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'America's Best Cook': One week left before grand finale

Chef Tyler Florence mentor on America's Best Cook
Chef Tyler Florence mentor on America's Best Cook
Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival

On Sunday night’s episode of “America’s Best Cook” the contestants were told that with only 1 week left before the finale, the stakes are high and the challenges tougher than ever. Chef Michael Symon is guaranteed a spot in the finale with his 2 cooks still in the running, however, for chef Tyler Florence, chef Alex Guarnaschelli, and chef Cat Cora, this might be the end if their respective remaining cook goes home.

The ingredients for the Team Challenge were proteins that even seasoned chefs can have problems with and they can definitely challenge home cooks. Then it was time for presentation to the guest judge and this was the always fabulous and renowned chef Marcel Vigneron. First team up for judgment was Team Cora with her remaining cook Ben, who presented his chicken liver dish, which received initial praise, but the mousse according to the guest judge was grainy and Ben was sent to the pressure cooker. Next, Team Symon, and Stephanie presented her quail dish that was received with much praise and she was sent to the finale, then Marc with a baby octopus dish that received much praise and to the chagrin of the other chefs, Marc was also sent to the finale. Then came Team Florence and Sherri presented her Arborio rice dish, -risotto-, that can be easily overcooked, or left undone, and she was unable to succeed, also her presentation looked unappealing. And then there was team Guarnaschelli with Christina who presented scallops in the shell dish, and received praise and to her and her mentor’s delight she was sent to the finale.

Then it was time for the pressure cooker challenge, where it was guarantee that one mentor would be going home if his or her cook did not impress the guest judge. The ingredient was arctic char that the cooks would need to fillet and as well cook. The mentors assisted as much as they could, but at the end it was up to the cooks to remain in the competition by cooking their best.

Final judgment came and despite butchering the fish, rather than filleting, Ben produced the best dish of the 2 cooks in the pressure cooker and was sent to the finale, and that meant that it was the end for team Florence.

“America’s Best Cook” runs on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on the Food Network.