|Image via Bravo|
A fun part of this episode was getting to hear about the chefs' weddings. Chris Cosentino did all the food at his own wedding and his bride had to pull him out of the kitchen with his blue-spiked hair (fun fact: blue hair looks totally normal in black and white photos). Art and his Venezuelan husband (like Lorena Garcia, those Pisces just connect) ran (in full running gear) from his restaurant Art and Soul to the steps of the Washington Monument and got married there. Fedora's wedding cake had five tiers with a bridge to Croque-en-Bouche, his wife's favorite. Tom Colicchio was Kerry Heffernan's best man and caterer. Ah - so now we know why he's on the show...
After an Olympic-style pork belly toss across the store, some teasing between our favorite best friend pairs Cosentino/Art and Fedora/Takashi and a lovely ceremony, we get to our first round of plates at cocktail hour. Fedora (aka Thierry Rautureau) serves grandma's blood soup which luckily everyone loves so his grandma doesn't have to come in the kitchen and beat the crap out of him. Clark Frasier serves an underwhelming barbecue duck with sirloin Szechuan in lettuce, Kerry Heffernan serves a crowd-pleasing corn panna cotta with grilled okra, crab and majoram, Patricia Yeo serves a successful pickled mackerel with young coconut and chili on a spoon and Takashi serves braised pork belly with pickled daikon and steamed bun. The bride's favorite so far is Kerry's lettuce wrap (judges' least favorite) and the groom's favorite is Takashi's pork, though it becomes clear that their opinion is insignificant. Inside at the reception, the judges sit with bride's six brothers which is kind of hilarious and they get into the judging. First up, Debbie Gold's grilled napa cabbage salad which everyone agrees is weird. Then comes Mark Gaier's sesame-coated black Atlantic salmon with egg noodle cake.
The judges' salmon is completely raw and they're horrified but it seems like everyone else's is okay. Good news for the wedding, bad news for Mark. The two little brothers love it, "how do you not love a bowl of Chinese noodles and salmon?" Cosentino makes banana-leaf-braised pork with aioli and adobo sauce which everyone loves.
The judges think it's wonderful, the brothers are hella impressed by the adobo and the two mini judges love it too. Back in the kitchen, Art's cake starts falling and everyone jumps in to help while Art squeals, "I bake cakes for Presidents, I bake cakes for pop stars and I've never had a cake fall!" Lorena serves a maybe overcooked but fine vanilla leche flan. They get the cake together enough to bring it out. The judges joke it's "the leaning tower of cake" and think it's "one note and too sweet" but the bridge and groom are happy.
In the end Patricia's pickled mackerel surprisingly beats out Cosentino's pork dish and Takashi's pork bun. She may be the tiniest chef here but the girl is packing heat. Debbie obviously goes home. She was supposed to lose last week but had immunity, so overall it was a nice, mostly conflict-free way to get rid of the next in line.