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Four home cooks are looking for the sweet taste of victory as they compete for $25,000.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

 
Host Guy Fieri
Judges Katherine Alford
Rosemary Ellis
Michael Psilakis
Creators/EP Jim Berger
Art Edwards
Joseph Levy
Packager High Noon Entertainment for Food Network
Origins Food Network Studios, New York City
Web www.foodnetwork.com/urs
Airs 9p Sun, Food
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Hometown Favorites
April 18

We've had everything under the sun from party favorites to pies, so now what is there left except what makes their hometowns sing? Over 10,000 recipes later, we have the top eight battling it out for $30,000 in cash and prizes on this, the season finale.

Tonight's hometown heroes...

Mark Johnson
Merritt Island, FL
industrial engineering consultant
Brigitte Nguyen
Lexington, KY
bookkeeper
Cory Anthony
Ponder, TX
homebuilder
Debbie Martin
Meridian, MS
art gallery owner

SIGNATURE ROUND

Mark: Mango Pork Tenderloin
Brigitte: Bluegrass Burger
Cory: Catfish Tacos
Debbie: Crawfish Beignets with Spicy Remoulade

It should be noted that Brigitte was a contestant on the Showdown last year, but lost the Burgers round by a point.

Round 1 is the Signature Round. Best score will have the advantage going into the dessert round. One hour... from now!

And once again, if you want to try out these recipes, foodnetwork.com/URS... hit up the website and get in the kitchen!

Seems like we've got a Southern throwdown. And speaking of throwdowns, Mark's not having a good day as his pineapples meet Mr. Ground. Debbie's also not having a good day as her thermometer breaks. While it's in the oil. And it's a mercury thermometer, so she can't use it. Cory has NEVER been a culinary competitor. As for Brigitte... she's way ahead of schedule, so she's starting her burgers, an 80-20 chuck. Here's a top tip: ring moulds make for perfect patties... perfect patties make for even cooking.

Everything's starting to come together quickly. Mark is going for a rice cake. Brigitte's burgers don't have enough color on them. The grill's too cold. Debbie's beignets part two... with five minutes remaining. Will her beignets come out all the way through with a minute left?

And... STOP! Judges time! Remember, it's 50 on taste, 25 on originality, 15 on appearance, and 10 on ease. Highest score wins.

First up, Mark's tenderloin. Katherine said he nailed it, but he could've cooked it a little more. Rosemary says that the rice cake is missing the ginger. Chef Michael agrees, too much heat on that.

Next up, Brigitte's burgers. She's not as relaxed as before, but the chow-chow in the burger is very innovative. The burger hit home, but the burger meat itself was way well done.

Here come Cory's tacos. No one says anything... until the judges comment on how everything goes well together. Katherine says that it's "not wimpy". Rosemary says that it looks happy.

Finally, up comes Debbie's beignets. The presentation is fantastic, but the beignet is NOT COOKED all the way through. The remoulade sauce is on point. Texturally, though, it al comes back to the beignets.

SCORES AFTER ROUND 1
Mark: 93
Brigitte: 94
Cory: 96
Debbie: 95

That gives Cory the advantage going into the...

SPEED ROUND

Half an hour to try and beat Cory's 96.

Mark: Faux She Crab Soup
Brigitte: Kentucky Hot Brown
Cory: Texas Wontons
Debbie: Fried Green Tomato & Crab Salad

Mark looks really confident, really controlled. Both he and Brigitte start with a roux, which is butter and flour used to thicken a soup into a stew. Cory is using a regional ingredient: swamp fire. He... doesn't know what's in it, but apparently it's so potent that his wife won't let him keep it in the house. Mark is using clam juice and half-and-half. He wants to give the judges the full Monty. As for Debbie's fried green tomatoes? She's cooking in cast iron, which makes it very rustic, very Southern. She's using sumac to make the citrus flavor pop.

Cory forgets to boil his shrimp with 12 minutes remaining. He's really going to push it. Meanwhile, Mark hits the soup with the crab. Though the judges have this thing about thick soup... they don't like it. We'll see if this will change their minds. Brigitte is at the mercy of her oven with 10 minutes to go. Debbie is ready to start frying tomatoes. And Cory's shrimp... PERFECT. But he needs to get the wontons in the fryer very soon. If his wontons explode... this could be over.

Going down to the wire and all four chefs are on the edge... and... PLATES DOWN! Time to judge.

Mark's soup is up first. Is the thickness going to be its killer? The presentation is a knockout, but the soup... is too thick. But it's creamy, though one-dimensional.

Brigitte's hot browns are next. Katherine wishes that the sauce had a little more seasoning, just a bit. Michael isn't disappointed. It's a simple dish with a lot of comfort. Rosemary thinks that it's a more interesting dish than it usually is.

Cory's wontons are next. The dumplings are gorgeous. The plates are beautiful. Michael, though, is very confused by the dish as a whole.

Debbie's fried green tomatoes got a lot of looks in the cooking. Katherine says that she nailed it. Rosemary likes the contrast, but she thinks it would've been a little better with a little more dressing.

Remember, the only number that matters is 96. This is for $30,000 in cash and prizes...

Cory: 85
Mark: 88 - ELIMINATED
Brigitte: 92 - ELIMINATED

That leaves Cory's 96 and Debbie's fried green tomatoes. She needs at least a 97 to win... Will the down-home charm of Debbie's dish take the day?

Debbie's score is...

...

93! CORY holds on to take the title of URS Champion BACK to Ponder, Texas!

And that's going to do it for URS3. Stay tuned for URS4 coming soon... Don't watch hungry.

To watch this episode in its entirety, or to check out recipes from tonight's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown", go to www.foodnetwork.com/urs.