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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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Feelin' the Flavor
January 17

Loose hair and knives. Rarely do the two come together and make something GOOD happen. For Jenny, one of the Worst Cooks in America... doubly so. She has since put her hair up in place, but out of place are Dave and Kelly, who turn in their aprons and say their goodbyes. Now we're down to eight.

DAY 3

Boot Camp resumes with... FLAVOR. Capturing the essence through proper cooking and proper seasoning separates the good from the bad. And you want to be on the former end. The challenge today... Flavor a crepe to your own distinct liking.

Crepe batter... flour, milk, eggs, melted butter. Pour and roll. Make sure you get an even coat, then flip up and over when you get the right consistency. Going along with Anne's crepe is Beau's béchamel sauce, which is almost as a blank slate as a crepe. You can stuff them and fold them into triangles or roll them up. Crepes are definitely the food of the 2010s.

And now... you get to make your own! Isn't that wonderful?

Oh, did we mention that this was a team competition and that a key advantage is in play, that being that the winning team's chef can steal a player from the other team? Of course we didn't, because part of effective storytelling is the element of surprise.

And the cooking starts now!

Rachel's getting a little frazzled making her crepe on the red side, while Sophia opts for a non-Teflon pan. I think Teflon would be important in the crepe-making process. The real challenge is the béchamel sauce. It's essentially milk in a mix of equal parts flour and butter (or, if you're culinarily inclined, a "roux"). Jen spends five minutes using a corkscrew to open up a wine. The problem? It's a screw-top.

(Insert comments here)

And that's time. Let's taste.

Eddie's crepe has diced orange pepper as a garnish. The thing is... it's not IN the crepe. Susie's crepe... very bland. Rachel's crepe... The salt killed it dead. On the opposite, Marque's crepe has literally nothing going for it. Jenny's crepe looks like barf, but the chefs think it's very earthy, very hearty... until they eat it. "Holy salt, Batman." The worst crepe... Crepe "F". Marque's. Crepe "A's" presentation... way off base. That was... Eddie's. The two best: "B" and "E". The winner... "B"... JEN'S! And... Anne's taking it as well as can be expected. So the trade is... Beau is trading in Jenny for Sophia. Beau thinks that Jenny has a lot of stick-to-it on her. As for Sophia... she's never won a challenge. Anne reassures her that she is going to be on her about cleanliness and passion. Jenny reveals what she wants to do with the $25,000 should she win it... Culinary school.

DAY 4

Would you believe that we're almost halfway finished?

Today, we learn two new techniques... marinating and grilling. Marinating is when you soak something in something else to infuse flavor. Chef Anne's team is going to marinate an olive oil-garlic number in a ribeye. Chef Beau's heroes are going to soak a swordfish in citrus. The point of grilling... getting the color on. And also... those nice lines.

Now you will take your own protein... get your own marinade, and basically go nuts. Your protein and marinades must match a pre-selected international flavor profile.

Eddie - Spain/pork - Susie
Rebecca - Thailand/salmon - Marque
Rachel - France/beef - Jen
Sophia - Greece/chicken - Jenny

But wait! There's more! You'll also be given a recipe for a side dish. And you'll be preparing it family-style for five people.

You have 75 minutes... from now! Off you go!

Rachel's marinade smells like "a grandma's underpants drawer". This coming from Anne. Ew. Rebecca only knows that Thai food looks a little like Chinese food. Susie doesn't know about Spanish food, so she decides to go with flavors that she knows... Unfortunately, it's not Spanish enough for Beau's liking. Marque is killing the salmon by putting it on a lukewarm grill and fiddling with it.

oh, you're probably wondering what the side dishes are...

Rachel: Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille
Sophia: Stuffed Grilled Eggplant Rolls
Rebecca: Grilled Vegetables with Thai Vinaigrette
Jenny: Grilled Zucchini with Preserved Lemon & Oregano
Jen: Provencal Asparagus & Tomato
Eddie: Roasted Peppers
Marque: Sesame-Grilled Eggplant
Susie: Green Onion Romesco

And Eddie forgets the peppers. People... read the recipe. And make sure your stuff's hot. And wash your hands.

And TIME... to eat. Family style. Let's do this.

Starting with the blue team. Marque has NO LINES... and no real marinade sticking on the dish. Susie's marinade... makes no sense. Not from a Spanish standpoint. Not from any standpoint. Jenny's dish looks Greek. Jen's dish was also a winner.

Now to the red side. Sophia didn't finish plating her food. Rebecca's dish is moist, colorful, and happy. It's cooked perfectly. Eddie's presentation is a little messy on his plate. Rachel's beef is beautiful. The ratatouille is a little raw. It's tasty, but sloppy. And now... Sophia... raw in the middle. Bad. Especially with the chicken.

Decision time. Two people, one on each team... going home today. First, the winners... On the red side... Rebecca! On the blue side... Jenny C. Joining them in the next round: Rachel and Jen V. Bottom two: on the red, Eddie and Sophia. Eddie's got a problem with presentation. Sophia's got a problem with time management... hygiene... cooking chicken... and holding back her emotion. On the blue side... Marque's got a problem with confidence. Susie made a lot of mistakes...

Safe on the blue... Marque. Susie's going home. Safe on the red... Eddie. Sophia had a blue apron. She had a red apron. And now she has no apron. But we hope she doesn't give up on herself.

So what did we learn today?

- Garnishes should carry over the flavor of the dish without introducing anything new.
- Finesse... is EVERYTHING.
- Reading is fundamental.
- Lines: bad on your face, good on meat.
- Anything after chicken is a handwash. NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Once again.... Cooking = food... plus HEAT.

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.