To represent Chef Guarnaschelli on a plate in the test of simplicity, Chef Vigneron imagined several key moments of her life into a one-bite truffled egg. "As an homage to Chef Guarnaschelli, I think it works really well," Simon said. Despite his dish's success, however, Chef Vigneron was ultimately outcooked by his rival and forced to face off in a three-way Secret Ingredient Showdown.
Chef Vigneron took an Italian approach to his canned clams by serving an acqua pazza, which means crazy water in Italian. Ultimately the broth proved to be far too salty for the judges and he faced a head-to-head Secret Ingredient Showdown against best friend and fellow rival Chef Spike Mendelsohn.
In an unprecedented Showdown, Chefs Vigneron and Mendelsohn made their friendly alliance official by plating their lobster-based dishes and presenting to the judges as a team. Although they weren't impressed with the chefs' antics and lack of respect for the rules, the judges eliminated only Chef Mendelsohn, and Chef Vigneron was pardoned to cook another day.
Before the Chairman's test of risk began, Chef Vigneron made sure to consider what's "stupid vs. risky." Some of his fellow rivals found out the hard way that taking too much risk and experimenting with unusual cooking techniques and ingredients could ultimately do them in, but Chef Vigneron's beef cheeks and tongue was named the best dish of the day.
This is Chef Vigneron's winning plate of Braised Beef Tongue and Cheek made with the calves' heads that he won in the Chairman's ingredient auction with a cooking time of 50 minutes. Simon complimented him on preparing "a terrific dish" with a pressure cooker, a notoriously difficult machine to master.
Not shy about putting his advantage to work, Chef Vigneron chose for himself the most complementary ingredient marriage — that of peanut butter and blue cheese — before the test of fusion. "I feel like my ingredients were the easiest to combine," he said, "which is precisely why I chose them." His strategy paid off as his dessert of blue cheese ice cream and peanut butter brittle was one of the top two dishes of the day.
Despite serving a white chocolate-curry risotto that earned rave reviews from the judges, Chef Vigneron is ultimately sent home after seven hard-fought weeks in the competition. After his elimination, he reflected, "I proved that I matured as a chef, as a person and that I can cook some pretty delicious dishes."