I don't think any of them would pass scrutiny unscathed.

            Been reading alot of these comments. They could all use work. I find much of the negativity towards Sarah to be too emotional with people looking for anything they can find. Not necessarily you, Buffy.

            When all else fails, just say anyone has a chgaracter issue. Again, is there one who doesn't need work? None of them are perfect. Why not give her credit for doing a good job, even growing as a finalist? If it were anyone else, they would. If someone else had gotten to use this meatinstead of Sarah, her critics would not be saying their favorite got lucky, they'd be praising whoever to the skies.

          • Buffy says:

            The statement regarding character refers to the comment of a leader who "You would use it to your advantage as well". I have worked and seen leaders who have taken the easier task, given incomplete instructions, or do minimum and when their team received praise the person gleams as if he helped.
            For example, I think she pulled the steak from a non-stick skillet. I want to know how she I able to get a nice steak crust, the same judges talk about in other shows, when this is not delivered. Other programs demonstrate cooking the steak on the stove and placing the steak in the oven to finish? She pulled her steak from the pan on the stove to the plate?
            I am not passing scrutiny, she presents the skills of a person learning to cook. She has not presented anything past the recipe found on the side of a box.

            I don't find anyone else to be fantastic, however Nicole may have cooked frog legs in school one time or read about how to handle frog legs and she was able to present the frog legs, then she used a thai/tamarind glaze. This is considered a step-up.

          • Serena says:

            It's not like she knew what other ingredients were coming next to "sabotage" her teammates. And anyways, why the hell would she choose something challenging to work with?

          • Buffy says:

            This is why people are stating she must leave. She does not have depth or range.

  7. Larry says:

    Great episode. They finally got back to doing some real deal cooking. I also like when the big bosses Bob & Susie are there - increases the stakes a bit. Let's start with Team Emma. They were a huge let down with both food and presentation which was really surprising. A feast in the garden of the gods was an Ok idea, but executed poorly.

    Emma never worked with that type of pork before and the end result showed that. That said, she did a way better job presenting than Loreal and Lenny (who both came off very weird and super creepy). I agree with Justin about the whole pigs burning in a barn story, the judges blew it out of proportion. Who doesn't like bacon or know where it comes from? But Emma came up with the concept and therefore the bulk of the responsibility fell on her. Its said to see her go. She was easy to watch, likeable, charismatic, and that voice is so uniquely charming. She was my favorite.

    Loreal probably should have went home. Her presentation last night was very creepy. I didn't understand the whole rose petal thing, just didn't make sense. In past episodes, the judges have been trying to get her to just be herself on camera. I don't think she's progressed in this area. Looking back too her food has been inconsistent, and it doesn't seem like she really has the culinary know-how or maturity to get her own show.

    Lenny is one of the best chefs on the show (maybe besides Nicole and Christopher). No doubt about that. But the creepy factor is out of control. I used to root for the guy, but check out this video I found on his youtube page. He says the 'C' word about 1:15 into the video with some other disturbing pornographic references. Can't be the next foodnetwork star, just can't. Also, not a real cowboy, the jig is up.

    2 things were evident watching Team Sarah last. 1: Luca might not have what it takes, and 2: Nicole is a force to be reckoned with.

    Nicole was the real team leader here. She directed Sarah and Luca from concept to completion, and for the team win. They gave her a very tough ingredient. Frog Legs. Do you know how to make frog legs? I don't. But she nailed it. The judges and Bob loved it. Also, she tackled the dessert course, creating her deconstructed s'mores. Genius. Its clear to me not only in this episode, but also in previous episodes that she has a vast knowledge of food that no other remaining contestants have. And she can execute dishes with the best of them. Just listen to her describe food in her interviews. Ok, so her story didn't make complete sense in the presentation, but she is humble, sweet, has a great POV, and not mention she is beautiful. And from a marketing standpoint, she's gold. She's my pick to win at this point.

    Luca is a very likeable guy with great character. His POV is very clear. The thing with Luca is that he gets nervous, especially in front of the execs. He doesn't project well. And I don't believe he has the energy and range to carry a show. I just don't think he's exciting enough. Nothing against the guy, he's just not an entertainer, and you need a little bit of that to HAVE YOUR OWN SHOW. The other thing is that his food really hasn't been that good. I think people overlook that. And that's a biggie.

    Sarah has been terrible from episode 1-7. Now she has one good show and all of a sudden she's back in this thing. Its crazy. She gets Wagyu Ribeye. Of course she had the best dish. Its Wagyu. Now, all of a sudden everyone thinks she can cook. Its strange how people have such short memories.

    didn't really know how to did a great job presenting, and I agree with Justin about the whole pigs burning in a barn story. The judges made a bigger deal out of it than it needed to be.

