The most recent episode of High Chef Kentucky contains an over-the-top arena-themed problem, a stunning elimination, and one of many largest strategic blunders of the season to date. Right here’s the way it all goes down:
Initially of the episode, the cheftestepants are congratulating Michelle for successful the final problem. She ready a plate of purple snapper with greens for the judges as an homage to her father, who dedicated suicide when she was an adolescent. “This entire problem was a means for me to course of my ideas about who I’m as a chef and provides me slightly little bit of closure,” Michelle says. “And I’m discovering that I’m so much stronger than I even thought I used to be at first.”
When the rivals arrive on the High Chef culinary bunker, they’re greeted by host Padma Lakshmi and native chef/restaurateur Ed Lee. It’s time for a Fort Knox-themed spherical of cooking. “To your Quickfire problem, you’ll need to work collectively to determine find out how to break into our personal model of a heavily-guarded bouillon reserve,” Padma says. “Bouillon cubes, that’s.” A bunch of gold bouillon cubes are locked inside slightly lucite cupboard within the kitchen, and the cooks need to reply a sequence of food-themed riddles to seek out the numbers to crack open the lock on the field. As soon as they’ve obtained the bouillon, they may have 30 minutes to make dishes with the dehydrated inventory cubes and elements associated to the riddles.

Eric Adjepong, Sara Bradley, Adrienne Wright, Justin Sutherland, Eddie KonradDavid Moir/Bravo

A pattern clue: “This ingredient shares its title with the federal legislation enforcement company chargeable for defending the U.S. Treasury’s gold bouillon at Fort Knox.” Clearly, that refers to ”mint,” and the mint within the fridge is connected to a quantity that the cooks can enter into the padlock. Many of the remainder of the clues are equally simple to resolve, though the gang stumbles a bit determining the one for “bread.”
As soon as the bouillon cubes are unlocked, the cooks start whipping up their Quickfire dishes. Because it seems, Eric wrote a thesis about how West African and Southeast Asian households use bouillon, so he’s an actual professional on the topic. Sara additionally has a robust affinity for the little dehydrated inventory cubes. “Rising up, once we have been sick, we didn’t go to the hospital, we didn’t keep house from college — my mom gave us bouillon cubes and scorching water and informed us to recover from it,” she explains.
After tasting all seven of the bouillon dishes, Padma and Ed decide that Michelle’s smelt fritto misto (AKA “fries with eyes”) and Justin’s way-too-salty chorizo with clams are the 2 duds of this spherical. However the judges love Sara’s monkfish dish, Eddie’s “gold caponata” with bouillon-poached scallops, and Eric’s Chinese language eggplant with skirt steak. The winner of this problem is Eddie, who made a dish that was “delicate and refined, and but had a lot taste,” in accordance with Padma. He wins what should be one of many biggest of all High Chef prizes: immunity in addition to a cross to take a seat out the subsequent problem utterly.
“I’m fairly glad, in all probability the happiest I’ve been this whole season,” Eddie remarks. “I’m pumped to not be burdened to the purpose the place I’m going to drive myself loopy. You’re going to see an entire new facet of Eddie. Just about the identical face and every thing, however really, deep down inside, I’m fairly stoked.”

Left to proper: Adrienne Wright, Eric Adjepong, and Justin Sutherland David Moir/Bravo

For the elimination problem, the cooks will put together consolation meals for the group at Rupp Area, the place the College of Kentucky Wildcats play basketball. They break off into two groups and begin doing a little menu planning. Eric, Justin, and Adrienne draft a menu with fancy wings, rooster & waffles, and a riff on a Jucy Lucy burger. “It’s not that always that you simply get to make a burger and rooster wings on High Chef, so that is setting as much as be my favourite problem thus far,” Justin says. In the meantime, on the opposite facet of the kitchen, Michelle, Kelsey, and Sara plan a sport day menu with dumplings, ribs, and rooster & waffles. “Dumplings are considered one of my greatest stored secrets and techniques,” Kelsey explains.

