When we last left 80 Plates, they were in Morocco and I thought the next logical stop on the tour around the world would be India, maybe South Africa, maybe I don’t know…anywhere but going BACK to Europe to stop by Italy!? Very weird. But anyway, to Florence..er Tuscany…I’m not really sure, but there they went.
The team picking was fun this week. Chaz was sent home last week so the rest of his team: Gary freakin’ Walker and Nick (I finally learned this guy’s name) became the two team captains. They had to pick the team for other guy. So whoever’s picked first is really being picked last. So if you’re picked last you should be happy but red-headed Avery, who was picked last, pouted and folded her arms and might have stomped her feet like a little kid as she walked over to Nick and teammates Nookie and Nicole. I’d be bummed too to be the only non ‘N’ name on the team, I guess.
Everyone else: Liz, John (another new named I finally learned) and superrrr Italian speaking Jenna make up team Walker. Jenna is a blessing and a curse. She speaks like every language under the sun but she doesn’t shut up. And she talks with the accent, tries to hard, the whole bit. But as G.F. Walker reminds us, she speaks Italian which is a huuuuuge asset in Italy. In case we forgot. WE DIDN’T, GARY!
They arrive it Italia and receive a note that they have to go to a bocce ball court. I was personally disappointed they didn’t actually play the game, but oh well. They next learn they have to go find Il Cernachino Cafe and order the re-boiled seasonal dish, or Ribollita. Team Walker is rocking it out because they have Jenna who knows Italy like the back of her hand, as she reminds us every 5.3 seconds.
The other team falls behind, but at the next stop on “The Course” they have to go to Carapina and order the treat that is often mistaken for cheese. The answer: Ricotta. The winning team: Nookie, etc. Why: Because Team Walker sucks and blew it! They blew it so bad and they hated themselves the rest of the day for it. Jenna’s Italian couldn’t make up for their lack of food knowledge. (In their defense: who KNEW ricotta wasn’t even a cheese!?)
So now Team Walker is behind when they get to the next challenge, olive picking and they lose to the Nookie team. So Nookie and crew get the exceptional ingredient–a lesson from an Italian grandma about how to make Ribollita and stuff like that.
The exceptional ingredient really doesn’t help the team that much. They don’t really utilize the Nonna as they should and Nookie’s attempt at Ribollita falls flat. He really screwed this one up–he didn’t even pay enough attention to understand the soup is vege-freaking-terian! He put meat in it and Nonna and her son, the Italian food critic, were horrified. Nonna’s not just horrified, she’s got major attitude that the chefs didn’t value her Ribollita expertise. I love a grandma with some ‘tude!
The Ribollita didn’t fare well for team Walker, either. Gary had cooked it the following day only to have it totally destroyed by John. The soup seemingly flew into the air and crashed on every surface in the kitchen. Good job, John. So the whole point of this soup is that it needs to be cooked twice and even though the new soup would only be cooked once, the Italian diners didn’t notice and they loved it.
Other food notes:
- Each team made gnocchi–neither one seemed to blow anyone away.
- Over on team Gary Walker, Liz made pasta but she murdered the dough and it turned out to be a horrible, sad mush. She didn’t seem too enthused to try rectify the problem because she has immunity. Jenna was especially pissed about her attitude.
- On team Nookie, Nicole makes some spicy meatballs and sausage and everyone’s worried about the dish. They are all conspiring to vote her off if they lose but it turns out, the meatballs were the best dish the team served.
- The desserts didn’t look at all appetizing. Real let down!
So in the end, much to my surprise, Nookie’s team wins and Nicole gets Most Valuable Chef.
Team Walker must vote someone off and it seemed it was swinging towards Jenna, for being annoying or John, for the Titanic size spillage of soup.
But it’s neither of them. It’s my beloved Garyfreakinggggwalker. Gary, I really disliked you the first few episodes. And now, I’m still not sure I like you very much but you seemed nice enough and you were extremely entertaining and fun to watch. Bum-mer. Bye, Gary!