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Avery Purcell

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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On last night’s Around the World in 80 Plates, the chefs head to Chiang Mai Thailand.  While I am still not the biggest fan of the Suvivor-esque format (more food, less strategy!), at least the challenges are getting a bit more interesting.

Jenna Johansen is wary about heading some place where she isn’t as knowledgeable about the cuisine (or the language for that matter), and Nicole Lou is convinced that she would have been sent home had she not had immunity.  Nookie Postal couldn’t agree more.  He’s livid about having to send Nick Lacasse home, and he plans on getting back at Nicole.  John Vermiglio thinks Thailand is going to put everyone on an even playing field.

The contestants arrive in Thailand and begin the course at the airport.  They must first divide into three teams of two and find the Ton Phayom market where they must purchase two baskets of coconuts.  They learn that the winning team will get the exceptional ingredient and $10,000 while the losing team will be “left out in the cold.”  John and Nookie immediately pair up, followed by Liz Garrett and Nicole.  That leaves poor Avery Pursell with Jenna.  Liz is hoping that Nicole’s experience with Asian style cooking will be helpful.

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Last night’s Around the World in 80 Plates found the chefs in Bologna, Italy.  It’s a tad awkward because the teams remain on the same team.  That means Liz Garrett and Jenna Johansen are going to have issues.  After an immune Liz voted for Jenna in the last challenge, Jenna is confused.  Wasn’t she Liz’s biggest cheerleader in the kitchen?  Um, maybe Jenna is confusing “cheerleader” with “bitter Betty.”  John Vermiglio reminds his remaining teammates that they are all great chefs…although some might be clumsier than others.  #curseofthewhitebeans

The black team (Nookie Postal, Avery Purcell, Nick Lacasse, and the immune Nicole Lou) is riding the high of their win.  Both teams arrive at the Parmigiano Reggiano Creamery where they get their first clue.  They learn that the winner of this course will win $10,000.  Each team must find three wheels of cheese which are marked with a triangle, signifying that the cheese hasn’t aged properly.  No big deal, right?  Both teams enter the creamery where they are greeted by walls and walls and walls (and WALLS!) of cheese.  Right of the bat, the red team finds one marked wheel, then another.  They are leaving with their third wheel as the black team finds their second.  The members of the red team collect their next clue.  They must deliver one wheel of cheese to Tamburini Salumeria in the historic district of Bologna.  John is glad that Jenna and Liz have put aside their differences to work together.

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Last night’s Around the World in 80 Plates treated us to Marrakech, Morocco, although we never really see much of the visited country.  I love the concept of this show, and I LOVE that involves Curtis Stone, but I’ve yet to find a chef for which I’m rooting.  While the chefs voting each other off seems like a good twist, it’s too much like Survivor and not enough like Top Chef, which I love.

As the contestants head to Africa, they share whether they’ve traveled there.  It’s most players first visit.  Not only is will the team that finishes first get the exceptional ingredient, the team will also win $15,000.  The chefs must divide themselves into three teams of three and head on their way in horse drawn carriages.  Black team Nookie Postal, Avery Purcell, and John Vermiglia are the first team.  Red team Jenna Johansen, Nicole Lou, and Liz Garrett are the second.  The final team, white, is Gary Walker, Chaz Brown, and Nick Lacasse.

The teams head to a world famous market where they must locate a spice shop.  Everyone is running around like chickens with their heads’ cut off–so discombobulated.  The black team is the first to arrive and gain the next clue.  They must find the nine most commonly used spices in the native cuisine.

The black team has seven out of nine when the red team shows up at the spice shop to start the challenge.  Nick on the white team is disappointed to arrive last given that Gary speaks French. Chaz uses his West Indian nose, and the white team is actually the first to finish.  Nookie is crowding the white team at the counter and Gary is getting heated.  The white team gets their clue and heads out to find directions to a roof top restaurant.

The women are in last place, as Nookie tries hard to find the way to the restaurant.  The black and white teams are neck and neck.  Once at the restaurant, the teams are schooled in how to traditionally serve Moroccan tea.  The first team to properly pour all their tea will win the money.  Gary is an expert pourer thanks to drinking games.  However, the black team wins the exceptional ingredient and $15,000.  That was super close.

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