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The chefs on Bravo’s "Around the World in 80 Plates" are driven, but they're also cut-throat in the May 30th episode when the show heads to Marrakech, Morocco. As contestants are eliminated one by one, alliances are being made, and those alliances are more about personality than cooking chops.
As the remaining nine contestants race through Marrakech's medina, it's clear they don't all get along.
Chaz Brown is still hung up on Avery winning back in Lyon, France, claiming she took credit where she didn’t deserve it for the quenelle. (Clearly, he can't face reality, since he's the one who constantly took credit when it belonged elsewhere). The feelings between Avery and Chaz are mutual, and she's watching her back.
Through all these emotions, "Around the World in 80 Plates" manages to still be about food knowledge and cooking skills. Split into three teams, the Americans race around the medina to a spice shop, pick out the nine spices in "ras el hanout," and then learn how to fill tea cups in the proper way. Really not much of this helps in the true challenge: making a Moroccan tagine and two additional dishes in a local restaurant.
But since Avery, Nookie, and John -- team black -- won the race, they do have an advantage. A Moroccan guide escorts them around the medina so they know where everything is. They also have the opportunity to learn more about creating a tagine with the perfect amount of spices. Despite this though, they don’t win at the restaurant.
While Nookie’s beef and vegetable tagine is great, and Avery makes a wonderful trio of Moroccan salads (despite her beets going missing, and her exchanging words with Chaz), John's saffron stewed white beans aren't up to par.
The white team doesn't fare much better. Nick's chicken tagine doesn't have the correct spices, and Chaz makes an incredibly untraditional couscous. Gary's chickpea salad isn’t enough to save them.
That left the team of girls -- Nicole, Jenna, and Liz -- as the winners. Not only did Liz finally step up to the plate and get noticed, both in the front of the house and for her saffron couscous, but she's named this week's winner. Jenna also made a decent lamb tagine, and Nicole created a fabulous rice pudding with orange flower water. So the red team is safe, at least this week on "80 Plates."
With the black and white team in the bottom, any one of them can go home. And they've all planned exactly how this is going to go down. Team black votes for Chaz. Team white votes for Avery, even though Gary seemed to waver in the final moments of voting.
So who breaks the tie? Liz, the winner, of course. She thinks they have plenty of team challenges ahead, and she decides by considering who she'd want on a future time. Avery Pursell stays. Chaz Brown leaves.
Chicagoans, what did you think of the "Around the World in 80 Plates" Morocco episode? Did Chaz deserve the boot? The culinary competition airs on Wednesday nights in Chicago on Bravo at 8 p.m., RCN channels 106 and 621 (HD).