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Previous Episodes
January 3

Twenty-four of the worst home cooks in America train under the watchful eyes of the Food Network chefs to become one of the best.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Hosts Anne Burrell & Beau MacMillan
Creator/EP Bob Kirsh
Packager Optomen Productions for Food Network
Origins Food Network Studios New York
Web foodnetwork.com/worstcooks
Airs 10p Sun, Food
Available In High-Definition Where Available

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Looking Good
January 10

Last week, we met some of the worst cooks in America, but in the end, the WORST of the worst were paired up into two teams. Of those two teams, Hamed Hamad and Wilhelmenia Josephine have been deemed as too bad for their own good, forced out of the running. Now ten remain as we come closer to the ultimate gourmet test: fooling three food experts into thinking that the plates they cook were made by two gourmet chefs and not... The Worst Cooks in America!


The cooks head to Arirang, a local teppanyaki steakhouse. Luckily, they will not have to twirl knives with their fingers. They only have to replicate knife cuts exactly. It's today's Skill Drill, because knife skills are very important, allowing for even cooking time and eye appeal. Each of the recruits have been given their own set of knives, theirs to keep, free and clear. The knife cuts...

SLICE: Leave the tip of the knife down and continue to cut.
JULIENNE: Cutting into strips or sticks.
DICE: Cutting julienne strips into little cubes.
BIAS: Cutting a long stick at an angle
CHIFFONADE: Rolling up leaves and slicing that roll, a ribbon cut.

Okay, needless to say, confidence is not at an all-time high. But knife skills had better be, because today is a challenge day as well. The challenge: create a teppanyaki dish. Chef Anne's team, the Red Team, will be cooking seared dry diver sea scallops with zucchini, butternut squash & scallions. Chef Beau's team, the Blue Team, will be cooking a New York strip steak with flat iron veg & Asian pico de gallo.

Thirty minutes to replicate the chef's dish... from now. Off you go!

One teaching tool that Anne uses is a Sharpie. As an amateur cook and lab tech myself, I can tell you that a Sharpie is a good thing to have around. Not only does it write, it reminds you that the top of a knife is NOT THE PLACE FOR YOUR FINGER. You take thumb and index and you grasp the base of the blade.

Lots of black-marked fingers.

Each side has their fair share of scares. From Marque's cooked steak and raw veg to Jenny's hair being down... to Rebecca nicking her thumb.

And the test is done. Now to taste.

Starting with the Red Side. Eddie didn't taste his food... and he's missing some soy sauce. Kelly's dish looks like the dish in question... and tastes even better. Rachel's scallops... are spit out. Rebecca's scallop... is lacking seasoning. Jenny's dish looks bad... but it's nicely seasoned.

Now to Beau's Blue Side. Sophia's dish has a nice seasoning, but the veg is a disaster. Susie's steak has no seasoning. Jen's veg is overcooked... but her steak is the best. Dave's steak is sloppy. Marque is inconsistent. His steak has no seasoning. Overall, not a good showing today.

But there's one more challenge at boot camp. So a little chance at redemption.

Back at Boot Camp, the recruits are ready for the Main Dish Challenge... which will not be demonstrated in its entirety. Only a few key topics will be covered. The rest will have to be learned on your own.

Chef Anne's team will make a Pork Milanese with Warm Autumn Salad. Chef Beau's team will make a Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Razz Cherry Glaze. The sauce will take the longest, so you start that first. A hint to remember: use the fat to cook the duck.

You have 45 minutes to finish this dish. And the time... starts... NOW!

Hopefully everyone has read the recipe and has it down, because guess what... here comes the eraser! Kelly is freaking out over the recipe being gone, so much so that she goes over to others' stations to see what they're doing. Anne... having none of it. Rebecca needs to start having a little self confidence in order to win this.

As for the Blue Team... no one has taken any notes on the salad. As for the duck... how do you set an electric burner on fire?

TIME. Let's plate up and see what we have.

Starting with the Blue Team. Susie's sauce is perfect. The duck on the other hand, is raw. Jen's sauce needed a little more time to reduce... and the entire plate is a mess. Sophia's sauce is thin, and the dish is one-dimensional. Marque's sauce is the best looking sauce. The duck is well-seasoned. Best so far. Dave has overreduced his sauce.

Going to the Red Team. Rachel's salad is underseasoned. Pork is cooked nicely. Rebecca's gone heavy with the salt again. Eddie's plate showed purpose. Kelly's plate was a mess. And she used the wrong apple. And she oversalted. Jenny's salad looks like death. And apparently she thinks that Anne doesn't like her. But she sees a lot of herself in Jenny, so it's all good.

But one cook on each team has to go. Who will it be this week?

Marque of the Blue Team and Eddie of the Red Team are crowned the best this week. They're safe. Also safe on the Red Team: Rachel and Jenny. Also safe on the Blue Team: Sophia and Jen.

That leaves David and Susie. David's been struggling through the competition. Susie's not consistent. Moving forward... Susie. Dave's forced to turn his apron in. Rebecca and Kelly are also facing elimination. Kelly's been all over the place. Rebecca is lacking confidence. Sticking around this week.... Rebecca. Kelly's going home as well.

So what did we learn tpday?

- When it comes to knifework, grasp, don't cradle
- Salt... it can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
- Reduce, but don't OVER-reduce.
- Rendering fat from a duck can be used to cook it.
- A Sharpie is a good thing to have around.

What else will the worst cooks in America pick up? Find out next time.

To see bonus footage from this episode, go to http://www.foodnetwork.com/worstcooks.