Season 4, Episode 4

Do It Yourself Cooking

Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay teach the Worst Cooks in America to stop relying on others to cook for themselves. The remaining eight recruits race a delivery boy in making their own homemade Chinese takeout and bake a cake for a very special occasion with the help of Ron Ben-Israel.
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Recipes From This Episode

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Green Shrimp Lo Mein

Basic Vanilla Cake 2

Chicken Fried Steak with White Gravy 2

Shrimp Fried Rice

Basic Vanilla Cake

Fire and Ice
Face Your Fears of Feeding

Episode Photos

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Chefs Anne and Bobby surprise the recruits at their house, but they're not there for a casual visit. The goal of the week is to convince the contestants that from-scratch cooking at home is just as easy and quick as delivery. So after the mentors demonstrate the how-tos of Asian-inspired takeout favorites, the recruits must replicate them in the Skill Drill.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Phone-In Challenge

Unlike past Skill Drills in which the competitors cooked against the clock, here they're racing the delivery person from a local takeout restaurant. Once the chefs place their food orders, the teams have only until the doorbell rings to complete their dishes.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Searching for Calm

Chef Bobby's Blue Team gets to work on shrimp lo mein, but for some of the competitors, simple time management is proving to be a test in itself. "I don't even have a clock in this challenge, so it's imperative that I stay focused," Carrie Lee says. Although Chef Bobby admits that her dish boasts "really good flavor," he's worried about her demeanor in the kitchen. "I want to see you freaking out less."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Streak of Bad Luck

It's one struggle after another for Crystal, who not only loathes shrimp but also has the poor luck of her egg yolk breaking in the final minutes of cooking. "I'm the only one on the team who didn't get an egg on the plate," she explains. Chef Anne is disappointed with her offering, telling her, "If you're going to serve it, you have to make sure you serve it with the egg."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Making Strides

"Bobby said that I infused the noodles with flavor," Chet notes. "I didn't even mean to do that, but I'm glad I did." At the end of the Skill Drill, his dish is named the most successful on the Blue Team, and Chef Bobby tells him, "Something clicked in you a little bit today."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Missing Sugar

Carla manages to complete her lo mein on time, but Chef Bobby isn't wowed by her too-spicy finished dish. She's forgotten to include both sugar and lime, which would have helped to calm the heat of the chili sauce.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Proud Mentor

"I order shrimp fried rice at least once or twice a week," Rasheeda explains. "I've got this challenge." And in the end, she is, in fact, successful. After replicating her mentor's plate nearly flawlessly, Rasheeda is named the Red Team winner. "This makes me a happy chef," Anne tells her.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Baking Genius

Come the Main Dish Challenge, the recruits welcome Ron Ben-Israel, master pastry chef and host of Sweet Genius, to Boot Camp. After following Chef Ron's tutorial on the hows and whats of a basic vanilla cake, the contestants must bake and frost signature celebration cakes for several special guests, twin 7-year-old birthday boys, Dash and Sawyer, and Rita, a recent retiree.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Out of His Element

"I got news for you. I do taxes. I don't really decorate cakes," Michael says of his extreme unfamiliarity with frosting. Nevertheless, he admits, "This is a chance for me to be creative." And he takes Rita's plans to travel to heart, topping his cake with a fondant airplane and Eifel Tower, plus a message of "Bon Voyage" penned partly in raisins.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Successful Frosting

Chef Ron tells the recruits that a sure sign of a ready frosting is its ability to stay put in the bowl when flipped upside down, and after testing her batch over Chef Ron's head, Alina finds that her icing is complete. Made with wow-factor green cake batter, bright-orange frosting and decorations inspired by the twins' interests, Alina's dessert is ultimately named the most successful of the Blue Team.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Sugar Overkill

"I've never seen a cake like this," Chef Ron tells Sue after inspecting her cakes in the oven. She fills the layers with raspberry jam and malted chocolate balls because, she admits, "You can't go wrong by adding lots of sweet stuff." But Chef Anne later explains that too many sweet flavors can be overwhelming.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Decorating Niche

An interior designer by trade, Chet is sure that any challenge involving decorating is his for the taking. "I'm going to decorate the hell out of this damn cake, you hear me?" he asks his fellow competitors. He plans to make a black-and-white cake topped with cream-filled sandwich cookies. Although Chef Bobby praises the cake's appearance, Dash and Sawyer aren't impressed with its taste.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Accidental Drop

Just as Crystal's taking her cake pans to the oven, the unthinkable happens: She drops one, spilling almost all of its batter on the floor, which forces her to present a cake with just one layer. "I always feel like you have a lot of excuses," Chef Anne tells her. "To me the flavor of the cake itself is not horrible, but I think you could have done better."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Thumbs Down

The baking challenge has proven particularly frustrating for Carrie Lee, who's said, "I don't feel comfortable in this at all." After Chef Bobby and the twins taste her vanilla cake with lemon frosting, Dash and Sawyer note that there's too much lemon flavor in the icing, and Chef Bobby adds that the layers are "a little doughy," a sign that they're not fully cooked.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Conquering Confections

Rasheeda offers Chef Anne and Rita a three-layer cake laced with fresh ginger and topped with nuts, and both ladies are pleased with elements of the dessert. In the end Chef Anne tells her, "Overall, pretty good job," before naming her cake the best of the day on the Red Team.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Frantic Fixes

"I'm pretty sure my cake tastes good, but it looks ugly," Carla says of her slanted dessert. She experiences severe difficulties with both cake layers — portions of which have stuck to the pans — but the self-described master of "fake and baking" attempts piece-by-piece repairs that hardly prove successful.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Final Bow

Come elimination, Chef Bobby explains that Carla and Carrie Lee face potential week-four elimination on account of their lack of concentration and willingness to give up, respectively. Ultimately, it's Carrie Lee who's asked to turn in her apron, but she admits: "I've learned that cooking isn't strict like ballet. There is improvisation allowed and artistry that I never gave myself the ability to see before."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Emotional Goodbye

Red Team's Crystal bids farewell to Chef Anne in a teary exit after her mentor tells her that the excuses for her mistakes are "just a copout for you." Looking ahead, Crystal promises, "I'm going to go home and cook like I've never cooked before."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

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