Justin had a great week in the fashion challenge his winning remake of Beef Stroganoff won him $10K. Hearing Alton's advice not to get cocky, he wrote in his journal, "It's hard not to be cocky when I'm a nerd with 10 g's!" He also showed his romantic side here, drawing a diamond ring that he hoped to buy for his girlfriend.
Justin was excited about his dish, fried sardine skeletons, but when the presentation started, he got cold feet: "The show starts and no one is saying anything. Dead silence. I'm scared for the first time in this competition. I wasn't myself." The entire team ended up in the Producers' Challenge; Justin performed well, but Judson was sent home.
For the food court challenge in South Street Seaport, Justin made a tempura-battered fritto misto. He wrote the simple recipe here in his journal. Nothing made Justin happier than approval from Alton: "If Alton Brown says he likes your food, you know you are doing something right," he wrote.
Justin presented a dish that Ed Levine called "insane": stuffed dates with peanut butter, duck and bonito flakes. But Team Alton's rebel pulled it off with a story of his late father, who was told he couldn't cook and rebelled by making stuffed dates. "I thought it was a perfect bite," said Bob. "I saw a joy and a sweetness, and it made me love him that much more."
Justin made it to Miami, where the first challenge involved cooking for Paula Deen. His teammate and close friend Martie was beside herself: "Forget me and Alton being two peas ... Paula and Martie are peas and carrots," he wrote with a little sketch in his journal. Justin's corn soup was too spicy for Paula, but she still found him charming and told him he looked like Elvis.
"I want Martie and I to stay in this competition together. She's becoming my BFF. She's been wanting this her whole life and if she doesn't get it, I'm going to be heartbroken," Justin said. Team Alton was shocked and thrilled to learn that both Martie and Justin would be making pilots.