Fourteen culinary klutzes have been recruited by Chefs Anne and Bobby for seven weeks of Boot Camp. Each week the challenges will get more difficult, culminating with the finale: cooking "a professional meal for a panel of culinary experts," says Bobby. And $25,000 will be awarded to one lucky winner who has shown the most growth.
After Bobby broke Anne's winning streak last season, it's anyone's game this time. Will Bobby bring it home again for the Blue Team, or will Anne reclaim the title for her Red Team? First, though, before the mentors choose their recruits, they will test them with a baseline Skill Drill, which will be "to prepare a dish that tells us who you are," says Bobby.
"I'm, like, totally trembling," Amber tells Casey as both of them prepare rice as a side dish for their plates. Casey wants to know when to drain the water from her rice. "You don't drain water out of rice," Amber tells her. Bobby's concerned Amber's nails will get in the way and asks her if she's going to keep them. "My nails haven't failed me yet," says Amber.
Carie is cooking a steak dinner, but instead of waiting to cook the meat closer to the end of the 60-minute challenge, she starts searing it right away. "I don't want it to be cold when you eat it," she tells Bobby, who is a little concerned. "Oh, my God. That steak died twice already," he tells her.
Muneerah wants to learn how to cook so she can fetch a husband. But after just 20 minutes into the challenge, she's getting tired. Anne stops by to whip her into shape: "Stand up! What's wrong with you? Act like a big girl!" But Anne leaves without seeing a glimmer of hope: "Bobby, this one's for your team!"
Lance, who's calling himself "the black Bobby Flay," is more concerned about presentation than with taste; not knowing how hot they are, he uses sliced habanero chile as garnish. Anne makes him taste it, and he eats directly from her hand, which has Bobby in fits of laughter: "That was my favorite moment in history."
Before assembling their teams, Anne and Bobby announce the worst of the worst: Muneerah. Her award for that distinction is choosing her coach. "I love Bobby Flay. I want Bobby Flay," she says. Jamie is the runner-up and ends up on Anne's team. "Anne Burrell seems a little intense. I just don't see us jelling," he worries. The recruits return for their first Main Dish challenge the following day.
On a new day in Boot Camp, Bobby and Anne welcome the recruits with boxes and boxes of pizzas. Bobby lures Benji over with a slice, then snaps the box lid on his hands. "You think we're just going to give you pizza?" he asks. "You've got to cook your meals. That's the whole point." Anne explains their challenge will be to make pizza from scratch, including the dough.
After the mentors' demonstrations, the recruits are sent off to cook and replicate the recipe in 90 minutes. Luckily Danny's method for learning is visual memorization: "If I keep repeating these, I likely won't forget," he says. So when Bobby shows him how to form pizzas, Danny's a quick study. Unfortunately it doesn't help him when the pizzas burn later.
Mike's idea of making pizza is as follows: "You take a knife, you cut the cellophane, you slide it off the cardboard, 375, done." But this challenge is not that kind of cooking, and Anne makes sure of it, snapping him back into reality that it's about cooking from scratch.
Danielle takes a similar approach to the pizza challenge as she did the day before when she made her Catty Quesadilla. She tells Bobby "I'm channeling a cat right now" about making her dough. To Bobby's surprise the pizzas turn out pretty good — and he's happy "they're not in the shape of cats."
Benji's set with the crumbled sausage topping for Anne's pizzetta, but he's lost when it comes to peeling an onion. After she awes him by removing a layer, he realizes "I don't understand ... whatever that there is behind cooking something." Anne urges him to hurry up by chasing him through the kitchen. Now the recruits must each make a second pizza with just 30 minutes left.
Anne was much more impressed by Joe's dance moves than she is with his food. But on the Blue Team, Bobby says he expected more from Joe and was let down by his pizza's looks. "Your appearance is very neat," says Bobby. "So I always think that someone's going to apply that to what they're plating as well."
"I thought I had problems in the kitchen," says Ken, who thinks he's better off than most of his teammates, especially Casey. But when it comes to his pizza, Anne calls him out on an obvious issue: There's "crushed red pepper everywhere. I have a feeling it's going to be very spicy."
After tasting all the recruits' pizzas, the chefs announce that the winners are Blue Team's Amber and Red Team's Jamie, who was deemed the second-worst just the day before. Anne and Bobby call forward the bottom two from each of their teams. Everyone else is safe and will move on to next week.
In the end, Bobby decides to keep Lance, which means Muneerah is going home. Bobby was concerned she wasn't "getting it" and didn't see the glimmer of hope. "Boot Camp was the step in the right direction for me," says Muneerah, "but whatever man I'll meet, maybe he'll be able to cook."
"One of you is showing a bit more desire to learn," says Anne in deciding to keep Benji. She asks for Casey's apron back. "I think my boyfriend will be more disappointed than I am," says Casey. "I have accomplished more in this one week than in my entire life cooking."