2 Chefs Compete - Recap

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Chef Ramsey addresses Jon and Ja’nel and doesn’t waste much time telling us that Ja’nel will be facing Mary. Before he leaves, Jon receives a warm send off from Chef Ramsey. He’s told to keep in touch, and that he was “The lone shiny star from the blue team”. On the eve of the final, the two finalists ride in a private jet to Las Vegas with Ramsey himself. They reminisce about their time grinding through Hell’s Kitchen and marking highlights of their time so far.

Once in Las Vegas they’re tasked with creating their menus, they spend the night working in a luxury sweet. In the morning Chef Andy agreed with Mary’s menu, calling it balanced, but Chef James noticed a couple things about Ja’nel’s. Ja’nel’s menu was seafood heavy, and even more specifically, shellfish heavy. Their work gets interrupted again by a delivery guy in a roman centurion costume. The message is from Gordon, he’s introducing them to the president of Caesar’s Palace.

The day continues getting better for the finalists when Ramsey brings them to Gordon Ramsey Steak, and introduces them to the chef in charge, the winner from last season, Christina. Christina gave them advice while they ate, until Gordon came back with gifts, their chef’s jackets.

After the lunch they fly back to Hell’s Kitchen to continue working on their menus. Again they get interrupted by Gordon. This time, they’re told to pack overnight bags and meet him at union station. While on tour they’re surprised again, this time by meeting up with their families, for a brief set of hugs and congratulations. Ramsey interrupts this, too, by claiming they have a train to catch. On their way to catch the train, the tour guide leads them into a dark theater where they find out it’s challenge time.

The challenge is to make five dishes in one hour. Each dish will be tested by a world renowned chef, and the one who gets the most points wins. Both chefs are stressed and rushing but the hour goes by without incident.

Round 1
Sang Yoon, the Chef from Lukshon, judged the cold appetizers. Ja’nel serves him a deconstructed BLT. She used crispy fried green tomatoes, crispy prosciutto, arugula and a blue cheese ranch. Mary served ahi tuna tar tar, with sesame oil, asian pear, and daikon. Chef Sang Yoon gave the point to Ja’nel.
Round 2
Homaru Cantu, founding chef of Moto, judged the hot appetizers. Ja’nel served Chef Cantu a muscle dish with coconut curry and wine. Mary served him some sweet potato gnocchi with a creamy chanterelle and bacon sauce. Chef Cantu gave the point to Mary.
Round 3
David Lefevre, chef of Manhattan Beach Post, judged the fish dishes. Ja’nel served a pan seared rainbow trout with cauliflower and a brown butter vinaigrette. Mary served Chilean sea bass with napa cabbage and Guatemalan radish salad. After calling Mary’s a sexy dish, he gave Ja’nel the point.
Round 4
Chef Douglas Keane, from Cyrus, judged the chicken round. Ja’nel served an over roasted chicken breast with a soft parmesan polenta and a salsa verde. Mary served a seared chicken breast with crispy skin, garlic potato mash, and Thumbelina carrots, topped with a molasses compound butter. Chef Keane awards the point to Mary.
Round 5
Vice President of Food and Beverage at Caesar’s entertainment, Jeffrey Frederick, judged the beef dish. Ja’nel served red wine braised beef cheek with some rustic smashed potato. Mary served a seared New York strip with polenta and carrots. After calling Mary’s dish technically perfect, he gave the point to Ja’nel.

After the challenge Chef Ramsey had them pick their brigades right there in front of the live audience.
Pick number one was Ja’nel’s, because she won the challenge. She chose Cyndi, and Mary chose Jon. The rest of the picks boiled down to neither one wanting to take Dan.
In the end Ja’nel took Cyndi, Susan, Zack, Amanda, and Ray. Mary took Jon, Anthony, Nedra, Mike, and Dan.

Before sending them back to Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon handed them both an envelope. The envelopes allowed them to trade to the other team, for any chef, but because Dan was the common denominator for all trades, nothing was done. Before going to bed the teams sat down to go over the menus. Ja’nel’s team gave her the same critique that she seemed to have ignored from chef James, that there was a lot of seafood, and they questioned how appetizing beef cheeks would be to the average diner. Ja’nel was frustrated by the comments and walked out, supposedly to go talk to Mary.