Quote #3 from the ep, from a Diner en Blanc guest upon trying Lorena's jalapeno mousse: "It's stupid good!"
Critics are not impressed with her chicken salad; the guests seem to love it.
As she leaves the critics she apologizes for having to serve the dishes cold. Bad move --she knew that going in. The critics struggle with the plating of her dishes, they were not clearly instructed what garnish and sauce goes where.
Chris informs the judges he has recently visited Venice and took his inspiration from there. He serves up a swordfish conserva with green beans, tomatoes & olives; marinated wild mushrooms with toasted pine nuts (insert shuddering groans of want from me here); and pork & chicken liver pate with hazelnuts & truffles.
Okay, now that I have heard him explain the tureen I must admit that while I hate chicken livers with a furor unmatched I almost kind of wanted to try that. Seriously. Sure enough, after tasting, Ruth Reichl declares, "The person who won't eat liver will eat this." Aymeric calmly declares it's the best pate he's ever eaten. And he's FRENCH!
Kerry presents his dishes, and keeps repeatedly trying to say everything in broken French, to everyone's discomfort. He has lined up a chilled cauliflower soup with saffron coulis; hericot vert, orzo & mozzarella with pesto (lord that looked good); grilled chicken & kielbasa with peppers and paprika coulis.
Quote #4 of the ep, from a really erudite dinner guest: "I thought the cauliflower soup was nice, but I felt like it was just like, a little out of place. Maybe."
Cut to: lots of drinking. Clowns juggling. Robin Leach yanking on Princess Leia's chain and barking at Salacious Crumb.
Critics' table -- or as Chris calls it, "Top Chef Ulcer." They call all four back. Everyone gushes over Kerry's progression from creamy to powerful. They question the sweetness of Lorena's chicken salad and the texture of her chocolate mousse. She admits she did not taste the chicken salad today, and James Oseland's eyebrows raise higher than any botox could ever hope for.
They gush over Chris' tureen and his distinct, varying dishes. Patricia's jam gets high marks but they agree that her dishes didn't work without any heat. No surprise that Kerry and Chris are named top two.
Chris takes the prize -- 10K for the Michael J. Fox Foundation -- and hugs and high fives from the other three. Well deserved.
Lorena and Patricia are up for dismissal. Drama! Chris doesn't want his former boss to leave. Patricia says that she thinks that in this final battle between the two of them that "the better person will stay in the competition." Yikes -- she's taking this to a way deeper level. I thought this was about cuisine, not one's character.
The critics are clearly tossed up over Lorena and Patricia. Some loved a dish while others didn't. They nitpick each item. As we cut to commercial break there is no knowing who is packing their knives.
And we're back: Curtis announces Patricia is going home. She nods, Lorena looks genuinely floored and relieved.
In her defense (as I know I've not taken to her), Patricia handles the news calmly and thanks them for the opportunity. She has won a total of $16K for Heifer International. Chris takes the news worse than anyone, he is very upset about her leaving.
Quote #5 of the ep, as he hugs her goodbye: "The student is never supposed to beat the teacher." A genuinely touching moment.
Next week: The remaining three cook blindly with a mystery team mate (hint: it's the critics); and the finale comes down to the chefs working with young, green culinary students as their sous chefs. Expect the unexpected!