Secret Chef (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - Ingenuity - full transcript

The chefs struggle with the elephant in the room - a white elephant actually - and they quickly learn which of them has sticky fingers. Cheffy's electrifying tendencies bring two rivals to the brink.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
- Previously on Secret Chef...

Some secrets were out...

- It's definitely this dude right here.

- I'm spilling no beans.
No beans!

Some ingredients were odd...

- Jelly beans.
- Grape soda?

Spicy hot onion rings. chef took the lead again...

- I'm a winner, man.
I'ma keep on winning.

...and one chef didn't make the cut.

Chef Gherkin, thank you for playing.

Five chefs remain as
Secret Chef starts now.

A clever chef can't be boxed in.

So I'm testing their ingenuity!

If one of them can get me outta here.

Ten chefs compete

through ten levels of cooking challenges,

secretly judging each other

for a $100,000 prize.

This is Secret Chef.

Today is a celebration.

My friends have made it
halfway through the competition,

so I've decided to throw them a party!

- Morning, friends.
- Morning.

Hello, hello!

- We're missing our friend.
- We usually have Sydney.

- The last challenge...
- Chef Gherkin,

you did not win.

...Sydney got eliminated.

She's like the heart of Secret Chef.

Like, dang! I miss Sydney.

What is this?

I gotta do it.

We've arrived!
- It's a party.

We walk into the lobby,

and we notice all of these
different decorations of gold,

and we've got streamers.
We've got balloons.

I love it. It's very dramatic.

Top five, baby!

Top five! Hey!

It looks like a party,
but I don't know what we're celebrating.

- Obviously, there's a challenge

and Cheffy always has
a trick up their sleeve,

so this is fun,
but I'm also very nervous.

Is Cheffy gettin' married?

- Alright, group photo or something?
- Yeah, wanna do a selfie?

Yeah, let's do it. Let's do it.

- One, two, three...
- Top five!

- Nice.
- But what are we celebrating?

- Cheffy...

- Hiya, chefs.

- 'Sup, Cheffy?
- Hi!

I'm so excited
that we're down to the top five

that I decided to throw you a party.


And one of you will win my $50,000,

plus the $50,000

matched by our grand prize sponsor,

That is $100,000.

I love surprises, don't you?

- Yes!
- No.

- Gee whiz,
do I have a surprise for you!

- Oh?
- What's the surprise?

It's comin' out...

Every good party needs presents, right?

There could be anything
inside of those boxes.

- I don't trust the hat.

- Chefs, we're gonna play
a game of white elephant.

- I love white elephant.
- I love white elephant.

- First person gets to pick
a box and open it.

- The next person can either
take that gift,

or they can unwrap a new gift,
and it moves down the line.

- If your gift is stolen,

you must take another
from the conveyor belt,

and by the end of the game,
every chef should have a gift!

It's time to start.

- So much fun

to steal things from your friends.

And the chef
that I'm randomly selecting

to go first is...

Beep-boop-bohp-bop-beep! Beep!

- Oh.

- Stephenie!

Please take a gift, sit down,
and unwrap it!

I don't know what I'm going to get,

so why not pick the biggest box?

And this is heavy as hell.


It's a toaster oven.

Oh, okay!

A bread toaster.
A really nice appliance,

and if we have to cook with that,
it's something that might come in handy.

- Caution, it's hot!

- Leon, you're next.

So I decide not to steal
Stephenie's gift

because I wanted to kinda gamble

and see if I could get something better.

- What is it?

- We've got a sandwich maker!
- Oh!

And I'm like, "Thank you so much!"

Because I wanted to make a sandwich,
but, at the same time,

I know someone is going to take this.

- The next chef up is Josh.

- I wanna steal your joy right here.

I mean, this is
a nice equipment right here.

I'm thinking about
stealing that toaster oven

because I can fit a lot in there,
so I can cook a lot at the same time.

You know what?

I'm curious, though.

I'm gonna open a box.

Let's see.

Come on, Nervous Nellie.


That is hilarious.

It's a frickin' iron.

I've cooked on
one of these before, actually.

That is hilarious.

- Alright. Poonam!

- Okay.

I gotta do a box.
I'm just gonna go for it.

- Okay.
- Alrighty.

Let's see. Alright.


I gotta stand up for this one.

Oop! Uh-- Oh...
- Whoa...

What in the hell?

- I'm scared. No!

- It is a clothing steamer.

- A clothing steamer?!
- No...

Yo! Oh...

- Yo...
- Oh, my God. Cheffy!

What the hell?

I don't think I've ever
even used a steamer.

What am I gonna do with this thing?

- Go ahead and test it on this carpet.

Oh no, no, no.

