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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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Comfort Food
March 14

You've seen Guy Fieri in the Circled Square on "Minute to Win It". Now it's time to see him in his element, as he once again opens the Food Network kitchens to ordinary Americans who believe that they have the Ultimate Recipe. Tonight, it's all about Comfort Food. The most comforting will take away $25,000.

Over 10,000 recipes were submitted to Food Network, and of those, eight will fight it out over two rounds, a signature round and a speed round. The best of the best, as judged based on taste, creativity, appearance, and ease, will take home the cash money AND $5000 in Food Network gear from Kohl's.

Tonight's cooks!

Gail Churinetz
Germantown, TN
fitness instructor
Emily Hobbs
Ozark, MO
waitress
Riccardo Costa
New York City
filmmaker
Kimberly Zeidner
Boca Raton, FL
corporate sales analyst

If Emily looks familiar, she was on the Showdown LAST year.

SIGNATURE ROUND

Gail: Crawfish & Andouille Sausage Pizza
Emily: Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese
Riccardo: Escaped Birds (deep fried bites of pork, cheese, bechamel, eggs, and parmesan)
Kimberly: Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

You've got 90 minutes to win it... and the clock starts NOW!

Once again on the judging panel: VP of Food Network's test kitchens Katherine Alford, chef & restauranteur Michael Psilakis, and new to the Showdown, editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping Rosemary Ellis.

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

And before you can say "jelly", Kimberly is done with her dish. Meanwhile, the other chefs are hurrying with 10 minutes left.

Alright, plate up, and let's taste these babies. Remember, it's 50 on taste, 25 on originality, 15 on appearance, and 10 on ease. Highest score wins.

Gail's pizza is up first. Seafood on pizza is not usually a good idea, but it matches well with the sausages. It's very playful and impressive. Katherine doesn't likes the plate, which contrasts the pizza's colors.

Riccardo's escaped birds are next. It's "surprising", "simple", and "a wonderful contrast".

Kimberly's torte gets a "wow" response. It's delicious, and the judges like that the peanut butter cups don't melt in the batter. Katherine would've baked it slightly less, and Michael would've served it with something else like coffee or a side dish.

Emily's mac'n'cheese is on the block last. Katherine loves the combination, but she has a problem with the large amount of chicken. The crunchy texture is playful, but the hot sauce is off-putting.

SCORES AFTER ROUND 1
Gail: 96
Emily: 93
Riccardo: 92
Kimberly: 94

That gives Gail the advantage going into the...

SPEED ROUND

The cooks will have 30 minutes to cook...

Gail: Lobster in Puttanesca Sauce
Emily: Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Riccardo: Renaissance Crostini
Kimberly: Triple Threat Chili

Again, the score to beat is a 96.

A recipe like Gail's calls for anchovies and olives. The kalamata olives are going in, but the anchovies will not, on account of her family not LIKING anchovies. Emily is setting the bar high, but she needs to get it together quickly. Her frico ended up overdone. Back to Gail, who chose capellini because it's quick to cook. But it's too small a pasta for too big a flavor. And if lobster meat is overcooked, it becomes rubbery and dull. Kimberly has made a chili in 20 minutes. It's really REALLY thick.

PLATES DOWN! Time to judge.

Emily's soup could almost be a dessert soup, but it's a lot more savory. It's a strength of Emily's to layer flavors. It's one of the best examples of comfort food seen today. Michael says that the soup brings out a bridge to the savory and the sweet. The soup could have been a little thinner, though.

Gail's sauce is underseasoned, and her choice of pasta doesn't do it proper justice. The lobster is a little bit over, which could've been avoided. Whatever happens, though, she has the signature.

Riccardo's crostini is very simple, but Michael and Rosemary wanted more meat on it, and Katherine's bread is too hard.

Kimberly's chili goes over well. The heat is not too much. It's a satisfying dinner, but the chili is thick. Michael doesn't think of it as a chili, but as a sloppy Joe.

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

Gail: 88
Riccardo: 89 - ELIMINATED
Kimberly: 90 - ELIMINATED

Emily needs to beat that 96 in order to take the game. Emily's score was...

...

91! Gail wins tonight's Showdown and the $30,000 in cash and prizes!

Another four chefs and another eight recipes fight it out next time. 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.