Chicago chefs Sarah Grueneberg and Beverly Kim with Grayson Schmitz (Virginia Sherwood/Bravo )
The chefs head back to San Antonio and the competition continues, making for one of the most exciting episodes of the season (Yes, even more exciting than Restaurant Wars). Here’s what went down.
Quickfire challenge: The great Eric Ripert of famous French restaurant Le Bernardin in New York arrives to judge a challenge about “quick thinking” with Padma. The chefs had 30 minutes to pick three ingredients rotating on a conveyor belt and use them to cook a “sophisticated dish.” The longer they wait, the better chance they’ll get a better ingredient—say, lobster instead of Pop Rocks—but the less time they’ll have to cook.
Elimination challenge: Create a gothic feast fit for a queen – an evil queen, which guest judge Charlize Theron plays in “Snow White & the Huntsman.” Each chef is to cook one of seven courses. “Do I get the head of the [losing] chef on a silver platter?” Theron joked.
-The episode kicks off with Sarah still feeling bitter about Beverly’s last win. “I’m happy that we are the winning team for Restaurant Wars. But it is still a little bittersweet for me, because I still think Lindsay should have won,” she said. Don’t be a sore winner, Sarah! -1 point.
-With seven chefs left in the cast, she’s already thinking about the finale and believes that she should be in the top four. “I really wanna fight tooth and nail to get there,” she said. She’s not the only one that thinks so; Paul said that “Sarah’s classically trained and she knows her flavors.” +1 point.
-She gives fellow Chicagoan Chris a heads up when the lobster he’s looking for reappears on the conveyor belt. (“Jonesy! Lobster!”) +1 point.
-She’s understandably nervous about her chosen ingredients. “I can’t believe I’m serving Eric Ripert Saltines and cottage cheese with the seafood,” she said. “This is like, bad.” He actually likes it, but Lindsay wins instead. +1 point.
-Someone has a little girl crush on Charlize! “She’s one of my favorite actresses. She’s so talented and so beautiful.” +1 point.
-Her wicked dish of wine-soaked red risotto with sliced lamb’s heart, currants, sunchoke and thyme is spot-on. “Bring me more heart!” exclaims Charlize. +1 point.
-Since the judges loved everyone’s dishes, they’re splitting hairs when it comes to elimination. They said Sarah’s risotto was slightly undercooked. Since it’s the second time she’s been told this on the show, she wonders if she's been at fault the whole time. “This is how I’ve always been cooking risotto and eating it. Maybe I should start cooking it down.” Though I can’t believe Tony Mantuano would teach you to undercook your risotto, this is starting to become a theme. -1 point.
-When judge Emeril Lagasse asked her if she drank any of the wine she used in the risotto, she confessed: “I have a little bit in the other room, in case I have to go home.” Luckily, she didn't. Lose, that is. If she drank any of the wine, it didn't make the cut. +1 point.
TOTAL: 4 points.