- Unfortunately, yes.

Damn it!

I hate it.

I hate the thing.

- The last chef to pick will be Lanky.
What's in the box?!

- Well...

They saved the best for last.

Do I want a new gift?

I could risk it by opening up a new box.

I might get something
really cool to cook with,

or I might get stuck with
something completely different

and have no idea how to use.

Listen, we all opened gifts.

- You must make a decision.
We can't be here all day.

- I'm feeling...


Oh boy. Lanky's the gift
that keeps on giving, and taking.

Home cook by day,
thief by white elephant.

Which chef is Lanky going to burn?

- I'm feeling...



- This is actually probably
on brand with Lanky.

- So now, I'm striking
while the iron's hot.

I'm taking the iron, man!

- Oh!
- What? I am Iron Man!

- I steal the iron because I know
that I can get direct heat

from that iron and cook
something fairly quickly.

That means that Joshua

now has to take the last gift
on the conveyor belt.

Good luck!

- I'm really upset that
I don't have my iron anymore.

I had ideas already.

Now, I'm back to square one.

This is gonna be a grill.
Nope. This is like a feather.

It's a big box, but it's really light.

No point waiting now. Let's go.

I'm digging around,
and I don't see anything,

and I finally find it,

and I grab it, and...

Oh, my God!

- It's a flat iron. For your hair.

Oh, my God...

I feel like we're gonna
have to cook a dish

with the appliances we got.

But I also feel like we're about
to open a dry cleaner.

Do you guys remember

coming into the lobby,
all happy seeing all this stuff?

Now, look at y'all! Now, look at y'all!

- Look at all your nice gifts.
What do you say?

Thank you, Cheffy!

- You're welcome!

It's time for a challenge.

I want you to make
a delicious cooked meal.

The good news is
you can make whatever you want!

The bad news, your new gift?

It's your only source of heat.

- This toaster is the only heating element
I have to cook with?

Like, what the?

- Well, potty mouth,
I'm testing your ingenuity,

so show me what you can do!

I can't use any other
heat source to create a dish,

and I'm freaking out.

What can I possibly steam

to make a nice dish
that will score high?

Whoever wins this challenge
will receive a secret advantage.

The rest of you win nothing. I'm sorry.

You have 60 minutes.

So long.

Do you need help moving this?

I knew I should've stole that from you!

- Stephenie and I had
the only real like kitchen utensils.

The rest of them were trying
to open a laundromat.

I'm looking around, and I'm like,

I can't wait to see
how y'all get outta this.

Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

Chefs, whichever items you have chosen,

I have left two of each in your kitchen.

And, because we're friends,

I will also allow you
limited access to boiled water,

but that's it!

Now, please, chefs,

begin the challenge in three, two, one!

Let's do this.

- So, let's plan this out.

Our challenge is to use

only this heating element
to create a dish.

Let's do... red.

Honestly, if I were left
with one of the other devices,

I don't know what direction I would go.

So I'm feeling really good
about having this toaster.

I would be dumb not to make
some version of toast.

- Alright, so you got
a sandwich maker here.

The pros of this sandwich maker are

it is an actual cooking device,

and it has a consistent heat source
on the bottom and on the top.

The most important thing with any sandwich
is that you have some sort of butter.

I'm just gonna make a sandwich,

but it needs to be perfect.

I got these two irons
that I gotta cook with.

I'm looking at this flat iron,
I'm thinking...

I might be able to get
a nice sear on these.

This might get pretty hot,
but it's so small.

I want to create something where
I don't have to stand there

and hold them the entire time.
So, I try to create like a flat surface,

so it looks kind of like a sandwich press.

That's my idea.

I'm not feeling terrible
about my flat irons

because at least it's not a steamer.

- I don't even steam my clothes.

This, this is ridiculous.

I definitely got the worst item
out of everyone.

They have things to make
crunchy, delicious food.

I'm just going to be
making mushy, steamed...

Let's take inventory of what I even have.

- Wanna bring my A-game for this round
because I haven't won

since the very first challenge.

All these reviews, same thing.
I don't have enough flavor.

"Sauce needs more flavor.

I'm cooking this because I should
be able to cook it quickly

and I can pack in a lot of flavor.

I'm gonna put some peaches
and some habanero in it

to give it like a nice little
sweet heat balance.

With some of these appliances
that the other chefs have,

they might give away some secrets.

For example, Stephenie has
the bread toaster, so, obviously,

she's gonna have
some kind of toasty element.

So that should be easy to figure out.

- Is there any way to like that?
Yeah, it's going.

Okay. I'll just let that do its own thing.

- Alright. Oh, I need to get this hot.
What am I doing?

Let's just put that right there.

- Ugh...

