Chris looks up and sees what's going on and points to his extra piece of cooked bacon. Quote #1 of the episode: "Takashi-San: Take it. Take it." I actually get a genuine and huge flutter of happy warm fuzzies watching this.
Chris prepared a Mexican-inspired breakfast with corn, avocado, slab bacon and sizzled egg. Takashi's is a bacon steak with caramelized figs, dried dates and apricots, paired with an orange endive and fennel salad.
In keeping with the boxing motif, Curtis stands between the chefs to announce the results. He raises Chris' fist in triumph and declares him the winner. No surprise here, as his dish looked absolutely mouth-watering. And the man isn't too proud to share his bacon. Have I mentioned I heart him?
Curtis introduces Lorena and Patricia -- they have the same bacon slabs that the guys did. Lorena is thrilled with the challenge: "TOCINETA! Are you kidding me?!?!" This matchup is night and day: Lorena's fiery temper and excitement are in sharp contrast to cool Patricia's ice queeny methodical silence.
Quote #2 of the ep, from Patricia: "So the first thing I think of when I see this bacon is a BLT. But there's no bread, and there's no lettuce. So that's quite a challenge."
Patricia improvises a "BLT" -- Bacon, Leek, and Tomato salad. It looks clean but incredibly simple. Lorena's dish is a potato and bacon chowder with corn and bacon sofrito on top. Sugar Ray says he wanted to put his face into the bowl of Lorena's soup he loved it so much. Curtis declares Lorena the winner, to her utter surprise and Patricia's horror.
Now onto the championship round -- Chris vs. Lorena. Secret ingredient? Sugar! Chris seems totally perplexed. He decides to make zabaglione (an Italian custard-like dessert) which requires him to furiously whisk for the entire 20 minutes. It's exhausting just watching him.
Lorena is seriously overachieving with a flourless chocolate cake, pineapple and caramelized walnuts, and dulce de leche sauce. "Go Chris," barks Patricia, pointedly. She's really pickling right in front of us this episode.
The championship goes to ... Lorena! Curtis fits her with a ridiculous title belt and her excitement is overflowing. She really is a joy to watch this episode, you can tell she feels like the other chefs had not taken her seriously, but that she has proven herself with this win.
Onto the runners up. Takashi and Patricia the Pickle will fight it out to see who goes home. Their ingredient is chicken livers. They are both happy with that. Takashi talks more about why he chose the Red Cross Disaster Relief as his charity -- his hometown of Mito, Japan was devastated by the 2011 earthquake.
While all the chefs' charities are important, it absolutely means more to him than most. Takashi's dish is sauteed chicken livers with prosciutto and pickled red cabbage, Patricia prepared a warm asparagus salad with seared liver and prosciutto. They are surprisingly similar.
Jane and James disagree about Patricia's liver, he thinks it's undercooked and she thinks it's done perfectly. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that liver is not something I would ever want to have even remotely close to undercooked. I just threw up in my mouth thinking about it.
Patricia says that going home is not an option for her. She's right, as she takes third place, meaning Takashi is going home. I am totally bummed, he was a true bright light on the show and I loved watching him cook. It does feel like the Master of the Masters is going home way too early. You can tell the other chefs feel the same.
And then there were four.
Coming up next week: Some kind of flash mob all dressed in white throw a huge Venetian dinner al fresco, featuring an incredibly bloated, unkempt Robin Leach giving his commentary. Ew.
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