Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6 Recap: Which Team Savored a Sweet Victory?

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6 recap
Photo Credit: FOX

Welcome back, and thanks for joining me as we dive into the Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6 recap. Last time, Lisa Vanderpump’s team won the wine challenge. In the end, Gordon Ramsay sent Chuan Liu home.

This week’s episode, “Mars Attacks” features the team creating a chocolate product. Here’s everything you need to know about Gordon Ramsay Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6!

Did someone say chocolate?

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6
Photo Credit: FOX

The teams met up with Gordon and Lisa, and they were standing next to chocolate busts of themselves. Hint, hint.

For this delectable challenge, the teams will create a new chocolate product. They must also create a jingle and design the packaging. And the groups will conduct market research before pitching it to Mars, which is one of the biggest food companies in the world. No pressure, guys! And they will do all this in a mere 24 hours. If they hit a home run, there is the possibility that Mars might continue to market-test the product.

After the group left, Gordon’s bust fell over. He blamed Lisa, even though she didn’t go anywhere near it. Is this an omen of things to come?

What are the Mars executives looking for?

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6 recap
Photo Credit: FOX

The teams will pitch to Rankin Carrol, Chief Brand Officer of Mars Snacking, Sarah Bilson, Senior Sensory Scientist For Consumer Experience, and Esther Gamble, Head of Product Development For Global Chocolate Brands.

For packaging, Rankin shared that they were looking for “pace, pop, and pull.” Sarah shared that teams need to create a product that will “appeal to the masses” but still has a unique quality. And Esther added that calorie count is also a consideration.

Team Vanderpump

Here are the members of Lisa’s team:

  • Erica Levin
  • Maria Laura Vacaflores
  • Roman Desmond
  • Nicholas Ducos
  • Jess Druey

Erica, who created Globowl Baby Food, wanted to be the team leader. Then Maria Laura spoke up about wanting to be in the kitchen. Her company is SQUAREAT, which makes superfood meals. So, Erica decided that Maria Laura, Roman, and Nicholas would create the chocolate. And Erica and Jess would tackle branding.

Since Nicholas and Erica have children, they think that kid-friendly bars will clinch the win. They landed on the name Tattle Tale.

Team Ramsay

Here are the members of Team Ramsay:

  • Ali Schlichter
  • Kyson Clark
  • Andrew Whiting
  • Liz Aust
  • Rose Hankins

Team Ramsay is ready for a win after enduring The Grilling last time. This challenge is right up Liz’s alley. She owns The Candy Closet Freeze-Dried Candy, and she volunteered to be team leader. Liz immediately tapped Kyson and Andrew for the branding team. They decided that minis would be the best option, with an artisanal twist.

When choosing a name, the group wanted a play on the solar system, in keeping with Mars. Unfortunately, Liz pitched Uranus. Thank heavens that Ali shot that name down. They agreed on Joopz, which is a riff on Jupiter.

All the teams can utilize a kitchen, a design studio, and a music studio. And most importantly, a professional chocolatier is available to give advice.

The teams get down to business

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6
Photo Credit: FOX

For Lisa’s team, Roman and Nicholas were collaborating for the fourth time. The team wanted to use marshmallows and milk chocolate, but the chocolatier reminded them that both are very sweet.

But the situation was anything but sweet for Maria Laura because her teammates were ignoring her and talking down to her. “I hate them sometimes,” she said in her confessional. Back in the kitchen, the chocolatier kept telling the group that the chocolate bar would be too sweet, but since it was for kids, the team ignored him.

Over in Team Ramsay’s kitchen, Rose and Ali were experimenting with dark chocolate, passionfruit, caramel, feuilletine (a crispy crepe), and pretzel. The chocolatier had concerns about the number of flavors.  

Day 2 begins

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6 recap
Photo Credit: FOX

The chocolate products have been produced, and the teams got to see their creations. Gordon visited Team Ramsay as they were looking at the chocolates. He noted that they had taken an artisanal approach, but he found the name “strange.”

Their masterpiece was an orange and dark chocolate shell with caramel, passionfruit, feuilletine, and pretzel inside. Gordon thought that either the feuilletine or the pretzel should be dropped. He also reminded his team to polish their presentation. Ultimately, Gordon felt that their creation was “too complicated.”

Lisa’s team came in to see their product. Nicholas was immediately displeased by the bright wrappers. He felt the colors should be white, pink, and brown, like the Neapolitan-themed candy. Then Lisa dropped in to check on the team’s progress. It’s a good sign that Lisa liked the flavors, and then the team ran down the name and branding.

However, Lisa revealed that in some countries, including the U.K., you can’t market chocolate to kids under 13 years of age. Oops! They have to make a huge pivot. Lisa suggested marketing it to parents, who would then give it to a kid as a special treat. Then she advised them to focus on the market research to “pre-empt anything.” Lisa has real concerns about the marketing.

The focus groups highlight some big problems

Gordon and Lisa prepared focus groups to test the products. The teams didn’t know that they were watching and listening in.

