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Worst Cooks in America Review: “Fire and Ice”

The recruits are playing with fire in the kitchen this week – literally. This is one mess of a group. It’s maddening at times how little common sense these people have in the kitchen, but man, it’s entertaining.

After waking up in the morning, the recruits find a note that announces that they will be playing ‘Mad Scientists’ in some sort of lab. These people should not be let loose in any sort of lab, if you ask me. Things are going to go terribly wrong. I can feel it.

The teams find themselves at an ice cream lab and are given a crash course in making gelato. First of all, no one has ever even heard of gelato, let alone tasted it. On top of that, Michael is lactose intolerant and poor Carla simply can’t pronounce…well, anything.

Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay Pic

Nipplepolitan is not the same thing as Neapolitan. It’s something else entirely.

Moving on…

Bobby and Anne talk to the recruits about flavor pairings and using unexpected combinations in their own dishes. The teams taste test cheddar cheese and green tea gelato and are surprised, but inspired by both.

To further inspire, plus teach the recruits how to make a Gelato, Bobby whips up a mint and black pepper gelato and Anne makes clementine, ginger and star anise gelato. It’s not clear whether or not the teams are following anything that the chefs are saying and as soon as Bobby even mentions creme anglaise, there is nothing but crickets. Yikes.

Skill Drill
Not only do the recruits have to make their own uniquely flavored gelato, but they must also make a waffle cone or bowl. I predict a whole bunch of scrambled eggs and burnt waffles. Not to mention burnt fingers.

A wrinkle to this Skill Drill is that Bobby and Anne will not be supervising. At all.

Instead, the chefs will be doing blind taste tests of the finished products. I’m not totally convinced there will be a whole lot of finished products for them to taste, but we’ll wait and see.

As far as flavor pairings go, there are a few that have potential like Alex’s bacon and maple combo. But then he throws in potato chips and loses me completely. Even Carrie Lee’s pine nut, apple and bacon sounds like it could have potential.

Addip’s pairing sounds interesting with pear, gorgonzola and walnut. It’s good in a salad, but I’m not sure about Gelato.

After the pairings that sounds somewhat encouraging, there are a few that make me want to sprint in the other direction. Take, for instance, Alina’s Earl Grey tea, lemon zest, saffron, raspberries, basil and some other random things she picked up. Seriously? She should have stopped a dozen ingredients ago.

Oh, and Michael is down for the count after a few tastes of the gelato. Doesn’t look like he’ll be finishing anything, even though he is one of the few people not starting with scrambled eggs.

Speaking of scrambled eggs, about a half a dozen of the recruits are trying to turn a pot full of scrambled eggs into gelato. Y’all need to start over! It is unsalvageable.

And then BOOM, Carla burns herself. Not shocking.

I’ll tell you what is shocking, however, is that any of these people were able to turn out anything that looks even remotely like gelato. But they did, and a few don’t even look half bad. The taste is another thing entirely.

Anne and Bobby go through each gelato, pretty much gagging and spitting after each one. There are a few however, that do pass muster.

The worst gelato is Sue, and the rest of the red team does almost equally as bad.

Then Alina shocks everybody with somehow turning her kitchen sink style gelato into something actually palatable. I stand corrected, Alina. Carla brings the ultimate shock by winning the tasting with her banana and black pepper combo. I think Bobby was as shocked as she was. Good for you, Carla!

Main Dish Challenge
Anne and Bobby continue this flavor pairing lesson with assigning the recruits to create their own uniquely flavored burger and side dish combo. To demonstrate a signature burger, Bobby shows the blue team his version of a Louisiana burger. He even grinds his own meat, which shocks his team a bit.

Anne demonstrates a lamb burger, again, grinding her own meat. Addip is definitely looking queasy with all of the meat grinding going on. Part of me feels badly for Addip and his discomfort with all of the meat butchering, seeing as how he is a vegetarian. But then I think, ‘Hey, Addip. You signed up for this show, buddy. If you wanted to learn how to cook, perhaps this wasn’t the best way to accomplish that.

There is a twist to this Main Course Challenge. The teams think that there will be another blind tasting, but Anne and Bobby have something up their sleeve. Willie Degel from Restaurant Stakeout is there with his little cameras to allow Bobby and Anne to babysit the recruits. And it turns it, that babysitting is much needed.

Let me break down the kitchen disasters for you.

Addip literally grills cheese. As in throws a chunk of cheese directly on a griddle and is then shocked when the thing melts and creates a sticky mess. And let’s not lose the fact that a grilled cheese sandwich is NOT a burger. It just isn’t.

Then he and Sue play some sort of grilling gymnastics, reaching their spatulas over each other to see just how far they can stand away from their own grills and still tend to their burgers. I’ve never seen anything like this. And they are not the only ones who are performing weird physical feats. Carrie Lee falls directly onto her face while rushing around the kitchen. This is getting physically painful to watch.

Then come the fires. Oh, the fires… Not one. Not two. But four fires.

Four fires paired with four people who have no idea how to handle it. Chet looked like he was going to wet his pants.

Just make it stop. Please, oh please.

Blue team:

Carla makes a satisfying burger (you’re on a roll Carla. Don’t chop a finger off and blow it). Alina pulls out a weirdo cinnamon burger that apparently is half way palatable. She has a weird knack for that, apparently.

Chet actually impresses Bobby with his Muffaletta burger. Nice job, Chet!

Alex, on the other hand, kills his burger by throwing just about one of every single item of the kitchen into it. Or on it. Then he talks it to death and really, I’ve had enough. Alex needs to go. I have an inkling that Bobby feels the same way. He’s not alone with his failure though. Carrie Lee burns her chicken burger beyond recognition, but at least she’s not obnoxious about it.

While Bobby’s team (with the exception of Alex and Carrie Lee) don’t totally fail at their burger making, Anne’s team…well, does.

Rahseeda pretty much copies Anne’s burger, just not well. Plus, she mistakes a zucchini for a cucumber…so…yeah. That might not be as bad as last week when Chet didn’t know what an onion was, but still, it’s pretty bad.

Crystal makes a mayo salad (not good) and Sue slaughters her burger by over-working it and just making a big jumbled mess of meat. Addip’s grilled cheese in a burger challenge angers Anne more than anything else and it appears that this is going to send him packing. Anne even reminds him of how many vegetarian options and ideas she gave him that he chose to completely ignore. If this isn’t offensive enough, his finger licking and just plain gross behavior in the kitchen prevent Anne from even tasting his food. I’m thinking you’re on your way out, Addip. Michael comes through with a nicely flavored Asian inspired burger, thus saving Anne from a total meltdown.

Red Team:

Anne picks Michael’s burger as the winning burger, and that isn’t surprising seeing as how it was the only burger that was edible. Addip and Sue are in the bottom and I can see where this is going from a mile away. Sure enough, Anne sends Addip packing. It’s about time he was put out of his misery.

Blue Team:It’s nice to know that Bobby has several decent choices to pick from, and he picks Chet’s Muffaletta burger as the winning dish. Chet’s thrilled. It’s not shocking that Alex and Carrie Lee are in the bottom and thankfully (his yammering is unbearable) Bobby sends Alex home.

Thank you, Bobby.

I truly don’t know how any of these recruits will make it to the end of the season, but it sure is going to be fun to watch them try.