Last night’s episode of Around the World in 80 Plates introduced the five remaining chefs to the Demon Chef in Hong Kong. He had them eating condoms and dog food. Think I’m kidding? Read on!
The chefs arrive in Hong Kong and Liz Garrett reads the course clue. They must find the Tian Tan Buddha to receive the next clue. John Vermiglio and Nookie Postal are hoping to team up with Nicole Lou so they can throw her under the bus later. The group rides on a giant gondola with a glass floor. Nookie is terrified of heights. Once they reach the Tian Tan Buddha, the chefs learn that the teams will remain the same, and Avery Pursell, as the only loner, will get to pick whether she wants to work with the boys or the girls. Having been with Nookie every step of the competition, she chooses the ladies. The teams must race to the top of what looks like a million stairs to find their next clue, so Nookie is clearly dead weight for John.
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The ladies have a major lead as they head to the Wah Hing Hong Shop. The market is complete chaos, and the ladies are hard pressed to find anyone who speaks English to help them. The guys arrive five minutes later, but they have a much easier time finding someone who will help them locate the booth they are trying to find. Unfortunately, the men’s tour guide leads them right past the women who join in the caravan. The next task is to bundle ten hairy crabs. Nicole busts in, leaving Avery and Liz to watch helplessly and try to advise. Nookie is wrapping for his team, and he’s getting pinched left and right. Still, he manages to out bundle Nicole.
The next stop is the Peking Garden at the Alexandria House. Nookie and John have quite a lead on the ladies. Avery is beyond frustrated that she joined the girls’ team. The challenge has the teams preparing seven steamer trays of delicate dumplings. Only two can compete for each team. Liz puts on an apron, and Nicole snags the other. Avery is super peeved that she is left standing there doing nothing, and the men’s ribbing isn’t helping. The men finish first and go to find Cat Cora and Curtis Stone. The women arrive shortly after. They learn that they will be competing in extreme Chinese cuisine with Demon Chef Leung’s exclusive restaurant Bo Innovation. Avery is thrilled to learn that each player will be competing with his or her own dish. For the exceptional ingredient, the men win an hour with one of the Demon Chef’s sous chefs to help create their menu.
The Demon Chef is no joke. He is ordering his sous chefs and waitstaff around in a very scary manner. He is immediately smitten with Avery. The dishes he is serving is like a treat for the senses. The colors, the steam, all of the liquid nitrogen…it’s like a science fair project or a movie special effect. The Demon Chef cracks open a can of dog food and urges the chefs to try it. While they are a tad freaked, they dig in to find a delicious treat of wagyu beef and truffles that would cost around $200 in America. Nookie can’t get enough. The next dish, entitled Sex on the Beach, is presented. It looks like a plate of sand with a used condom littered on it. When Avery eats the condom in one bite, the Demon Chef can’t wait to see her again.
Nookie and John meet with the sous chef, and Nookie is surprised that John isn’t utilizing their help more. John is convinced he can make lime snow with no help. Alrighty then! Nookie thinks it’s hilarious that Liz’s innovative dish is a chicken pot pie. While she’s putting an Asian twist on it with her use of ingredients, I want to see more pizazz. Nicole is doing a duck breast on squid noodles. She doesn’t think she needs fancy chemicals and bells and whistles to impress the judges. Avery, on the other hand, loves molecular gastronomy, and she’s making a very innovative dessert with mango and coconut. John volunteers to work the front of the restaurant.
Cat, Curtis, Demon Chef, and the patrons are first treated to Nookie’s oyster dish. The Demon chef instructs John on how to properly present the diners’ plates. Curtis and Demon Chef really enjoy his dish, but Cat didn’t get a big enough oyster pearl to taste. In the kitchen, Nookie chastises John for helping Liz. Her take on the pot pie is a miss with the judges. John’s scallops and lime snow aren’t as stellar as he had hoped either. Nookie thinks Nicole’s dish is anything but innovative, and the diners think she went a little heavy on the green tea. There is nothing but praise for Avery’s dessert.
In front of the judges, Nookie discusses how he utilized the sous chef. Cat thinks that John didn’t do a great job in the front of the house and asks if he learned anything from the sous chef. He admits that he didn’t really use the exceptional ingredient. While the diners liked Nicole’s dish, they thought it was the least innovative. Cat chastises her for playing it safe and she has a lot of excuses as to why she just stuck with what she knew. Liz’s dish wasn’t too tasty according to the diners, but they did think it was extremely innovative. Curtis, in a dig at Nicole, tells Liz he would much rather see someone push the boundaries and follow the challenge and fall short than play it safe. Avery’s dessert is revered. According to the diners’ votes, she wins the challenge and a guaranteed spot in the next country.
The remaining four deliberate with John raking Nicole over the coals about not having a passion for the food or the challenges. He touts Liz for being just as passionate as he is about food, but I think she sort of sees through him. Even Nookie thinks he’s going overboard. John votes for Nicole who in turn votes for John. Nookie votes for Nicole, as does Liz.
Next stop, Buenos Aires, Argentina! Avery and Nookie are paired up, and they don’t work nearly as well together as they have in the past. John is worried that Liz can’t cook under pressure.
SHOULD NICOLE HAVE GONE HOME LAST NIGHT? WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THE FOOD EACH CHEF PREPARED?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]