|Image via Bravo|
To help out they've brought in trusty friends as sous chefs, Chris' chef de cuisine Manfred and Kerry's old cooking and surfing buddy Nick Liberato. It's time to shop. Kerry just goes to Whole Foods while Chris goes to three different spots. Their shopping styles are like their food philosophies; Kerry can't believe Chris would waste time for shopping and Chris can't believe Kerry would sacrifice ingredients for time.
This really feels like Chris' challenge. He's so much more emotional than Kerry when talking about what he plans to make for each dish. It seems like Kerry's trying to make food that translates to these emotions, while Chris's trying to translate his emotions into to food. Then again, it almost always seems like it's more of Chris' challenge and Kerry keeps coming up and winning out of nowhere, so who knows!
It's a full table of critics for the meal, Chris' worst nightmare. We've got our judges James Oseland, Ruth Reichl, Francis Lam and Krista Simmons plus GQ's Alan Richman, Grub Street's Alan Sytsma and a bunch of other critics.
First Course: Love Letter
Kerry: Scallop and spot prawn "Korean Jjigae" (a Kimchi-inspired stew)
This is a take on the dish he made on his first date with his wife. It was supposed to be lobster but Whole Foods was out, so he makes it work with shrimp.
Chris: Beef heart tartare, foie gras, and puffed beef tendon
Also to his wife, Chris says the foie gras adds the fat that the heart needs and they combine in a perfect marriage.
The critics like Kerry's more than Chris'. One of the girl critics wants to go to first base with Kerry. Chris' seems a little too out there for the critics. They think it's inventive but say their heads like it more than their hearts.
Second Course: Apology Letter
Kerry: Flan of sugar snap peas with prosciutto, morels and chervil
It's an apology to his family who waits too long for him to come home. Kerry says the flan is a warm embrace of a dish.
Chris: Scallops, pancetta piana and sea urchin
It's an apology to his wife for working so much. He starts crying as he tells them she married a kitchen and her favorite things are scallops and pork.
All the critics love Kerry's flan but Chris's scallop is the makeup sex. Reichl says Chris' dish is one of the sexiest plates she's ever been served - "Apology accepted."
Third Course: Thank-You Letter
Kerry: Branzino with clam ragout and mustard greens
This is a thank-you to his parents for teaching him about traditions. They used to go out to Cape Cod and go clamming and make chowder.
Chris: Trippa Napolitana
This is a thank-you to his great grandmother. When he visited her as a kid, the smell of tripe made him run out of the house in fear and now he's known as a gut man so it's a thank-you for helping him become who he is.
The critics love both but say Kerry's is less expressive and Chris' is a perfect thank-you for an Italian grandmother.
Fourth Course: Letter to themselves
Kerry: Dry aged Cote de Boeuf, short ribs with swiss chard and fennel gratin
This one is just about making something decadent and letting himself have it.
Chris: His last supper: blood sausage, poached oysters and eggs
He calls this his Last Supper because this is truly what he wants to eat before he dies.
The critics are split on Kerry's short rib, some love it, some say it's too dry. One critic pans Chris' as "embarrassingly bad" but Lam says it's the best thing he's eaten in the last 30 years of his life.
After just watching the meal it seemed like Kerry was in the lead. They definitely all enjoyed Kerry's food more but appreciated Chris's bravado. Richman points out that Kerry's letters were about himself as a cook and Chris's food is about himself as a person.
At Judges' Table, it seems like Chris is pulling ahead. Lam says Kerry is all about serving delicious food you'll enjoy while Chris is all about an intense philosophy about food and who he is. They loved the nakedness of Chris's final plate. Oseland tells Kerry his meal showed technique they didn't even know existed and gave them a really delicious meal. Reichl tells Chris he stuck to his convictions and served a startling and delicious meal.
The winner is dum dum dum…Chris Cosentino!!!!! Chris cries and exclaims that he's so happy that "guts prevailed." See ya next season, folks.