Tom's Italian-American Thanksgiving is up next. Their bird looks stunning. Carla's creamy carrot soup gets high marks. Josh's ravioli is tough to bite through and Tom explains to the table how he could have fixed the dough to cook more evenly.
Micah's Brussels sprouts get the thumbs down from Dana for being underseasoned and greasy. Lizzie's mashed potatoes (or "potato puree" if you're epicurian about it) is gorgeous on the screen and thrills everyone with their simple perfection. Stefan and Eliza's desserts are both disappointments to the judges.
Both meals are all over the map with successes and failures. Emeril and Tom declare they are recused from judging the winning team. The remaining judges unanimously vote the superior dinner was Tom's team. The judges move on to nitpicking the worst of Emeril's team's meal: Tyler's bitter gumbo, Sheldon's undercooked greens, and Kuniko's raw potatoes. They also agree Josie's blackened/raw turkey should send her home but luckily she has immunity.
From the winning red team, CJ, Carla and Lizzie are called back to decide the challenge victor. Padma commended their meal was "near flawless." Tom said he was confused by Carla's carrot soup as she had told him she was making cabbage soup. Lizzie chimes in, "I think she said carrots, but it sounded like cabbage," and Carla confesses, "Sometimes I need a subtitle." Again, she may be warming on me.
Dana loved Lizzie's potato puree as it neared the "half-potato, half-butter" mark. Padma gushed over CJ's perfect turkey and Tom noted he picked up on the fact that CJ was leading the team in the kitchen.
The winning dish goes to Carla's carrot and turkey meatball soup. "Really, me?" she asks, surprisingly touched and sweet in her victory.
Tyler, Kuniko, and Sheldon are called back for the bottom three -- Josie, as well, who again has immunity, but the judges thought her turkey so bad they felt the need to berate her regardless. Emeril keeps pronouncing Kuniko’s name "KOON-uh-coh" and it's driving me batty. [I shall now only pronounce his name EHRM-ruhl.] Josie does Kuniko a solid and lets the judges know that even though her dish was poor, she used a lot of her time assisting her teammates.
Josie's hail Mary does Kuniko no good, however, as she is asked to pack her knives and go. She admits in her exit interview she has "a long way to go to be a good chef - not just a good cook."
In the stew room, the gang is mourning Kuniko’s loss. John Tesar chides, "We had five hours, man. If you can't taste your food in five hours, your mind is somewhere else." The entire room turns on him.
CJ asks why everything John says "ends up being a lecture." John counters, "You're full of s--- right now." Thus setting the stage for next week. I hope they wrestle. Heads up, John: CJ is EIGHT FEET TALL.
Next week -- an entire side of beef gets butchered, and two eliminations. And, if we're lucky, CJ squishing John like the cockroach he is.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!