Am I shorting out?

- Am I trippin'?

- Why is it flashing?

And now, the electricity is having
problems. The lights are flickering.

There are challenges.

Excellent, excellent vibes.


Y'all ain't pay the bill?

Alright, there we go.

Uh-oh! There were some power problems.

Sorry about that!

- That was fun.

- This thing gets hot quick. Look at that,
it's already steaming. Beautiful.

Last challenge, I placed bottom two.

Bottom two was rough.

My goal now has been
just make delicious food.

Don't go and try and reinvent the wheel.

I need to have fun.

I decided to do a turkey
and avocado sandwich.

I have a turkey bacon ranch sandwich
at least four days a week,

so I kinda wanted to do something
that reminded me of that.

People love chipotles. Like, what?

Salt, olive oil.

What else can I throw in?

Couscous doesn't require any heat.

You just need hot water,
which I have access to.

My strategy to use this steamer

is to steam my green beans,

so they're not super raw.

This steamer is not ideal.

I feel like it's probably also
gonna melt the Ziploc bag.

Oh, it's really going.

This is not ideal,
but the more I use it,

this is actually kinda not bad.

- I've never done
anything like this before.

I've used a toaster oven before,

but I have not done
all of these different things.

I decide to make a savory harissa toast.

Bread setting...
Let's do it up to a three.

I want a nice, crusty toast.

And that's where we go
into the underthinking part

because I was like,
"Bitch, you made toast with a toaster?"

I'm worried the other chefs
are gonna figure out my cooking style

because they're gonna know
who made the toast! Like...

Like, duh!


But, I'm sticking to it.
I'm gonna make this toast

really good toast.

Chefs, 25 minutes remain.

- Comin' in hot.

I'm gonna make an antipasti plate
with roasted tomatoes and pistachio pesto.

Using this flat iron
and this contraption I built,

it's great. It's cooking the food,
but I have to baby it.

And the more time I spend doing that,

the less time I spend
actually cooking. And time

is the most important ingredient
in this competition.

I'm thinking I wanna make some crostinis,
add a little crunch to this dish.

I'm gonna let it crank like a toaster oven

and sizzle, sizzle, sizzle.

Oh! Okay.

It's very hot.
I keep forgetting how hot this can be.

The steamer is steaming.
It's doing its job. It had one job,

and it was to steam, and it's doing it.

- And so now,
I've got all my components done.

And then, we're gonna build this guy,

press it...

I kind of assumed that the sandwich maker

would just press down,

so it holds, and it'll char it.

Okay, that's one thing that's heavy.

But I need another weight source
to just put on top of the other.

I see a KitchenAid mixer.
I know these things are like 50 pounds.

I just put it on the sandwich maker.

I kinda balance it, and it sits still.

I need to get some--

I need to get a little bit of--

Holy stand mixer, Leon!

Professional or not,
no one is exempt from the laws of gravity.

- Even stand mixers!

- Oh, my God.

After being in the bottom two,

I can't mess up this dish,
and now I'm severely behind at this point.

Oh, my God!

Chefs, five minutes.

I smell something burning.


My God.

Ah, my crostini burned.

There's some hot spots
in these flat irons.

I have no idea what I'm gonna do
with these little breadsticks now.

I gotta improvise.

I got to work with what I got,
and I'm gonna go with

some little croutons
to add some texture.

This is not what I envisioned at all.

Lanky better be having the time
of his life over there with my iron.

- The chicken... looks good.

Looks cooked. I'm really impressed
on how these irons are working.

Oh, and I'm very happy
that I stole these irons.

I'm serious about what I do.
I'm serious about cooking.

And now, I think it's finally
showing on the plate.

Chefs, one minute remains.

- A little bit of green.

So, we've got the turkey.

- We're gonna do it on here.

Perfect amount.

Oop. Oop. Falling out a little bit.
Oh God, stay wrapped.

- Uh-oh. We got scissors?

Five, four, three,

two, one.

Time is up.
That challenge has ended.


- Feel sweaty.
- Could have been worse.

Someone had to cook
with the steamer, you know?

Chefs, please move on
to your tasting room.

Chefs, please begin the tasting!

It's time to review each dish,

assessing the taste,
execution, and presentation.

And don't forget the ingenuity
that went into making these.

- Let's see what the gang has for me.

"Mediterranean couscous."

How do you cook couscous?

- I'm very happy with this.
It's very light.

It's kind of like a raw
preparation, so maybe steamed?

So, this might have been Poonam's.

- The couscous is perfectly cooked.

Light, summery. So good.

- What have we got here?
- We have an antipasti

with roasted tomatoes and pistachio pesto.

