Previously: A double elimination = not so sweet. Goodbye Megan! Goodbye, Katzie! Hi there, Orlando’s always flapping jaws! Five cheftestants remain…
…and only one of them is a girl. That girl (or, I suppose I should say, lady). She is excited to take it all the way and be the first female winner of Just Desserts. Meanwhile, Chris is facing a mountain of debt at home (nearly $50,000) because his infant daughter needs surgery for her congenital heart defect, and he explains that’s what’s driving home.
With that, the cheftestants head into the Quickfire to see Gail standing with Francois Payard, whom Matthew describes as “one of the founding fathers of pastry here in America. He’s like the king of macaron.” Gail today’s challenge will be simple: Make the perfect pie. Francois clarifies that the challenge is deceptively simple because the secret is in the dough (just as the money is in the banana stand). And then Gail’s all, “Oh yeah, and one of your hands will be tied behind your back.” The best part is that she calls it “channeling your inner Rebecca.” (Rebecca, “I was humiliated in front of my teenage crush,” Rebecca — though, in fairness, not because of her gimp arm…) Either way, that Gail is a velvet hammer! This quickfire, the winner will take home $5,000. Ninety minutes go on the clock, annnnnnnd… go!
Much running and one-armed flailing ensues. Orlando issues one his typically sardonic comments about the improbability of the task, but I’m too distracted by the fact that his shop is called “Orlando’s Chocolate Treasures.” How have I not noticed that for seven weeks? That is a delightful name indeed! Sally’s “only girl in the competition” buzz is effectively killed when she decides to make a plum-strawberry tart and realizes that breaking down stone fruit with one hand is a fool’s errand. More shenanigans ensue as Carlos zests a lemon using his stomach as leverage, and Orlando cuts the neck off a water bottle to get it open. As if the water bottle mutilation weren’t clue enough, Orlando tells us he’s extra-resolute to win this challenge since he hasn’t won a quickfire yet. Having planned to make an apple pie, he shifts his plan to a mixed berry pie to avoid peeling. He is one of many chefs who have to change up their plans mid-preparation to accommodate their temporary disability.
With 45 minutes to go, Chris — who is making a caramel banana cream pie — helps Matthew fill a pastry bag for the toasted meringue to top his rhubarb pie. As they say, how many chefs does it take…? And then Carlos and decide to use liquid nitrogen to set his lemon curd tart since there are only 10 minutes left, and everyone takes the opportunity to mock him for it. Carlos: liquid nitrogen :: Marcel: foam. As the clock ticks down, Chris proves he is the most can-do, helpful guy of all (even after last week’s verbal diarrhea). After lending a hand (quite literally) to Matthew, he aids Carlos in pouring the aforementioned liquid nitrogen. Again, while mocking him. With a minute left, Matthews is toasting his meringue when he reflexively uses his second hand to shift the plate. He jerks it back the split-second he realizes what he’s done and prays “that nobody sees it.” Which is a nonsense thing to hope for when you’re surrounded by cameras, but whatever, there’s only a minute left, no point in stopping now.