Paul Caravelli, executive chef of 545 North Bar & Grill in Libertyville, will live to see another day in the ongoing competition on ABC's "The Taste."
Caravelli and his fellow contestants competed in the first official themed episode Tuesday night, charged with creating two separate comfort food dishes. At the end of the one-hour episode, two chefs were eliminated—and Caravelli wasn't one of them.
On Tuesday night's episode, the cooks from each of the four teams faced off against each other in an initial challenge. Each contestant created a comfort food dish that had to contain bacon, egg and cheese. Then, after determining which dish was the best from the team, a spoonful - or taste - of that contestant's food was presented to Guest Chef Gabrielle Hamilton for judging. The winning contestant won immunity, and that contestant's team won assistance from Hamilton during the solo challenge.
Caravelli, who is on Ludo Lefevbre's team, opted to make stuffed chicken breast with potato croquettes, but his dish wasn't selected to be presented to Hamilton. Ultimately, it was Nigella Lawson's team that won the initial competition.
For the solo competition, also using the "comfort food" theme, Caravelli made potato flaked halibut. He and the 15 other contestants each presented a spoonful of their dish to the four judges/mentors—Lawson, Lefevbre, Anthony Bourdain and Brian Malarkey—who tasted the dishes blindly. The judges critiqued the food as the contestants watched and listened.
The judges ultimately chose the three best and four worst dishes and delivered the news to the contestants.
"Of all of those 16, nothing sucked," Bourdain said after tasting the array of dishes.
As he awaited the results, Caravelli said he was "feeling like a million butterflies in my stomach right now."
Caravelli and eight other contestants landed in the middle of the pack, safe for another week. The two contestants sent home at the end of the night were Micah from Malarkey's team and Renatta from Nigella's team.
"The Taste" will air again at 7 p.m. Feb. 12.