Another three chefs will be thrown out of
the kitchen and into the fire for a shot at $10,000.
Today's venture into the extreme takes us
across the border into Mexico, where we meet these three...
New York City
head chef/founder, Nourishing, NYC
executive chef/owner, Pici Enoteca
private chef, Southern Passion
EXPRESS CHALLENGE: 25-Minute Insect &
Create a mouthwatering appetizer using
some very lively ingredients. These ingredients may seem strange, but
they are delicacies in Mexico... crickets, mealworms, and scorpions. Use
each one in your dish. The winner will pick up a useful advantage in the
next round. You will have access to a locally-sourced pantry.
Amadeus is making a sofrito, going to
make his bugs as crunchy as possible. Gina is making an insect taco
trio. J is making an insect ragout.
Today's judge for this challenge... food
critic & author of "Eat My Globe" Simon Majumdar ("The Next Iron Chef").
- AMADEUS: "Huevos Nana" - Scrambled Egg
- GINA: Mexican Madness Taco - Sauteed Insect Taco
- J: Insect Ragout with Pineapple Tomato Salsa
WINNER.... J! His advantage... in a
EXTREME CHALLENGE: Mexican Fiesta Meal
Run to the edge of town where you will
find a pantry of traditional ingredients including three types of meats
- chicken, ground beef, and pork belly. Get your ingredients and
utensils back to town using donkeys located 50 yards apart.
Because J won the Express Challenge, he
gets to take the closest donkey as well as give an opponent the furthest
one. He gives the furthest donkey to Gina.
Gina's donkey turns out to be the least
temperamental. She ends up with the beef. J gets the pork belly, leaving
Amadeus with the chicken.... which he forgot to grab on his first trip.
Gina is the first one back to the tables,
beginning on a cowboy beef chili, using that plancha grill to her
advantage. J is going for a crispy pork belly with tamarind sauce.
Joining Simon on the sidelines...
cookbook author and Food Network star Marcela Valladolid ("Mexican Made
Meanwhile, Amadeus is still trying to
work his donkey. He ends up with chicken with a negro frijoles sauce.
Everyone's working smoothly... can't have
that now, can we?
X-FACTOR #1: Create a dessert inspired
by the churro. Your ingredients will be inside random piņatas on the
edge of town.
It's a Mexican birthday party as we look
for sugar, flour, and cinnamon. J is the first one back, going to make a
cinnamon spice cookie using oil and agave. Amadeus is going to make a
fried elephant ear. Gina returns to start working on an Italian-inspired
cheesy churro, served with caramelized plum.
Next ... un otro equis!
X-FACTOR #2: Create another dish using
a Mexican staple, the tortilla, making them by hand. The masa and the
tortilla press are in the hacienda.
J... is screwing up so many tortillas
that he's running out of dough. The other two have no problems with
their tortillas. Gina wants to use the tortilla cold, using it as "rice"
in an avocado sushi. Amadeus is making a citrus-roasted chicken taco. J
is making a pork taco with salsa.
The chefs are starting to plate up, and
some of them haven't even started to plate their desserts.
Ten second.... five... four.... three...
two... one... TIME!
- GINA: Tortilla Avocado Sushi, Cowboy
Chili with Chorizo, Cheesy Churro.
- J: Pork Taco with Tomato & Corn Salsa, Crispy Pork Belly with Orange
Tamarind Glaze, Cinnamon Cookie with Strawberry Papaya Salsa
- AMADEUS: Citrus-Roasted Chicken Thigh Taco, Hibiscus-Marinated Chicken
with Black Bean Sauce, Cinnamon Pancake with Peach & Kiwi Salsa.
Okay, first of all, you never serve a
tortilla cold. EVER. J is definitely staying, having done restaurant
quality food in a rustic setting. The presentation of Amadeus' chicken
was horrible, but the flavors were there.
ELIMINATED... GINA. The "avocado sushi"
was hands down the worst dish of the day.
FINAL SHOWDOWN: One Bite
This will be the biggest dish you'll ever
make... and also the smallest. One spoonful... $10,000. The four
ingredients - skirt steak, chayote squash, dulce de leche, and pepitas -
are in the store with your pot... hidden... alongside a limited pantry.
You must use all four.
You are 20 minutes from $10,000.... GO!
Amadeus starts on a crusted steak with
chayote salsa, while J is doing... more or less the same thing... with a
And for the first time ever, the Showdown
Round will have...
X-FACTOR #3: Did someone say mariachi?
Each chef will have a festive band...
Amadeus has smeared his steak in the
dulce... Why? And he's also using whole grain mustard. Again... Why?
- J: Chili-Spice Crusted Steak with
- AMADEUS: Grilled Steak with Dulce de Leche Crust
J's dish could've used a little more
heat. Amadeus' meat is perfectly cooked, and the use of mustard made the
difference. J's dressing was consistent, but he was heavy handed with
And the winner of $10,000... and the
title of Extreme Chef today... AMADEUS! It takes a second to sink in,
but once it does, he has no problem shouting it to the rafters.
Next time, another three chefs and
another three rounds... and maybe someone will lose a donkey.
To see extras from this episode, visit the show page at