With Frenchman Ludo Lefebvre, who just can't calm down, twitchy seafood genius Rick Moonen and Jonathan Waxman, who we've decided is even more Zen than Rick Bayless, in the mix -- not to mention Bowles' charming performance last time around -- we knew this was going to be entertaining.
The quickfire challenge was pure product placement -- create a dish that compliments a Stoli cocktail for the judges, three of the "Real Housewives of Orange County." Cringe. "I don't really eat red meat, so I'm not the best judge," said one housewife, after trying Ludo's pork chop. With that kind of crowd and Bowles' kind of dish -- black cod crudo -- you knew he was screwed.
The elimination challenge was to reinvent traditional pub dishes. Bowles went out on a limb choosing steak and kidney pie; Ludo whined because he wanted to do fish and chips and so did Moonen, and then Ludo whined some more.
In the end, the judges wanted more of Bowles' kidneys, and Waxman and Moonen, the elder statesmen of the group, advanced.
But Bowles, of course, left us with charmed, the best moment being this lil exchange with his TV frenemy, WD-50's Wylie Dufresne, as they both picked at food in the kitchen:
Dufresne: "Your a professional grazer. I like that."
Bowles: "I didnt get this body by being judicious with my grazing."