Left to proper: Sara Bradley, Michelle Minori, and Kelsey BarnardDavid Moir/Bravo

Throughout a visit to Complete Meals, Adrienne and Sara turn into conscious of the truth that they’re each making rooster & waffles. And after seeing Sara pull a bag of generic waffle combine from the shelf, Adrienne remarks, “A boxed combine isn’t going to be pretty much as good as a home made waffle.” As the remainder of the cooks scramble to get all of the elements for his or her stadium problem, Eddie kicks again and enjoys a sushi lunch within the Complete Meals cafe — as a result of he actually doesn’t need to do something.
Earlier than prepping for the massive area feast, Kelsey FaceTimes together with her husband and new child son. “I’m sacrificing [watching] him strolling for the primary time and saying ‘mama’ for the primary time — I hate it,” she says. “However this ache has turn into my largest motivation. If I win High Chef, I’ll be capable of give him a greater life. And I’m not going to cease till I can try this.”
Throughout meal prep on the Rupp Area, Tom Colicchio and Graham Elliott go to all the cooks to see what they’re engaged on. When Tom asks Adrienne if her waffle combine is coming from a field, she shoots him some side-eye and says, “Would I come on High Chef to make use of boxed combine? I don’t assume so.” Adrienne additionally will get in slightly playful, off-the-cuff trash-talking about her competitor on the opposite facet of the kitchen. In the meantime, Michelle is operating into issues together with her ribs. Though she usually makes this dish for her household once they watch Golden State Warriors video games, she’s having a troublesome time getting the meat crispy on the sides utilizing the ovens within the area’s kitchen.

Michelle MinoriDavid Moir/Bravo

The dishes for this competitors are offered on the courtroom in entrance of a cheering crowd. For the primary match-up, Kelsey serves her “Kentucky proud” dumplings towards Adrienne’s rooster and waffles. Though the judges — together with College of Kentucky coach John Calipari and Meals & Wine editor Hunter Lewis — like each of those dishes, Kelsey’s dumplings have the successful edge. Within the second spherical, the judges take pleasure in Eric’s tamarind-glazed wings greater than Sara’s “huge blue nation” rooster & waffles. And within the third spherical, Justin’s ornate Jucy Lucy burger beats Michelle’s too-soft ribs.
Whereas among the cooks loved this spirited spherical of competitors, Sara is mad about the truth that Eric and Justin’s group received the group to begin chanting about how she used waffle combine. “I’m not glad,” she tells her fellow cooks backstage. “I received heckled as a result of somebody threw me underneath the bus.” Adrienne replies, “I’m sorry mama, I didn’t imply to.” However Sara just isn’t accepting her apology. When Justin involves Adrienne’s protection, Sara replies, “It was a ‘playful joke’ that ended up getting me heckled by 4,200 individuals.” Michelle, all the time the group participant, convinces everybody to hitch a gaggle hug. “We don’t bully one another,” she says. “We elevate one another up and we’re all extraordinarily proficient and we’re above that.”
The judges appreciated all the successful group’s dishes, however decide that Eric’s wing creation was one of the best of the bunch. Ed Lee tells the chef that he “confirmed us method after which elevated it to a stage the place it was mind-boggling.” All three members of that group win $5,000. In the meantime, there have been solely two lackluster dishes from the dropping group: Sara’s rooster & waffles, and Michelle’s tasty-but-mushy ribs.
“You already know, you come to Rupp Area otherwise you watch a basketball sport and it’s very simple to be marveled by the athleticism — you recognize, that quick break punctuated by the slam dunk that simply will get all people off their seats,” Tom says to the dropping group. “However what wins video games are fundamentals. And the chef that’s going house tonight simply tousled with one thing that they basically ought to have accomplished rather well.” And that chef is Michelle.
“The foremost feeling is disappointment,” she says on her means out the door. “I might have accomplished higher, and I can do higher. I’m a superb chef — I’m a terrific chef — as a result of I don’t simply know find out how to prepare dinner good meals; I’m inventive and good and powerful and assured.” Like all eradicated contestants, Michelle will get a shot at returning again into the competitors by means of Final Probability Kitchen. “I don’t wish to jinx myself, however I’m gonna battle for it,” she says.

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