Honey Glazed Shrimp, Grits with Jalapeño and Cheese, Shellfish Sauce - Tiffany
Crispy Gulf Snapper with Pulled Pork and Citrus Grits - Richard
Blue Crab Cake, Corn, Jalapeño and Andouille Relish with Crab Broth - Antonia
Amberjack Stew with Andouille Sausage and Potatoes, Creole Mustard Crouton - Dale
Sweet butter on a biscuit, was it raining deep fat fryers and grits in the kitchen for this challenge? Don't get me wrong I loves me some grits but not on EVERY SINGLE THING I EAT. This may have been why Dale lost, failure to incorporate some form of ground corn into his dish. Actually Dale could have won this if he had found some way to use that gorgeous amberjack like maybe some twist on a Bánh mì which is a Vietnamese sandwich using a baguette and any number of fillings thus touching on the French influences in New Orleans and the Vietnamese flavors of the shrimpers and crabbers. Instead we apparently got mustard stew. Carla lost her mind back in the Quickfire and didn't get it back at all for the Elim, hoping her previously eliminated sous chef Trey would help out in the Southern Cuisine Ideas Department. I'm not even sure why she was asking Trey, since Southern food should be in her wheelhouse but it didn't matter anyway because what can no longer be hidden is that Trey ain't all that when it comes to thinking quickly outside the box. I thought Carla was a goner for sure with her second failure to fry fish. I was excited that Antonia pulled crab because she has an interesting inventive spark with her style of cooking. Not here, just your basic, over-frilly crabcake. Blaise finally releases his death grip on the liquid nitrogen tank (I think???) and busts out.....fried fish and pulled pork on a bed of grits. This wins the challenge. Not because it's crazy mad New Southern Cuisine or takes the New Orleans culinary world in a new direction....but I suspect because it didn't suck. That's where we appear to be before the next to the last regular episode before the two finale episodes. Not sucking. Doing just enough to get by. Or to get by the person who screws up their dish. What I'm saddest about is wondering what Kevin Gillespie or Bryan Voltaggio would have done with this challenge. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been a big plate of not sucking.