Season 3, Episode 8

Worst to First: The Final Battle

In the final battle, the two remaining recruits must execute their own three-course menu for a panel of culinary titans at David Burke Kitchen, a restaurant in New York City. Bobby and Anne work with their respective recruits to design the menus, taking into account their personal culinary journeys. The contestants learn new techniques, shop for groceries, practice their menus and execute all three courses in a dramatic end to an exhausting competition. Finally, the panel of culinary experts — including David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson and Susan Feniger — determine which chef has moved from worst to first and will walk away with the $25,000 grand prize.
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Recipes From This Episode

Dry Rubbed Porterhouse Steak With Bagna Cauda Sauce, Roasted Cauliflower, Porcini Hash and Poached Egg, and Tuscan Kale Chips

Broccoli Rabe Risotto

Yellowtail Tartar with Bacon and Tangerine Dressing

Squab Marsala

Brown Butter Apple Crostata with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce

Pistachio Creme Brulee with Blackberries and Pomegranate

Jumbo Lump Crab Filled Sweet Potato Cannelloni with Parmigiano Sauce

Kicked Off By Kinfolk
The Worst of the Worst

Episode Photos

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The Final Two

Kelli and Vinnie are ready for the final challenge: cooking for three culinary experts in a New York restaurant kitchen. Both are fired up to win it for their families and their chefs — not to mention the $25K in prize money.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.


The first step is planning out menus with their chefs. Anne asks Kelli for ideas, and together they come up with an ambitious three-course meal: crab-stuffed cannelloni, grilled steak and an apple crostata for dessert.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Risky Business

Vinnie's tartare impressed Bobby in the seafood challenge, so he's going to improve upon it even more for his appetizer. Also on the menu: squab marsala and a risky pistachio creme brulee.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Supermarket Sweep

Now the recruits are off to the grocery store to shop for all of their ingredients. Both Kelli and Vinnie are a bit lost in the store: "I am completely out of my element. Usually I stay where things are boxed and packaged," says Kelli.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Practice Makes Perfect

Back in the practice kitchen, Bobby and Vinnie get to work on the most difficult part of their meal, the pistachio creme brulee dessert. It is baked in a water bath, but Bobby stresses the importance of not letting even a drop of water get into the brulee dishes. "That's why brulee is such a risky dish," he explains to Vinnie, who tiptoes his brulees over to the oven but still manages to let water seep in.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Steak Strategy

Kelli thinks her practice steaks look perfect, but once Chef Anne slices one, she shows that they're not rare but raw in the middle. Kelli has never cooked steak before and is most nervous about this part of her meal.

Photo By: Janet Rhodes ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Game Time

After a day of practice, Kelli and Vinnie arrive at David Burke Kitchen. Before the cooking begins, they meet the panel of culinary experts they'll be serving: David Burke, Susan Feniger and Marcus Samuelsson, all celebrated chefs.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Watchful Eye

Vinnie had a slight mishap with his risotto, which he started over, but still is able to keep his time-management issues in check and get his entree plated beautifully. Bobby's not allowed to help, but he coaches Vinnie from the sidelines. The judges are impressed: "It is very ambitious to take on squab and risotto," says Marcus.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Under Pressure

"There's a level of multitasking involved that I have never experienced," says Kelli as she rushes to get her steak and multiple sides plated in time. Her cauliflower wins unanimous raves: "Finesse really came in with the cauliflower and poached egg," says David.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Friendly Competition

Despite how much they both want to win, Kelli and Vinnie have become tight over seven weeks of Boot Camp. When cooking is finally over and both have sent out their desserts, they share a victory hug. Both feel like winners for making it this far from their very humble culinary beginnings.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Moment of Truth

The recruits and their chefs face the panel of food experts for the final verdict. "I've been judged before, but being judged on someone else's food is a new one. Every time they take a shot at Vinnie, they take a shot at me too," says Bobby. The judges say all four of them should be proud, and they wish they could hire Kelli and Vinnie for their own kitchens.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Victory for Kelli!

In the end, Kelli's meal edged out Vinnie's. That means Chef Anne also scores a third-straight Worst Cooks victory. Both Red Team members shriek in excitement: "I cannot believe I pulled it out and I won. My family is not going to believe it!" says the former Worst Cook in America, Kelli. She's moved far beyond that title.

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Big Win

In addition to the prize money, Kelli and Vinnie will both take home complete kitchen sets from Kohl's. Now they're all set to keep improving their cooking skills. "I can carry on the legacy of food that my Nana passed on to me," says Kelli. Vinnie is a great sport: "I didn't win the money, but the win for me is getting the family back together around the table."

Photo By: Heidi Gutman © 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

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