The last of the auditions are underway and for judges Graham Elliot Bowles, Joe Bastianich and Gordon Ramsay, they are looking for that perfect dish that will make them want to get the rest of the Top 36. The final group of contestants comes in and they are all excited to have their hearts on the plates. They all say that this is the most important time of their life and that they have to make sure that they are not going to mess it up.
Stacey, 29, a Farmers Market Manager from Apple Valley, CA, is up first. She says that food was her outlet and she is a recovering alcoholic. She says that she has what it takes. She comes up and tells them that she doesn’t have experience in culture cooking. She serves a New York Strip Steak with Espresso Crust with Chimichurri Sauce. Joe asks about where the inspiration came from and she says that it was to help her sobriety. Graham says that he loved the way she prevented. Gordon says that the steak wasn’t good enough and says no. Graham says that it is a yes for him. Joe says that it is a no for him. However, after tasting it again, Joe goes out and gives her an apron.
Next up is Rami, 31, a Car Salesman from Dallas, TX. He says that he is the best salesman in the country and says that he is an excellent cook. He says that he is a ladies man. He says that his dish is worth $25. He serves Scallops Florentine over Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Puree. Graham goes up and tastes it. He says that the scallops might be a little overboard. Joe asks if that is worth the money. Gordon asks if he peeked. He says that he hasn’t and that he could do better. Joe says that it is a no for him. Graham says that it is a yes. Gordon says that he is going to give him an apron.
Another group of home cooks comes up and show their stuff in the cooking and the judges are a little tough on them. All of them don’t get through to the next round. The last cook David Martinez comes up and says that Pescado is his dish. Joe tells him that it is a yes. Graham says that it is a yes. Gordon says that it is a yes and he gets his apron.
That is it for the aprons and all the remaining chefs are going to have to do their first challenge. With 36 cooks ready for the challenge, they are going to be cut down to 18. They are taken into the room and are told that they are going to be cooking ground beef. They have 60 minutes to take their 2 lbs. of beef and turn it into something great. The cooks run to get their ingredients. The judges start to contemplate what the cooks are going to give them. They go around to the contestants and ask what they are making. With 5 minutes to go, the cooks get their final touches to their dishes. The judges talk and say that they are going to see interesting dishes.
The cooks are divided into three groups. The judges tell the cooks that one group has already made it into the competition. The group through has Ryan in it and he says that he is going to go through to the end. The group going home has Joel in it, but he says that “Jermaine’s” is still going to be open. The final group is going to have to bring their dishes up.
David, Anna, AJ and Tanya come to the judges. David serves an Italian Beef Taco with Eggplant and Bolognese Sauce. Joe says that the flavors are good. Gordon says that it could have been more exciting. Anna serves Beef Stuffed Onions with Raisins, Toasted Walnuts and Horseradish Crème. Joe says that it is interesting. Gordon says that he wanted more color. AJ serves Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Fennel Meatballs. Graham says that it was a good thing to add the spice. Joe says that it is a nice idea, but kind of bland. Tanya serves Persian Kebab with Red Onion Pickle Salad and Fried Eggplant. Gordon says that it is bold and says that it is good. The judges decide that Tanya and David are through. Joe tells AJ and Anna are going to have to get separated. The person through to the next round is Anna.
Christine, Bubba, Monti and Nandini step forward. Christine serves a Thai Basil Beef with Rice. Graham says that it is delicious, but the beef is a little dry. Joe says that it was good. Bubba serves Ranch Stew with Corn Bread Topping. Gordon says that the corn bread tastes better then the beef. Nandini serves a Beef & Spinach Curry with Israeli Couscous and Potatoes. Graham says that it doesn’t scream out. Gordon says that it was quite nice. Monti serves Beef Roll with Greens and Almonds. Graham says that the dish is delicious. Gordon says that it is brave. The judges decide to keep Monti and Christine. Bubba and Nandini go home.
Courtney, Rami, David and Cherri are the last up for the judging. Courtney serves Spaghetti Bolognese. Gordon says that it was brave. Graham says that the pasta is nice, but the dish isn’t perfect. Rami serves Grape Leaf Patty with Cucumber Yogurt and Pickled Vegetables. Gordon says that the vegetables, but the beef looks unappetizing. Joe says that it is bold. David serves Faux Bone Marrow made from Beef and Potatoes with Roasted Vegetables. Gordon says that it was a nice idea. Graham says that it was tasty. Cherri serves Roasted Eggplant stuffed with Garlic Mash and Beef with a Tomato Butter Sauce. Joe asks if she tasted the raw eggplant. Graham says that the potato doesn’t add. The judges decide to keep David. This means that Coutney, Cherri and Rami are going home. The Final 18 are chosen and the judges say that the competition is on.