Rolling with the Punches in a Beat Bobby Flay Cannelloni Battle
With a winning record inside the Beat Bobby Flay arena, Bobby Flay is a culinary force to be reckoned with, seemingly unmatched in his ability to cook against the clock and deliver impressive plates time and time again. But not every time. Bobby has occasionally felt the sting of defeat, and it's been the dark horses — those competitors who seemingly come from out of nowhere and go on to win — who have ultimately upset his record the most.
On tonight's new episode, he and culinary producer Jackie Rothong faced off in a cannelloni battle of her choosing, following a neck-and-neck cook-off between her and her Round 1 rival, Chef Matteo Boffo. In her showdown against Bobby in Round 2, Jackie and Bobby had just 45 minutes to prep and plate their offerings, hardly enough time to execute the from-scratch dough and bold sauces they'd need to produce a winning plate.
Though Bobby has cooked in the Beat Bobby Flay kitchen countless times before, he struggled more than usual tonight, while Jackie took the demands of competition in stride. Jackie earned compliments from the judges upon successfully rolling her golden sheets of egg-yolk-rich dough with apparent ease. Meanwhile, Bobby was forced to remake his pasta dough after a first-attempt flop left him with a dry mixture. "Maybe you could offer Bobby a hand," guest Scott Conant joked to Jackie as she continued her prep work while Bobby visibly sweated through the pressure.
Only minutes later, Bobby suffered yet another setback that Jackie escaped: a failed filling. While Bobby faced a pressure cooker full of burned pork, Jackie's meaty filling came together seamlessly. She opted for a base of both veal and pork in her herb-laced filling, which she tucked inside her pasta. Confident in her approach, she proclaimed, "My take on this filling is going to be beat Bobby because I add a lot of different flavors."
As the seconds ticked away, both Jackie and Bobby put the final touches on their cannelloni, though Jackie breezed through the finish. In fact, she completed her dish with time to take a celebratory swig of wine and revel in the cheers of the crowd.
Ultimately Jackie's cannelloni fell to Bobby's, but her dark dark-horse determination and ability to execute under pressure proved she has the chops to challenge even the most seasoned of chefs.
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