America’s British population has taken to the web to voice its displeasure at news that U.S. candy giant Hershey has successfully blocked our much loved U.K.-produced chocolate from being exported to the land of the free.
It’s the Brit boys vs. the American boys as chefs Cody, Stan, Mark and Johnnie go head-to-head and compete for the three finale spots that will take them to the finish line: New York City. There, the three successful chefs will have a chance to win the grand prize of $100,000.
But will the boys be able to hold it together in order to get there? Johnnie has admitted numerous times that he and Mark don’t get on. And will Cody and Stan’s friendship push them over the top?
The four remaining contestants check-in at the old Bedford Village in Bedford, Pennsylvania, to get instructions for their last challenge before the finale. The chefs are given a mere sack of potatoes and told they have to barter them for ingredients they will use to present a 5-course meal to Chef Richard Corrigan. The team that makes the best meal will win the final challenge.
Cody and Stan drive around to find a farm to barter their potatoes, whereas Mark and Johnnie find a nearby garden to take fresh veggies, including chiles. Cody and Stan are able to barter their potatoes and a cooked meal for locally raised beef, which becomes a goldmine for them. But Team U.K. has more luck bartering ingredients at a restaurant called Barefoot Bernie’s on the way to their next stop.
At the checkpoint in Haggerstown, Maryland, the chefs are introduced to their guest judge, BBC America’s “No Kitchen Required” chef Kayne Raymond. The chefs then proceed to get down and dirty cooking with a goat’s head. Johnnie even admits he enjoys cooking with the brains, which Chef Kayne respects. At the end of the day, however, Kayne and Richard considered Cody and Stan’s efforts to be more worthwhile, giving Team U.S. the Checkpoint victory.
The two teams then head to Baltimore for the final challenge, where they prepare their 5-course feast.
Team U.S. Menu
Course 1: Chilled Potato and Lavender Soup
Course 2: Chicken and Potato Sausage
Course 3: Sockeye Salmon, Maryland Crab
Course 4: Duo Beef Fillet and Short Rib with a potato puree
Course 5: Lemon Tart with Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream
Team U.K. Menu
Course 1: Potato veloute with confit garlic
Course 2: Gnocchi with Bacon and Pesto
Course 3: Fruit de Mer (fish dish)
Course 4: Terrace Major with Dauphinoise Wild Horseradish Greens
Course 5: Chocolate Fondant
When the chefs present their meals. Judge Richard is impressed with Team U.K.’s menu, though the chocolate fondant is a bit disappointing. Team U.K. turned out slightly more refined dishes, but it was Team U.S. with their farm fresh and ‘soulful’ menu who got the job done. Stan is proud of the victory, saying that he believes America was “built on sweat and hustle,” and that he is living proof.
With Team U.S. pulling off the final victory, someone on Team U.K. will now be sent packing. Mark and Johnnie hit the kitchen to prove they deserve to be in the final round in New York City, and neither looks like they’ll give up easily.
Mark and Johnnie head back to the kitchen to cook for their lives. They have one hour to cook the best Maryland blue crab cake dish possible. While Mark impresses the judges at large, they are not too thrilled with his sauce, and when they find a piece of shell in his dish they send him home. Johnnie will now join the American boys in New York City where he’s prepared, as he says, to “spank the Yanks!”
“Crab cake, baked cauliflower mornay, asparagus dressed in roasted crab oil and Parmesan dressing”
-8 Baltimore soft shell crabs, alive and well
-10 green asparagus spears
-150g small cauliflower florets
-6 small gherkins, (cornichons)
-2tsp of capers
-Soft herbs, see below
-Piece of Parmesan, 100g should do
-Salt and pepper
-75ml double cream
-Handful of Panko or toasted breadcrumbs
-Cook the crabs for 8 minutes in rapidly boiling, salted water, then refresh in iced water, pick and separate the white and brown meats, ensuring there is no shell and then set aside the whitemeat for the crab cakes. Eggs boiled, 6minutes, then refreshed, peeled, whites for the sauce gribiche, yolks used to bind the crab cake. Asparagus blanched, 2 minutes and refreshed then set aside. Cauliflower cut down to small florets, blanched and refreshed, then placed inside the crab carapace and double cream and seasoning added, topped with Panko and Parmesan. Baked in the oven at 180c until golden, about 8 minutes. Crab shells, pan roasted and then removed from the heat, oil added to take on the flavour from the shells, allowed to stand for 10 minutes, finished with salt and pepper, then a squeeze of lemon juice.
-Make the crab cakes by adding the chopped egg yolks to the white crab meat with a little of the chopped herbs, salt and pepper, lightly mold the cakes, they should be quite soft, frying them will create a nice crust that will hold them together. Cook for 3-4 minutes in a hot pan, only turning once golden brown.
-For the Gribiche, mix mayonnaise with fresh, soft herbs, tarragon, parsley, chervil etc, add finely chopped gherkins and capers, the chopped egg white, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus in the shellfish oil and finely grated Parmesan, place on the plate and top with the crab cake and baked crab shell mornay, spoon a little Gribiche on the side.
Watch what Claire and Richard had to say about filming the Baltimore Challenge.