In the first Chairman's Challenge, Chef Falkner had the opportunity to redeem herself with black garlic, the ingredient that sent her home from Super Chefs last season. She featured the pungent garlic in a barbecue sauce atop duck and a butter with cornbread, both dishes that the judges loved.
Before the Chairman's Challenge of Innovation, Chef Falkner made a step-by-step list of how she would prepare her banh mi-inspired ravioli and the time she needed to complete each process. What she didn't account for, however, was a finicky pressure cooker that wouldn't open, so she was forced to change her pasta plan from ravioli to thick-cut noodles and use the would-be filling as a sauce.
Although Chef Falkner was sent to the Showdown on account of the banh mi pasta that judge Simon called "a bit of a mess," she maintained that "it was a beautiful, innovative pasta dish." Looking ahead at the three-way battle she'd face against Chefs Estes and Freitag, she noted, "This is not remotely where I want to be or where I want either of the other two chefs to be!!"
The judges complimented Chef Falkner's stellar display of anchovies, but they couldn't look past her over-use of saffron in the fregola. After an impressive five-week run in the competition, Chef Falkner fell to Chef Appleman in the most-emotional elimination so far. Reflecting on the road to redemption, Chef Falkner said, "I know you can't win every game, but I really thought I could."