At the start of this episode, Raymond has the gang in a book warehouse. Why? He tells them that there are over 80,000 cookbooks in the building at that moment. He says cookbooks are a huge industry and he wants them to write a sample 3 page book to present to some potential buyers. "You must touch them with your concept and your food." This was the setup of a great episode of Last Restaurant standing! I couldn't figure out the point of being in the warehouse, then a Michael Pollen book flashed on the screen for a split second and it was kinda weird. Did you guys notice that?
Jalasdair has the assistance of food photographer Jan Baldwin. You can check out her portfolio and learn more about her work on her website. They call their cookbook "The art of food" since they have art in their restaurant and their food is so artistic. The photography is going well, but as always, James leaves Alasdair alone to finish everything. James doesn't even type up the recipes and has to explain them over the phone to Alasdair who can't cook at all. We get some hilarious sound bites like "how much is a lug of olive oil?" Seems like James writes recipes like someone we all know... After all this mess, of course the recipes are terrible and there are 20 grammatical errors in the book. If only they had a Rich to proofread like I do! As always, James is optimistic and happy going into judging. I think this is because the food always is good and he feels that if they go down, it won't be his fault. Raymond calls the book minimalist and cold. He says it has no heart or humanity. He asks the boys "what makes you get up in the morning and go into the kitchen?? James replies with some words about family, mothers, and growing up around food and the judges all yell FINALLY some emotion!!!! Raymond passes the book back to Jalasdair and asks them to write that stuff in. Despite the errors, Ray says this is the book he would most likely buy and because of that, Jalasdair is safe this week.
Michele and Russell are matched with Chris Knaggs. Again, check out his portfolio here. In their standard hippyish style, they decide to have the book be very personal with stories of their childhood and pictures of them as kids. Michele puts a bunch of family pictures on the cover with a purple background. The potential buyers from Amazon and Borders tell her it is dreadful. And it is. It looks like something I made as a book report cover in 5th grade. Michele starts to cry again but really it wasn't that harsh criticisms. At judging Michele tells Ray that the cover can be worked on. Ray says "NO!!! don't you EVER dismiss something so important." In the end, Ray tells them that they didn't say enough at their presentation about the actual food. she says they meant to but ray says it isn't enough.
Helen and Stephen have been planning this cookbook for 20 years. This is their dream. They even have a title already. Conquering cabbage. They want a book that families can use together to get kids more interested in food. They get to work with David Loftus, the best of the 3 photo experts in my opinion. His portfolio is pretty cool. He warns of avoiding yellows and blues with food, but Helen could care less. This is HER project and it must be done her way. She has one of the best food photographers in the world at her disposal, responsible for multiple Jamie Oliver cookbooks, and she is ignoring his suggestions!!!!! Next Helen starts bossing around the designer about the layouts asking for things that simply cant be don't in the given time and making funny faces to the camera. The buyers aren't sure who the book is marketed to because Helen says for adults to use with kids, but the pictures are very childish. Later on ray says they tried to make a book for kids and adults and they failed to do either. "No! No! No! There is no love in here!" Raymond also calls out Helen for being a control freak. He is sorry but he must close their restaurant.
Helen and Stephens departure was the first time I felt sad for a couple leaving the show. I really liked Helen and even though she couldn't cook as well as the others, I thought she might have a chance to win based only on pure drive and enthusiasm. As she left she said that it was silly for Raymond to close a successful restaurant and that good chefs are everywhere but restaurateurs are harder to come by.
What did you guys think about this elimination? Does anybody watch this show anymore? Only 3 couples left! Who are you rooting for?