Like, what?
- You know, it's very elegant,

but we only had so much time,

and this is damn near nothing.

- That is Josh.

He flat ironed the out of it.

We know who this is.

Hello, Leon.

- Like, there's no way Leon would just
make a sandwich

with a sandwich press, right?

I like the presentation.
He really did the damn thing.

- Quite tasty.
The sauce isn't too bad either.

- I love the sauce,

but everything else
is just kind of like so-so.

The flavor is good.

- Oh!
- Okay, "savory harissa toast."

I'm just gonna
pick this one up and eat it.

- I bet Stephenie made this one
with the toast maker.

I love the honey on top. Little sweet.

- It's dry.
- That's some dry chicken.

- I believe this was Chef Stephenie.

Wasn't too outside the box.
It was a sandwich in a bread toaster.

It was a pretty-sized sandwich.

This is
the barbecue chicken cabbage roll.

Assuming this was Lanky's
he made with the iron.

That chicken salad on the inside is good.

It's got a little heat in there.

- Steamed chicken.
There's no char accent in any of this.

So that leaves us with Lanky?
That's crazy.

- What did Lanky have? Lanky had an iron.

Did he cook chicken on an iron?

It tastes good.

- A little on the sweet side,

but great textures in the dish.

- I think I was definitely
the most creative.

- If you told me they were cooked
with home appliances,

I would never, ever believe you.

Ingenious! But, then again,

I didn't taste it.
It's up to the chefs now.

- Oh, alright.

- Ooh, reviews.

- Ah...


- Chef Radicchio said, "Hi, Lanky."

- Chef Radicchio said, "Hi, Leon."

- Chef Radicchio said, "Hi, Steph."

- This is Secret Chef,
and they're not supposed to know who I am.

I feel like I'm being targeted instantly.

"Hi, Josh. Cool concept. Hard to eat."

Radicchio's calling me out.

- My strategy is to shake things up,

make my fellow chefs
and competitors nervous.

"Good flavor. Cabbage seems unnecessary."

Alright, so Radicchio,

who I believe is Poonam, has guessed me.

- Chef Arugula said, "Great flavors,
a little messy. I love the sauce."

- Chef Donut said, "Wonderful texture.
Flavors in the sauces were balanced.

Give me more of everything."

See, I love that. I love reviews
like that. More, more, more.

Uh, but wait a minute.

I read it again.

But I don't know if that's a good thing.
Like, "Gimme more,"

or just like,
"The plate was small. Gimme more."

- And from Chef Couscous,
"Light, summery, so good.

"Wonderful use of flavors all throughout.

Wanted more lemon and acidity." Okay.

- Chef Radicchio said, "Great flavor.

Wish there was a creamy element
or a spread."


At this point,
I know that Chef Radicchio is Poonam.

One of the things
that she's trying to do

is potentially call people out
and let them know,

"I know exactly
what your alias is."


Let's see.

- Oh, that hurts.
- "You did not win."


- "I'm sorry, you did not win.
Try again soon."

This one's interesting.
I wonder who did win.

- This is my first solo win.

This is the best I've felt
in the entire competition.

I think I'm kinda proving my point
that even though I'm a home cook,

I should be taken pretty seriously
when it comes to cooking.

Chefs, please exit your tasting rooms.

Yo, I thought
I was alone out here. I was like,

ain't nobody out here?

Covering up my emotions is hard.

That loss means a lot to me.

This competition could change
my family's entire life,

and losing,
that's a huge knot in my brain.

So, I'm gonna go out there and I gotta
hide because I gotta play the game.

- Hello, hello.
- How'd it go?

- It was fine.
- It looks like it looked good, man.

Y'all looked like you had some...
- Food looked good. Hair looks good.

Do you guys want to cook
at a laundromat ever again?

Oh no.

- We could open a laundromat/restaurant.

- Now, I've gotta keep a poker face.

I can't show any happiness,

no matter how thrilled I am from winning.

And I am very thrilled.

I feel like I know how you did yours.

Did you put the tomatoes,
like, you put the curling iron on

and put the tomatoes in between it?

Chef Leon started coming at me,

saying, "Oh, how did you get the nice
little grill on the charred tomatoes?"

I feel like people are
figuring out who Chef Arugula is,

so I gotta throw him off.

I think, you know, raw tomatoes are
usually good to go, you know what I mean?

I think you bring out acidity,
a little sweetness. A good balance.

So-- Wait, you put raw tomato on there?

- What?
- It said roasted tomato?

- What's that?

- It said roasted tomato?
- On what?

- On the card?
- Not on his.

I'm here to play the game.
I'm here to win.

They think they know who I am.
I just gotta flip it.

- You might have something flipped around.
- Yeah.

- O... kay then...

