Rachael and Guy welcome the kids to the competition's final Cook-Off. They will have 75 minutes to prepare a family-style meal for six special guests, who aren't aware that kids are doing the cooking. The kids are happy to learn that their lowest scores will be dropped once tallying up the final scores at the end of the competition. After a classroom powwow, the kids are given their own chef coats and sent off to cook. Later they will pitch their show concepts to the judges.
Jack wants to make his five-cheese mac 'n' cheese — it's a version that goes way beyond the kid favorite. He'll be stuffing the mac 'n' cheese into poblano peppers and baking it. He gets started on grating the cheese, but it's going to take some time. Rachael warns him to make sure he puts on the pasta to cook at the right time.
Originally Sydney had wanted to make either crab cakes or stuffed chicken breast, but Guy steered her in a different direction, combining both her ideas. So crab cake-stuffed chicken breast it is, but Sydney thinks it will be risky. Guy steps in to show Sydney the right way to butterfly the chicken so that it can be rolled up with the stuffing. Sydney will also be making a bechamel sauce to go on top.
Haile decides to make a healthy dish she says she's made plenty of times with great results. It's her caramel shrimp banh mi sandwiches. Rachael thinks making caramel will really show off her skills. Haile pours the brine over her sliced vegetables for the pickled component of her sandwiches.
After sampling each of the dishes, the guest judges discuss the merits of the food they've tasted. Overall they were very impressed. Some dishes might have been slightly overcooked or would have benefitted from additional time in the kitchen, which was the overall consensus. Rachael and Guy lead them to believe that the meal was cooked by contestants from Celebrity Cook-Off. Little do they know that kid chefs are about to walk out.
Rachael and Guy look on with pride as each kid comes out to present. They can't believe how much these kids have grown in the competition and how poised they are in front of the special guests and the cameras. Rachael even tears up and says, "I'm just so blown away by all these kids."
The judges liked Cole's presence and thought his food was well cooked and gutsy. The judges loved Daniel's catch phrase and thought his food was presented beautifully though a tad overcooked. They thought Sydney was very poised during her presentation but her sauce fell flat. Alessandra's food was cooked well and her presentation showed off her great personality.
The judges thought Brandon had great energy, a strong concept and really flavorful food. Hunter was really nervous but his concept was strong and his venison was nicely done. They thought Jack was adorable and had a great story about surviving leukemia, but his dish needed more cheese. The judges loved Haile's healthy concept but thought her dish needed more shrimp filling.
Brandon is announced the winner! With a score of 288 points, he earned first place and was awarded his own Web series on FoodNetwork.com. Watch his new show and read his interview.
Visit the Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off page for more behind-the-scenes content.