24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5 recap: Teams teeter between victory and defeat

24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5, Michael Symon and Esther Choi
24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5, Michael Symon and Esther Choi / Food Network

24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5 focused on teamwork and the challenge had big game stakes attached. The stress, tiredness, and competition in the unlikely premise of the newest Food Network show has food television fans devouring every minute. Which chefs survived another shift?

The idea of cooking for 24 hours straight might be common for some pitmasters, but some professional chefs might long for a few minutes off the line. Even though long hours and longer work weeks fill a chef’s schedule, the non-stop competition of 24 in 24 Last Chef Standing has chefs hitting their breaking point. Even with an endless supply of coffee, the culinary creativity can start to fade.

For 24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5, the chefs were broken into teams. For the first challenge, the winners from the breakfast, lunch, and dinner challenge in episode 4 were able to pick their teammates. Although there could have been some strategy with this school yard pick moment, one chef seemed to just choose based on a familiar name.

The teams were tasked with a challenge from Michael Symon. Although it was not a nod to his beloved Browns, Symon knows his way around game day and game day food. Each team had to create a game day platter using classic game day food, popcorn, pretzels, and beer. With a prize on the line, no one was going to present some bowls of snacks with a tallboy and call it a day.

To make the challenge harder, each team member had 12 minute shifts and only one chef was able to cook at a time. Not only did this challenge push the teams’ creativity of using these ingredients and flavors, but it also played into their communication skills. As any professional chef can appreciate, being able to work together efficiently and effectively is key to a successful restaurant kitchen.

Overall, the teams’ dishes were good and there were no horrible errors on the plate. The standard fare was featured. From beer brats to sweet and salty popcorn, the dishes were approachable and relatable. In this challenge, no one decided to breakout the duck terrine or foie gras. But, one team understood and answered the brief best.

Team Marcel nailed the Game Day food challenge. From the fried seafood ball with a pretzel crust to the caramel popcorn, it was a smart plate. The beer flavor might not have been dominate in the fried chicken, but it was a well composed plate.

24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5 challenge
Chefs during 24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5 challenge / Food Network

As the winners, Team Marcel, consisting of Marcel, Martel, and Kess earned a break and an upcoming advantage. Truthfully, a few minutes away from the stove is a big deal for these chefs. Anytime to rest and refuel can make a difference in this grueling competition.

Since two chefs would be leaving by the end of this 24 in 24 Last Chef Standing episode 5 shift, the remaining chefs had to divide into teams of two. Curiously, the chefs just randomly paired up. Given the first episode’s twist of a head to head battle, it was surprising that the chefs did not think a little harder before they chose their partner.

For this elimination challenge, the chefs had to create a duo plate, like fish and chips or shrimp and grits. Unfortunately, the chefs could not talk to each other prior to and during the cook. One chef cooked for 10 minutes, the other took over, and they finished the meal together. The first chef needed to leave clues to ensure that the second chef appreciated the dish and its direction.

The most successful pairing was Chris and Carlos. As the judges said, the shrimp and grits dish felt like it was totally cohesive and just one chef had a hand in the dish. From amazing flavor to great execution, it was a clear win.

Mika and Chris Oh seemed to be on the same page. The clues that Chris left Mika were clear for her to follow and set her up for success. Even if their fries were a little soggy, the flavor profiles worked.

Unfortunately, Camille and Christopher missed the mark on presentation. Their take on a fish and chips with salmon was creative, but the dish looked unimpressive. Unfortunately, this challenge was not one where the judges ate with their eyes closed.

The eliminated chefs were Camille and Christopher. The competition is at the halfway point and only seven chefs remain.

Which chefs will survive another shift? Be sure to watch new episodes of 24 in 24 Last Chef Standing every Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on Food Network. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.