This week on Around the World in 80 Plates, we’re down one chef with potential anger issues.  After Chaz Brown is voted off, his remaining teammates (Gary Walker and Nick Lacasse) are now the team captains for the two new groups before the group travels to Florence, Italy.  They each must choose the chefs for their competitor’s team.  Yikes!

Nick of the black team picks Liz Garrett for Gary’s first teammate, which is odd considering she won immunity in the most recent challenge.  In turn, the red team’s Gary gives Nick Nicole LouJohn Vermiglio joins Gary’s team, and Nookie Postal is sent to Nick’s team.  Nick chooses Jenna Johansen for Gary’s final chef, and Gary is happy as she speaks Italian.  By default, Avery Pursell is Nick’s final addition.


On the plane bound for Italy, Avery gets heated about what the game has become–the best chefs being voted off to soften the competition.  I have to agree with her.  The remaining chefs just have their eye on that cash prize.  They teams arrive in Florence (I am so, so jealous!), and their first challenge is…a bocce tournament?  Did I accidentally switch the channel to ESPN Classics?

Jenna is practicing her Italian accent on the way to the piazza where the teams will play.  Gary is so glad his team has someone who speaks the language…now if he could only get a muzzle.  At the piazza, each team gets a clue which reveals the following clues will be obtained at every stop on their scavenger hunt.  Also at each stop, the teams will sample local faire.  This food looks amazing!

Gary is thanking his lucky stars that Jenna is on his team, although both teams falter when they must figure out the common sweet treat that is often mistaken for cheese.  Who knew that ricotta isn’t a cheese?  Thanks to Nookie’s blind guesses, the black team pulls ahead.  They are directed to a map seller who gives them another clue.  The team must find their Infiniti (yea product placement!) and drive to a villa.  The red team is madly guessing cheese, and Jenna is upset that Liz isn’t contributing.  They seem just as shocked about ricotta as I do.

The black team is first to arrive, and they are touted with harvesting four large crates of olives from the trees.  The red team isn’t far behind, so the black team figures out a plan to incorporate a tarp into their collection process. The red team also figures out the short cut and leaves the vineyard mere minutes behind their counterparts.  However, the red team isn’t quite quick enough, so Nick and his gang win the $10,000 prize and the exceptional ingredient.

The kitchen challenge has the teams facing off in separate Tuscan villas, preparing a meal for the family and their guests.  Jenna is moved to tears by a combination of excitement and homesickness.  Cat Cora and Curtis Stone share the menus which must include a ribollita, and Curtis regales in the secrecy and tradition of Tuscan cooking.  The exceptional ingredient turns out to be Nonna Romanelli, an Italian grandmother and chef.  I would love to be a guest in Nonna’s kitchen.  Unfortunately for Nick, he didn’t want Jenna on his team, which could prove to be a disaster given that Nonna speaks no English.

On the red team, Gary offers to make the ribollita while Jenna yells out menu options.  Liz promises to make perfect pasta but gets bristly when Jenna keeps reiterating just how perfect it must be.  There is an emotional scene where Avery gets to talk to her daughters.

The following day, John accidentally topples a shelf sending all of Gary’s ribollita to the floor.  Gary tries very hard not hide his anger and frustration, as Liz helps him start again from scratch.  On the black team, Nookie tries to get Nick on his side to vote for Nicole in the event they lose.  In the red kitchen, Liz’s pasta is an epic failure, but she’s got immunity so it’s no skin off of her back.  Liz doesn’t like working with Jenna at all.  She is a bit overbearing, to put it nicely.

The red team is serving their dishes to mediocre reviews.  Gary’s ribollita is a favorite, which is good for John considering Gary has him on the chopping block due to his fumble.  John knows their offerings would be highly praised in any American restaurant.  Unfortunately for them, they are not back home.  Curtis questions Nonna about how her knowledge was utilized by the black team.  He and Cora are shocked to learn that they didn’t have her actually demonstrate how she would cook the dishes.  Curtis is gobsmacked.  I am going to start using that word all the time.  Why wouldn’t the black team use that opportunity?

Cat and Curtis enter the black team’s kitchen to share their disdain for not learning more from Nonna.  Cat is appalled that no one even thought to take notes. Curtis reveals that there is a universal language, and it’s called “cooking.”  Perhaps they should have allowed Nonna to do that.  The patrons are curious as to why there is prosciutto in the ribollita, a traditionally vegetarian dish.  Nicole’s meatballs are a hit though.

When the teams meet with Cat and Cora, Nookie is embarrassed to learn that ribollita is a vegetarian soup.  When questioned about her meatballs, Nicole admits that she was probably way off in her execution.  She is thrilled to learn it was a favorite.  John reveals that he ruined Gary’s initial ribollita by spilling it all over the floor.  Gary states that recreating the dish was a team effort, and Curtis relays that it was also a favorite.  Jenna throws Liz under the bus regarding her pasta debacle.  The black team wins, which I really didn’t see coming.  Nicole wins immunity in the next city.

The red team discusses who should be eliminated.  John can’t catch a break…he’s never been on the winning team.  Liz is chastised by Jenna, but again, she has immunity.  John wants his teammates to remember that the vote should be based on each chef’s showing in all of the cities thus far.  Liz votes for Jenna, and Gary votes for John.  John, in turn, votes for Gary, making Liz the deciding factor.  No!  Gary is heading home, which I think is a shame.  He is so likeable and funny…plus his soup got splattered from here to kingdom come, and he still did a great job.  Oh well.  Such is life on Bravo.

Next stop, Bologna, Italy!  Jenna continues to irritate her teammates, Avery wrestles with pasta.


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