Yes. Finally, a challenge that made sense and was fun to watch. The Quickfire tested two basic skills a chef needs - how to butcher and how to cook a steak to order. (BTW - loved the guest judge here. Quiet, soft-spoken but clearly passionate about his food. Just a pleasure to watch.)
And then the elimination challenge - chefs cooking their own dishes in a *real* restaurant, with Chef Tom being the expediter and having a blast doing it. I have never seen him more comfortable than right then. No knife drawings, no "Top Caterer" - and in a steakhouse, where the food is NOT supposed to be elaborate, the basics (skill, technique and ingredients) count. I could almost taste many of those dishes - I've had sweet breads, and I've certainly had steaks. All of them were, of course, undercooked by my standards. My meat has to be well-done or I can't eat it. It's a texture thing. Doesn't matter. I love the idea of apples with beef, and I love that they balanced the flavors.
And the moment Spike picked the frozen scallops, he was gone. (And picking ingredients seems to be a skill he lacks anyway.)
I really loved this episode. I don't want this show to turn into Hell's Kitchen, but I do want to see more challenges like this.