This is the biggest week yet. It is down to the final three. The  challenge is inspired by the movie Julie and Julia.  The finalist are to present a three course meal with a live demo at Emeril’s Miami restaurant for several Food Network stars and food critic.  Michael, Jamika and Katie were back as sous chef’s this week. The pairings for were Debbie and Michael, Melissa and Jamika, and Jeffery and Katie. The finalist are to prepare food that shows their personality and passion for food.

dleeDebbie Lee

Her presentation during the first challenge was actually interesting. Although the Korean thing was still a little annoying.  Debbie’s dough for her pear egg roll was raw. Overall her presentation was humorous but really weak.  Debbie talks a lot about her “Seoul to Soul” food perspective but fails to really bring out the flavors of the food.

Debbie seemed rushed and a little rattled in her statement to the judges. Once again, the Korean card came out. Come on her statement that she can relate to all of America is a little absurd.  Get real Debbie. The judges seem more impressed with her than the fans. Finally, the judges cut her.  This week she was the absolute weakest link and there were no gifts this week.

jsaadJeffery Saad

Katie was Jeffery’s sous chef.  Jeffery spent less than half of his budget for this challenge. He did well on the first dish but crashed on his risotto. His dessert a chocolate mouse with biscotti was a hit.  His presentation and demo was flawless. However his food was a serious weakness. His food was unimpressive. Jeffery is certainly likable but is very unpredictable.

Jeffery’s personal statement to the judges was ok but not exceptional. He is very likable and has a great personality.  He struggles with sometimes appearing a little bland. His culinary skills are much stronger than than Melissa’s.  However his presentations are often weak and he can be very unpredictable.

marabianMelissa d’Arabian

Melissa was paired with with Jamika as her sous chef.  Melissa’s personal story actually brought tears to the eye’s of several of the judges. She really opened up and shared much more than the “hurried” house wife. Melissa was a hit with the food critic.  Overall Melissa had the strongest presentation. Even though Melissa was intimated by the food “experts” it is admirable that she is willing to try challenging dishes. It would be much easier for her to stick with the safe things. She has consistently been willing to try difficult things. Some times it works but other times it doesn’t.

Melissa presented a clear and succinct statement to the judges. She wasn’t rattled and openly admitted her weakness. Melissa has the shown the most improvement. She is has embraced criticism and worked hard to improve her presentation. One of the best things going for Melissa is her reliability. She is a home cook and yet is able to present some amazing dishes. If she can fix something then so can I. My prediction is that she will win the entire thing.

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