    Team Emma was a let down with both food and presentation.

    • Larry says:

      disregard the last 3 lines of jibberish

    • Rudy Bayga says:

      Emma was an unfocused veggie girl with a voice that puts alot of viewers to sleep. A kind hearted lady but lacking star power.

    • Crouton40 says:

      Good post! I completely agree when you said:

      2 things were evident watching Team Sarah last. 1: Luca might not have what it takes, and 2: Nicole is a force to be reckoned with.

      Nicole was the real team leader here. She directed Sarah and Luca from concept to completion, and for the team win. They gave her a very tough ingredient. Frog Legs. Do you know how to make frog legs? I don't. But she nailed it. The judges and Bob loved it. Also, she tackled the dessert course, creating her deconstructed s'mores. Genius. Its clear to me not only in this episode, but also in previous episodes that she has a vast knowledge of food that no other remaining contestants have. And she can execute dishes with the best of them.

      Well said! I also give credit to Sarah. Her Steak had the judges loving so much they didn't want to talk about it, just EAT it! It wasn't just the steak. Her side dish, too. Tasty! And good on camera. Professional. I would watch either Nicole or Sarah.

  8. Wilson says:

    Thank You Food Network for removing one more show from my viewing Schedule. There is no one left on the competition this year that I would watch. I find it most interesting that of the Fan choice Poll, two of the top four have been eliminated. Does that fact mean anything to the people that are running this program?

  9. Natalie says:

    Last nights episode with team Sarah and team Emma was so frustrating to me. I really hate when it seems that they so obviously favor one team over another! Come on team Sarah got the best food, yes frog legs can be challenging but Wagyu beef and duck, you have to be pretty bad to not be able to cook those well. As where team Emma got the short end of the stick.

    It is true Emma was the team leader so she does bear more responsibility for things going wrong but there is a big difference between not being familiar with a product such as that type of pork and having a stand out product like the langostinos and messing them up.

    In my mind Loreal should have gone, she has not been great since the beginning. She has touted herself as the butcher babe but has never really delivered. She is annoying with her "Dang!" I'm so great attitude. Lenny is over the top like her but there is an underlying humility and warmth that she doesn't have. Also Lenny has consistently made good food. In my opinion he is the one who should win.

    The whole idea in this show that a food network star quality chef should be able to cook anything anywhere is really stupid. Look at Bobby Flay's food throwdown show. He has lost more throwdowns then he has won but that doesn't make him a bad cook or not worthy of his food network star status.

    I'd really like to know just how many of the food network star's winners have shows that people really watch? It seems to me that Guy is the only one that really has shows that are good. I think you need to revamp your competition so you have better people winning.

    • Judy says:

      I love it!! Some of you are so blatantly unfair it should be embaressing for you. When Sarah wanted the Beef and Chris got to it first, everybody couldn't wait to say: Oh well, too bad. A Star adapts. A Star overcomes. Now, that she gets something more up her Alley it's somehow not fair, too easy and on and on. Nothing like double-standards, eh?

      Loreal's earlier DANG! was cute and funny. She outcooked, as a whole, Emma and was also more entertaining. Emma was a nice lady who wasn't growing and was just sorta there. Like Chad from last year. Not growing.

      Your comments about Bobby Flay are misleading. Yes, he had had losses. Yes, he is still a great Chef. But what you left out was that he wouldn't be - without his other Victories! And he's had plenty of them. While everyone has their bad moments, the good must outbalance the bad.

      Luca, I have my doubts about. Oh, he'll probably do ok on his cooking, reference his grandmother, and then sorta meander thru his dish. But not too much pop with him. After a month, I think I'd get bored.

  10. alamo annie says:

    Dang I wish Butcher Baby would go bye bye!!! Can't stand her would NEVER watch her!. As far that huge steak representing Texas I have lived here all my life, 77 years now Thank You Lord, and have NEVER seen anyone plop down a steak like that either at home or eating out!!. This show is going from bad to worst!!

    • Buffy says:

      If you are referring to the Knott's Berry Farm presentation, that was odd to see a raggedy piece of meat slammed onto the grill.

    • TexasFarmGirl says:

      I agree! I have lived in Texas for 43 years and I have never sat down down at my families kitchen table with a piece of steak that big! We raise our own cattle and I cringed at the wastefulness.

      And NO ONE in Texas has ever heard of a potato galette! That's called scalloped potatoes. And never once on our farm have we ever eaten lobster creamed corn. Tons of creamed corn, never lobster.

      • Onions says:

        WHO CARES whether you've never eaten it? It tasted AWESOME!

      • Buffy says:

        I am still trying to understand how a recipe for fresh creamed corn came to her when the instructions for preparing pasta were lost.