Chefs, please head to your kitchens.

- Okay, I'm confused.

- Later, guys.
- Yeah, later.

- Usually, we go to the lobby together

and all of us kinda
awkwardly look at each other,

but this is Secret Chef,

so you never know what's gonna happen.

- I already know what's going on.
Not really. I have no idea.

Hiya, chefs!

'Sup, Cheffy?


- Why is the light flickering again?

Uh, what is happening?

The electricity is having problems.
The lights are flickering...

Cheffy, I don't like this.
- Ah!

- Cheffy doesn't sound too great.

Yeah, all those heat appliances

from your last challenge
drained my power supply.

I feel a little sleepy.

Goodbye. Good night.

I... must... power... through.

What is this?

Let's see what we have here.


"You get to choose
which course you want to bring."

Where am I bringing it?

"You have been invited
to a potluck."

Very neat.


I would like to think
you are all a big family here.

But I've been making you eat
all alone, not together.

How sad.

So today,

you're making a potluck dinner

to share in the lobby.

I love potlucks. I love hosting.

I love creating things.
I like eating foods that my friends make.

So, I'm excited about this.

The theme of the dinner
is hometown cooking.

Each of you will create either
an appetizer, a main dish,

one of two side dishes,

or a dessert inspired by your hometown.

Whoever won the white elephant challenge
has received an advantage.

They will get to have
their own choice of course... of course.

The rest of you

I will randomly decide
which course you get

and you will be happy about it.

- Funny. Funny, Cheffy.

The winner of
the white elephant challenge was...

Chef Macaron!

I look forward
to your big family dinner

where you can dish about your dishes,

and maybe about each other.

So, bring your poker face!
Don't give yourself away.

I'm going to do a side dish.

And let's see what
my other friends end up with.

- What did we get?

- "Please bring an appetizer."

- "Please bring an entrée."

- "Please bring a side dish."

- "Please bring a dessert
inspired by your hometown."

Sounds like a plan.

Chefs, begin the challenge

in three, two, one!

- Okay, let's do this.
- Alright.

- I'm, like, thrown for a loop right now.
I don't know what to make.

I'm originally from Minnesota,
but I live in New Jersey.

I can use this to my advantage

because they don't know where I'm from.

In Minnesota, we...
I'm thinking of a side dish.

Minnesota's known for like casseroles.

Meat and potatoes. Really comfort food.

Jojo fries, that's huge.
That's what I'ma do.

So, I'm thinking I'ma cook up
some Jojo fries and chili.

I don't know where the name came from.
I've heard potato wedges in chili,

but this is something that
I ate a lot growing up there.

I kinda wanted the dessert.

I'm annoyed I have to make the entrée.

I would have preferred dessert.
I would have preferred an appetizer.

I would've preferred literally
anything else but an entrée.

Oof! This is kind of a rough one.

Where I'm from in the South,

the sides mean so much more
than the entrée.

The entrée's like, "Aight, we'll get it.

But, as long as we got
good sides, we'll be okay."

Having the entrée to a potluck

is definitely like the most pressure.

Man, I wanted the dessert.
I wonder who got the dessert.

- I never use measurements,
but with desserts,

you need all the measurements.

I am not a baker. I don't like baking.

So I am freaking the out.

I'm more of a savory person.

I am going with zeppoles
with a raspberry coulis

and a chocolate dipping sauce.

They're very true to New Jersey,

and that's where I was born and raised.

Oftentimes, they're confused for donuts,

but it's very, very different.

I have not made these before
and I haven't tested it,

so who knows?

- I wanna make sure
I do as much as I can.

I'm making, for the appetizer,

grilled steak with chimichurri
and a white bean purée.

Steak has to be perfect.
The beans have to be perfect.

Everything has to be frickin' perfect.

My biggest thing for this challenge

is I wanna make sure

that my appetizer is bold,

it reminds me of home
in a very subtle way,

and is composed.
But also, I want it to stand out.

I am ready to win a main challenge.

So, I'm gonna do like
some steakhouse mashed potatoes.

But, I can't just show up to a potluck

with a bowl of mashed potatoes.
These have to be...

show-stopping mashed potatoes.

I'm taking a risk with mashed potatoes

because they're not all that fancy.

Am I gonna have enough flavor?

Kind of a straightforward, easy dish,

but because it is
so kind of straightforward,

I really need to bring
some flavor along for the ride.

- My biggest risk is simplicity,

but with simplicity,
you get to focus more on flavor.

That's where I've kind of been lacking.

In order to pull this off,

I need to make sure that
the chicken skins are crispy,

that the mojo is acidic and delicious,

I don't overcook the chicken,

and serve it up.

Oh, my God, it smells so good.

Losing that last one
I think is getting to my head.

It's like, oh!


took this from me.
What's going on?

I don't feel 100% about this dish.

Jojo fries and chili.

I grew up eating it,

but I don't think a lot of people
will relate to it from Minnesota.

It'll be a good dish, but I'm thinking
that people won't really know what it is.

I'm going through
a little identity crisis,

and I wanna pivot the dish.

Switch it up.

Chefs, 25 minutes remain.

That's some right there.

My time is running out.
I don't know what I'm gonna do.

I'm just all over the place today.

Hurry, Josh!
Pivot! Pivot, pivot, pivot!

Chefs, 25 minutes remain!

- I'm just all over the place today.

I'm nervous at this point.

Instead, throw a little flour in there.

Jojo fries and chili.

I grew up eating it,

but I don't think a lot of people
will relate to it from Minnesota.

I want this dish to represent my hometown,

so I wanna do something
completely different.

So, I'm thinking a tater tot hot dish.

Then, you really think Minnesota.

I'm running out of time,

and if I'm gonna do it,
I gotta do it quick.

This is a really rustic,
comforting home dish.

- I really need to see one.

It's definitely raw.
I need to cook it longer.

Given this is the first time

making zeppoles from scratch,

I'm learning that the consistency
in my measurements are a little off.

You need it to form balls,
and it's not doing that.

I am not a baker.

Baking and making desserts is a science.

It's all measurements,
and this isn't the consistency.

It's too loose.
I need to fix this problem.

Let's try this... again.

This color on the steak
is exactly what I was hoping for,

and I can always finish it
in the oven if I really need to.

Being from Seattle, Washington,
I wanna make sure

that my dish has elements of home,
but I don't wanna give it away too much.

Seattle, I'm thinking coffee,

and so I decided to use espresso
on the steak rub.

For the white bean purée,
my family's from New Orleans.

Growing up, we eat beans all the time,

and I think it'll be like
a really nice texture

and sauce
to complement the steak.

There's a little bit of everything
that makes home home for me.

Chefs, you've got 10 minutes!

I did kinda make an error here.

I didn't wanna put
the mushrooms in just yet.

I lose track of my steps,

and I toss my mushrooms into my gravy

before I strained it.

I wanted to add those towards the end.

Okay, I've gotta strain my sauce.

And now, I've set myself
behind on time a little bit.

Um... I can get these in a pan
and get 'em cooked.

Chop 'em up real fast,
toss 'em in a hot pan.

There's nothing to worry about.

I really need this
to come together for me.

Chefs, five minutes!

My main concern right now
is the crispy component on top.

Everyone knows what a tater tot is.

I don't have that much time.

I'm sweating, I'm really worried,

and I hope that this was a good idea.

Now, I gotta think about plating, too,
because it's a casserole, right?

How do you make a casserole look... cool?

Man, I swung
for the fences on this one.

A mushroom cream cheese-stuffed chicken.

I pull the chicken skins
out of the oven,

recognize that the skins are soggy,

and if I don't pull this off, they're
gonna say something about the skins.

Damn it, man. Come on.

I torched the chicken skins, and yet,

it's still not giving me

the color or the texture I want.

Man, come on.

I need more time.

Chefs, one minute remains.

- Holy crap.

- This is it, baby.

Oh, my God!

This is beautiful.
Let's do a nice little thin stripe.

- Oh yeah. Peggy Hill says, "Oh yeah!"

Five, four,

three, two, one.

Time is up.

Chefs, the challenge has ended.

- Bye-bye.

- I'm just devastated
with the dish I put up,

and I'm like, I'm going home.

Chefs, move along to the lobby!

We're back in the middle again!

- Okay!
- Look at this. Yo!

What we got here?

Y'all, look at us!

The top five dinner.

- Okay, entrée!

- Beautiful mash.

The vibe at the table is friendly,

but it's an awkward situation

because we have to talk about the food
that's right in front of us

that we all made
without talking about who made it.

- Look, I love eating, but this has really
changed the dynamic for me.

How do you critique
and comment the food

without trying to amp up
your dish too much?

It's like this game of poker face.

Well, let's start with the appetizer.

- Yo, this appetizer's crazy.
- Yeah.

I made grilled steak with
chimichurri and a white bean purée.

I'm noticing people are enjoying the steak

and enjoying the chimichurri sauce,

but it's a little quiet.

It's a quiet dinner.

- Quiet dinner.
- Oh yeah.

- That steak is awesome.

- What about the bottom, though?

I was trying to figure out
exactly what that was. I couldn't get it.

- I can, I can identify the purée.

That's my thing.
- Mm...

I was like, "Oh, what do
you think's in that purée?"

Hoping that it would kind of spark
some positive, interesting conversation,

but they didn't know what the hell it was.

Clearly, you don't know good food.

- Now, we got a side dish here.

I made the tater tots casserole.

- This is exactly what I love.

I love green beans
with mushroom cream sauce

with some tater tots.

But I have no clue
who could have made this.

I think Poonam might have,

or it could have been Josh. I don't know.

- That was a hash brown?

- They're like-- Tater tots.
Sorry, tater tots.

- I didn't know what that was.

- I see Chef Leon start
to look at the inside,

and I'm looking around people's plates,
and I'm realizing that

they're not really touching it.

I mean, that's either potato or onion

or shallot, right? With a little white?

They're eating around the tater tots,

which should have been the best part.
This can't be good.

- Okay, mashed potatoes.

I made mashed potatoes and gravy.

I'm a little worried
that mashed potatoes and gravy

might not be enough of a show-stopper.

- I think it coulda used
a little bit more salt.

We're in a competition for $100,000,

and you're making a big-ass bowl
of mashed potatoes?

There coulda been some more roasted
garlic, some herbs, some more butter.

Like, what's going on?

- It's always the thing
that's the least seasoned

at every potluck is mashed potatoes.
- Always.

I like the gravy the most.

Hearing reviews out loud

in front of me about my mashed potatoes

was a little daunting.

Once again, not enough salt.

Like, come on. I salted the hell
out of these potatoes.

- Aight, now let's talk
about the main dish.

- The chicken.
- The chicken.

I made mojo chicken thighs.

I'm about to serve these people

soggy chicken thigh skins.

It's gonna kill this whole dish.

- So, what is... I wonder what this is.

- There's a lot happening
with this chicken.

I don't even know where to begin.

- The stuffing was interesting.
It had, like...

- Stuffing?
- Like, underneath the skin.

Okay, this is a main,

but it needs to be the star.
And I just feel like

to do a baked chicken thigh
is strong in its way,

but if you're gonna do the baked
chicken thigh, do it all the way.

And it just wasn't all the way
for me with the skin.

- Anybody need some of this gravy?

'Cause I'm just gonna pour
a little bit on this chicken right here.

Josh grabbed my chicken,
got extra sauce on his plate,

and just started going to town.

- Slurping the chicken.
- That slurp!

- Slurp the chicken. It was juicy.

And then, in camaraderie,

I did the same thing. I grab chicken.

I'm just going at it.
I'm eating this chicken like,

"Mm-mmm! Man, this is good."

- Damn! They ain't feeding you?

- He's a growing boy.

I think Leon made the chicken thigh

because he was doing the most.
Sopping up the juice,

all this butter, all this,
this and that...

- Mm.
- And it was good chicken thigh,

but it wasn't like that good
of a chicken thigh

to be doing all of that.

It was crispy on top, but I think like...
- I think-- Yeah.

Doing that on the bottom
kind of made it kind of elastic.

- Little sog here. Yeah...
- And it took away from that.

- Everybody has something to say
about the chicken skins,

even myself.
I'm like, "Yeah, this was no good.

I didn't even wanna eat the chicken skins.
They were just soggy."

Who's ready for dessert?

- Oh yeah.

I made the zeppoles,
and I'm feeling a bit nervous.

I don't really bake.
This is a dish I've never made,

so I don't know how the other chefs
are gonna react.

- I like the...
Is that like a raspberry sauce?

And the chocolate sauce, too.

If you mix them together,
it tastes really yummy.

You get the bright
and the richness together.

Yeah. I love a donut,
especially fried donut for dessert.

- Mixing the sauce is the way to go.
Raspberry and chocolate?

Probably one of my fave combinations.

And it's nice to have a dessert.

We haven't had anything kind of sweet yet.

I don't know who made the zeppole

because we've never cooked sweets.

So, to know everybody's kind of

level with desserts is hard to tell,

and I can't make a prediction
on that one too soon.

- Well, I'm full.
- Truly.

please return to your tasting rooms.

- Oh!
- Okay.

- I'm worried sick, leaving that room.

Like, oh, my God, the chicken skins
are gonna send me home.

Thank you, everyone.
Dinner was delicious.

It's time to rate and review
their hometown potluck.

It's all up to the chefs to decide

which course will they endorse.
Let's see what they think.

Let's begin.

- Taste-wise, I was kind of underwhelmed.

I'm realizing that we are

five very different people

with very different tastes,

and it makes me a bit nervous
in this competition.

- This was supposed to be an appetizer.

It didn't feel like an appetizer.

Overall, I was not very impressed

by all the potluck dishes.

- I didn't like this dish
very much at all.

- These were not great.

I don't know the mentality
everybody had going into this challenge,

but I felt this was the weakest
round of food we'd had,

myself included.

So, maybe the challenge
got the best of the competitors.

It's not just up to me,
so we'll see.

- Time for reviews.


- Reviews for Chef Couscous.

Chef Radicchio said,
"Looked nice on the platter.

Felt more like a main than an appetizer."


It might have stood out
more than the actual main that was there.


- Chef Donut said,
"Love the sauces.

I almost wanted the donut smaller."

The Donut wants smaller donuts?

- Chef Radicchio said, "Solid main.

Needed more flavor.
Skin was disappointing."

- Chef Donut said, "Mash could have used

a bit more seasoning in the gravy."

- Chef Macaron said,
"Great crunch on the string beans.

Sausage overpowered overall taste
and made it one note."

That one hurt. I don't want that
for my food. That's not me.

- Chef Macaron said,
"Sauce was good flavor.

Chicken skin was soggy."

- Chef Couscous said, "Great mushroom
and sausage filling. Tater tot was gummy."

- Chef Radicchio said,
"Nice gravy, needed salt."

- The skin killed me.

- These tater tots ruined me, man.

- I seasoned throughout
that whole friggin' dish.

I've never made
tater tots before, and now,

I'm going home because of tater tots.

- I'm sick to my stomach.
I'm definitely going home.

- Damn it.

That is not
what I wanted to hear at all.

Welcome back.

Our chefs have the blues
from their harsh reviews,

but what will the results say?


- I'm gonna anticipate someone leaving,

so we'll just put...

Could be me! Oh, could be me.

The chicken skins ruined the dish,
so I'm worried I'm going home.

I don't know if I'm gonna
get a chance to express

this happy-go-lucky fun attitude anymore.

- Who's going home today?

- Oh, goodness. What now?

- What is this? This is-- This is new.

I'm even more nervous

because this isn't part of the routine.

I'm looking at it, and I'm like,
oh, my gosh.

I'm about to open this thing.

"I'm sorry. You're going home."

- Oh no.


"Hooray, you won.
For now, please stay where you are."


It feels incredible being a winner.

I can't stop smiling.
It just feels unreal.

This is my first win,

and it's the first dessert one,
so I'm proud.

And especially for a dish
I've never made before.

First dessert.
I feel like I need a hair flip.

- I'm safe.

- Boom! It says, "You're safe."
And I said,

"Oh, my god. Thank you."

Oh, I gotta sit down.

Oh, my God...

Oh God...

Yeah, that's great.

I open up the cloche,
and it says, "Go to the lobby."

I don't know what it means,
but it cannot be good.

- "Please go to the lobby."

I'm thinking to myself,

is this the note that other people
got before they went home?

I don't know.

Let's go.

What's up?

- I think it's just... and me, friend.

- Just you and me?
- I guess just you and me.

I'm confused

why the only other person there is Josh.

- It's just Stephenie and I,

and I don't know what it means,

but I don't think it's gonna be good.

- Can we, like--
I need like emotional support.

- I know!
- Need a lot of emotional support.

Oh, man. This is crazy...

Cheffy, what the
you got for us, bro?

I mean, there's two chairs here.

It seems like
it's set up for it, you know?

- Hello, chefs.
- Hey.

- You worked hard today.
- Sure did.

- Those potluck dishes looked amazing.
- Thanks.

- How are you enjoying
each other's company?

- You know, it's good.
- Yeah.

- It's nice chatting to each other.

Stephenie and I are sitting there,

and I'm super nervous.

Stephenie's super nervous.
I can feel her energy,

and I don't know what's gonna happen.
Freaking out.

How nice you got
to eat together like a family!

I don't eat.

I don't have a family.

- Aw.
- Aw.

I have the ratings, though!

I have all the ratings!

And the results...

And a-a-a-a-all the ratings...

and the results...

And they are... And they are...

- Yo, is this happening, or am I tripping?
- What...

And they are... And they are...

And they are...

Cheffy, you alright?

Three chefs are one step closer

to winning $100,000.

- Three chefs?
- He sounds so sad.

You two chefs are not safe.

One of you is meant to go home.

But I am tired.

Come back later.
- What?

- Whoa...

- Well, I know we're not safe,

but we'll come back later.

- Next time on Secret Chef...
- Oh, what is going on?

Something is happening.
Something fishy.

: Name that tuna!

And who doesn't love some classic TV?

You'll need to make a fancy TV dinner.

And in our biggest twist yet...

- Oh, my God...
- Cheffy, why are you like this?

...the fate of one
is in the hands of three.

Be sure to "tuna" in

as we move on to level six of ten

on the next Secret Chef.

Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!