Though he was concerned that the lamb he served to the judges on Tuesday night's episode of "The Taste" came out of the oven just a bit undercooked, judges Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson praised the dish—and Libertyville chef Paul Caravelli made it through another episode.
Much like the Feb. 5 episode, Caravelli fell amongst the middle-of-the-pack after the solo round Feb. 12, advancing him one more week in the competition.
Tuesday night's theme saw the contestants pairing food with wine. During the team portion, each of the mentors presented five ingredients to their teams, and the contestants had to use at least one of the ingredients. Caravelli and his fellow members of chef Ludo Lefevbre's team had these to choose from: white miso, bonito flakes, charcoal, smoked eel and cassis.
Caravelli made a bonito-crusted short rib.
"I want Ludo to pick my spoon," said Caravelli, referring to the spoonful of food, or taste, that is presented to the judges.
Though his dish wasn't selected for judging by Tuesday night's guest judges—sommelier André Hueston Mack and chef David Kinch—a member of Lefevbre's team won the first round. Lefevbre's team won assistance from Mack and Kinch during the second round, or solo round.
Contestants had to pair their solo round dish with one of four wines: a German Riesling, a French Cotes du Rhone, a California Chardonnay or an Italian Borolo.
Caravelli made a rack of lamb that was seared and then rolled in almonds and bacon, paired with the Cotes du Rhone.
"I pull my lamb out of the oven and it's just about as raw as when it went in," Caravelli said. The contestants have just one hour to cook their dishes.
Bourdain called the dish "classic French," while Lawson said, "I'd be very happy with that."
Six individuals—the top two and bottom four—were sent back before the judges for possible elimination, with contestants Erika and Shawn ultimately being sent home.
Next up? A sandwich challenge on the Feb. 19 episode.