First, a mom and her three daughters were testing Team Ramsay’s Joopz. The group seems a bit obsessed with the space theme. The mom said she wouldn’t buy it because she doesn’t know what is inside.

The group liked the flavors of the candy. And their jingle was a hit. However, they felt that the packaging didn’t go along with the vibe and that the product was more of a luxury item. But the group wanted to create an accessible brand.

Next, Team Vanderpump presented their product to a group of five family members. Gordon thought the name was “Tattle Tittle.” Oh boy. The mother thought that it was marketed for preschool kids. While they liked the appearance of the bar, they felt it “was overly sickly sweet.”

Afterward, Erica was panicking about the feedback. Nicholas told the group that there was a “disconnect” between the packaging and what was in the package. In a confessional he claimed that if they lost the challenge, it would be because of the package’s colors.

Jess shut him down, stating that although he wanted the Neopolitan colors on the wrapper, they decided not to use that idea. In her confessional, Jess said of Nicholas, “We get negative feedback, and rather than going ‘I back my teammates in this’, you do what you do best, which is throw your teammates under the bus.”

The Pitches

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6
Photo Credit: FOX

Team Ramsay was the first to present their product at Mars Headquarters. Everyone was nervous, especially Ali. The opportunity to pitch in front of Mars was huge. And Liz, as team leader, was feeling the pressure.

The contestants explained that their goal was to make an artisanal product that was accessible to any candy lover. But Ali stumbled over her part of the presentation, forgetting her lines. Finally, she explained the flavors in the chocolate. While playing their catchy jingle, the team relaxed and danced.

Rankin wasn’t sure that the planetary aspect played into the story. But he did love the appearance of the chocolate with the orange swirls. He also mentioned that if it came in other flavors of chocolate, it would have more consumer appeal. Sarah liked the product but didn’t get any “crunch” from the other ingredients. And Esther questioned if every ingredient was needed for the bar.

Next up, Team Vanderpump played their jingle as they walked in, and it was cute. Jess and Erica had a polished presentation, explaining that their demographic was parents and grandparents.

But when Esther asked if they saw this as a product purchased solely by parents, Roman, Nicholas, and Maria Laura were silent. The trio was supposed to handle the Q&A portion, so Jess had to jump in.

Overall, Sarah did like the flavor and crunch against the marshmallow. Esther called out how sweet the candy was, and voiced worries over the sugar content. Maria Laura piped up and explained that it was a special treat, not an everyday snack.

Who won the challenge?

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6
Photo Credit: FOX

The teams met to hear the results and the feedback from the Mars executives. The executives liked Team Ramsay’s basic “concept.” However, the texture and flavor need to be improved.

As for Team Vanderpump? The Mars executives felt that the branding and marketing was off. And once again, they thought that the candy was too sweet.

But Mars said they “would consider” testing Team Vanderpump’s Tattle Tale and ordered 5,000 test units. For Joopz, they “would consider” market testing and ordered 25,000 test units. And so, Team Vanderpump was headed back to The Grilling.

The Grilling

Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6 recap
Photo Credit: FOX

The Vanderpump Rules star informed her team that Mars did like their presentation, but the product wasn’t as “commercially viable” as the other team’s chocolate.

When Lisa asked what happened, no one spoke up. Finally, Maria Laura explained that they didn’t know that they couldn’t market to children. Then Erica explained how they pivoted their pitch, and how the retro packaging played into that.

When asked who came up with the recipe, Maria Laura stated that she came up with the marshmallow part. She added that besides being called “too sweet” the other feedback was positive. But Gordon disagreed. He stated that an average bar has 60 percent sugar, while Tattle Tale has 80 percent sugar. Both Gordon and Lisa were shocked because Maria Laura’s specialty is nutrition and healthy foods.

Then Lisa called out Nicholas for helping to create the recipe. He immediately tried to blame Maria Laura, but she accused him of ignoring her in the kitchen.

Finally, Lisa asked Erica if she utilized all of her experience for this challenge. She advocated for herself, saying that her past accomplishments should prove why she should stay in the Food Stars competition.

After that, Maria Laura admitted that she should have looked into the nutritional information for the bar. She also stated that branding was the issue, which Lisa disagreed with.

In the end, Lisa focused on Maria Laura and Erica as being responsible for the team’s failure.

Who is leaving the competition in Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars Season 2, Episode 6?

Maria Laura Vacaflores for Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars Season 2
Photo Credit: FOX

Maria Laura Vacaflores is leaving the competition.

In her final confessional, Maria Laura said, “I think that I have a lot to learn yet. I think I did my best but they’re sending me home. I want to say to all my entrepreneur women around the world and fellow Latinas, work hard, dream big, and let your success echo for generations.”

After the team left, Gordon brought up a theory that Nicholas let Maria Laura make mistakes so that he could blame her later. “Is Nicholas the poison in Team Vanderpump?” he asked. Lisa added, “Possibly, but I’m watching him.” WOW!

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.