Pizza on the Road
By Gina Scanlon | Posted on November 7th, 2012
With only 7 chefs left, the competition is as fiery as ever! So how better to carry on with the show than by cooking with a wood-burning pizza oven in Springfield, Illinois. The 3 Americans and 4 Brits are told they will each be given wood-burning ovens to cook with and whoever makes the most profit from their pizza wins at the checkpoint!
Team U.S.’s Phoebe is happy to be with the boys, and mentions that she, Cody and Stan have always worked well together, so this challenge should be a cinch! When Stan gets on the phone he finds the only restaurant in Springfield with a wood-burning pizza oven. Score! The owner even agrees to let the team cook pizzas in his kitchen, and gives them tips on what kind of pizzas sell the best. Good going, Team U.S.!
Meanwhile, Team U.K. is feeling confident as Caroline makes pizzas for her website and Johnnie makes them in his restaurant. Their strategy is to find an area with the most people. They decide to head to the checkpoint city, Bloomington, early and bunk there. Caroline and Rebecca find a customer who notifies them of a baseball game they can come work at in the evening. The team also gets lucky convincing the local hotel, The Chateau, to allow the chefs to use their kitchen, which includes a floor-standing mixer that cuts their dough prep time by at least an hour.
The baseball game, however, turns out to be another story. The heat is stifling, and nobody is coming around to buy any pizza since they are all watching the game. To top it off, a health inspector then shows up and shuts Team U.K.’s pizza-making efforts down! Thankfully, fifty pounds of ice later, they are allowed to start back up again and later set up shop at the Farmer’s Market in Bloomington.
Over at Team U.S., the chefs are selling their pizzas back in Springfield and turning out a decent profit. Stan even arranges for the team to later sell at the Farmer’s Market in Springfield, where they make breakfast calzones and pizzas. Phoebe is getting a bit miffed at Cody, who is bossing her around, but being the good sport she is, decides to keep the peace. They want to stay at the Market longer, but they have to hurry to make the checkpoint.
Team U.S. arrives at the checkpoint challenge in Bloomington, where they find themselves…alone! Turns out Team U.K. decided to forfeit the checkpoint win to stay at the Market and sell more pizzas. Their prize includes $300 to shop with, as well as a lot of ingredients on both their table and Team U.K.’s table, but Team U.K. feels that ultimately their decision will be worth it in the end.
Team U.S. stands alone at the Checkpoint Challenge in Bloomington
The teams finally get to Chicago. Caroline tries to prove herself in the kitchen, as Mark and Johnnie boss her around a bit too much for her taste. Meanwhile Team U.S. is having a hard time setting up shop due to all the city laws, so they decide to set up in a housing garage in an alley way. Stan gets to town to try to market their location, while Phoebe tries selling, quite literally, on the street of the neighborhood.
Team U.K. is also having rather bad luck as they go to sell pizzas at a music festival, and a massive storm hits! Once it passes, the team cleans up and is determined to sell the pizzas in the aftermath. But they have made serious sacrifices in the money department, thanks to the bad weather. Finally, it’s time to count the money at the finish line!
Team U.K. pulls out an overwhelming victory over the Americans, weighing in at $3,515 to Team U.S.’s $1,615, which means they are all safe. It also means a U.S. chef must now go home. The three chefs battle it out in the kitchen having to make a three-course meal for judge Jared Wentworth at the Longman & Eagle, a popular upscale Chicago Pub, and Chef Richard, with only $20 and an hour and a half to cook!
Cody and Stan both cook impressive scallop dishes, but Phoebe goes with a more upscale Spaghetti and Meatballs. Richard was impressed with the elegance of Phoebe’s dishes but unfortunately the flour in her lemon budino dessert was still raw, which ultimately sent her home.
Phoebe’s 3-course meal
Watch Phoebe’s Exit Interview.
Watch what Claire and Richard had to say about filming the pizza challenge in Illinois.
Try your hand at making the following recipe from Stan’s winning menu:
- French Baguette
- Smoky Bacon
- Olive oil
- Onion mixture
- herbs en Duxelles
- Sea Salt
- (add some creamy cheese if you have it. I didn’t!)
Start by slicking the baguettes thin on the bias into about 10 or 12 slices. Brush one side with some olive oil and put under broiler for 1 to 2 mins or until golden brown. Let cool. In the meantime, cook your bacon until it’s soft but fully cooked. Remove from pan reserving bacon grease. Add you onions. Season with salt and pepper. Let the onions caramelize and brown up adding some oil or liquid if they start to dry out. Chop up some fresh herbs. Sprinkle some of the herbs en Duxelles over the onion and remove from heat. Stir in fresh herbs. Rub each piece of bread with a garlic clove. Spoon onions onto bread and top with bacon. Add some creamy cheese here to if ya got it.
Visiting Chicago soon? Check out these good eats, from the ritzy to the price-friendly: