And once more, technique wins! Whew! Big ol’ sigh of relief from this viewer, let me tell you! And since “Papa” Dean already critiqued his food and expressed his doubts, let me just jump on that wagon for a second (I believe this would be called armchair cooking?). First, the tuna salad. First, I have to note that we weren’t shown or told absolutely everything he tried to brighten it up. And he probably did add lemon or some kind of acid in an effort to do that. Maybe a little flavored vinegar? Maybe some chopped green onion? I don’t know.

I’m also really concerned about what I’m going to call the “ingredient mismanagement”. This is the 2nd time there wasn’t enough of something to turn out the way he’d originally envisioned it. But again, we weren’t shown exactly what happened, so I don’t know if he discovered there wouldn’t be enough cheese in time to think about adding in a second flavor. I don’t know what Gruyere tastes like, but I thought the one customer’s suggestion of white cheddar might’ve helped.

And then, of course, was the adult milk shake. Two things with this: first, I agree that adding the alcohol was really risky. I could well see the concoction not meeting the whole “diner experience”, since I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be family friendly by default.  The other risky ingredient was the egg whites.  So many people freak out at the idea of raw eggs in their food (because of the admittedly real possibility of salmonella), and I’m pretty sure restaurants that serve these items (two that come to mind are Caesar dressing and tiramisu) are required to coddle their eggs first. And quite frankly, when I’m serving my tiramisu to people I don’t know well, I make note that both of those particular ingredients are in it. I just list them under possible allergens, along with gluten, dairy, and chocolate.

All that said, I wanted to sample both his dishes. I also wanted to try Johnny and Chilli’s dishes.  I’m bummed that Chilli had to go; I was really beginning to like her.  While I don’t mind the occasional Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and I love Butterfingers, I don’ think I would’ve liked her milkshake, although I thought it was a good, old-fashioned type of milkshake you’d expect to find in a diner. I hope her charity does well.  For the other team, I wanted to try Hines and Carnie’s dishes. Kathy’s vegetarian club didn’t even sound good to me (and about the only way you’ll get me to eat avocado is in guacamole, so I’d be okay with Johnny’s avocado mayonnaise), but I respect her decision not to use the vegetarian bacon because it tasted bitter.   If the onions in tapenade didn’t provide enough crunch and texture, I don’t know what would’ve. As for the smoky flavor, again, no clue, unless she used a smoky cheese as well, since it seems like she used up all of Dean’s cheese options. (Yes, I know Guy’s team got to go in first.)

Dean’s restaurant experience definitely seemed to help his team this time around, even if the end results weren’t what I hoped (I wanted the team to win, not just Dean to not have to go home), so I hope his experience at being a family man and good with kids in general will help next week, now that they’re another man down.

Nina Lisa