In spite of the fact that he straight-up broke Rule C (“Repect your proteins”), I was surprised that Hector went home for a piece of beef that didn’t get cooked through in time. A stubborn piece of meat is a misfortune that can befall even the most talented chef on a time limit. On the other hand, one could argue that: (a) the beef could have gone into the oven sooner and/or been pulled out rarer, (b) there was evidence of uneven cooking and thus of inept food prep (though, to be fair, this reduces to (a) since, given adequate time to plate, the less evenly cooked slices could have been discarded), and (c) the meat was underseasoned (read: not salty enough).
I also think that Rule E (“Be prepared to defend your dish at Judges’ Table”) inarguably leaned in Ash and Hector’s favor. They both clearly understood what had gone wrong with their dish (the meat hadn’t rested) and could easily have fixed it given another chance. Ashley and Mattin, on the other hand, had almost nothing to say in their own defense, a fact that Gail Simmons bemoaned at Judges’ Table. Ashley weakly offered that they could have incorporated the asparagus into the sauce. But she wasn’t willing to openly confront Mattin when he told the judges he didn’t shoot her down. If Hector’s beef hadn’t been such a disaster, it’s hard to guess whether Ashley or Mattin would have gone home instead.
Predictions: Goodbye, Jesse! 2 for 4! A campfire challenge will favor the cool, the collected, and the rustic over the tightly wound, the scatter-brained, and the classically trained. I’d say that puts Robin on the firing line, along with bottom dwellers Ashley, Laurine, Ron, and Mattin. I’m guessing Ashley, who seems the least apt to keep her shit together.
- Does Ron have a problem with women or is he just the worst team player ever?
- Jennifer and Michael sitting in a tree…
- H proposes the following unofficial rule: always cook with bacon. Evidence: Bryan’s Elimination win last week and Kevin’s Quickfire win this week. (Mattin’s velouté is the exception that proves the rule.)
- Mike obviously learned his lesson last week. He didn’t go so far as to steal credit from Bryan for his “deconstructed Béarnaise,” but he made damn sure the judges knew it was a collaborative effort to which he and Bryan contributed just about equally. The judges weren’t buying it—the top prize went to Bryan without much ado—but this time they let his coat-tail riding slide. (Aside: You know that sauce was damn good, because there’s nothing the judges would like better than to roll their eyes and sneer at a “deconstructed” anything.)
- Hector was pissed when he got eliminated. No “thank you” to the judges. No hand shaking with his peers. He made a beeline for the exit.