In the Quick Fire, the chefs tried to get a leg up on one another-literally. With the anchor of the men's US Olympic swim team as one of the judges, the chefs had to feature legs-crab legs, leg of lamb, frog legs, octopus legs (OK tentacles). But it was Chef Susan Feninger who pulled out the win with a more traditional chicken leg stew.
For the Elimination Round, it was time to tailgate. Evoking season four of Top Chef when the competition headed to a Bears game in Chicago. This time, its was an NCAA showdown between USC and Stamford. For winning the Quick Fire, Feninger gets to wear the Trojan colors.
For the most part, the chefs stayed pretty traditional, steaks, tacos and chicken, except for Chef Tony Mantuano, who went for grilled pizza. It's a differentiator, but a risk.
For Chef Susser Lee, this is his first tailgate experience, and he had some problems while driving into the parking lot and seeing others tailgaint-thinking they were the competition.
During the competition, the chefs showed some conflicting cooking styles-Chef Lee literally turned his BBQ into a flat top by poaching and putting a flat pan down to fry a skirt steak. Chef Marcus Samuelsson had a lot of components for his dish-and he had to make changes along the way. Chef Rick Moonen kept it simple with some chicken baba ghanoush.
When all was said and done, the true tension came at critics table, with some pointed back and forth on the dishes. First Chef Jonathan Waxman and then Chef Mantuano disagreed openly with Judge James Oseland. Oseland admitted during the competition that he was not a veteran of tailgating, and the chefs tried to differentiate the tailgate experience versus haute cuisine.
The Trojans jersey clearly helped as chef Feninger swept the day getting four stars across the board for her tailgate tacos. So far she has raised more than $32 thousand for her charity. On the losing side, Chef Mantuano's grilled pizza got 2.5 stars across the board, and was sent packing.