Heather and Virginia open a bottle of champagne to celebrate their passage into the finals. But before they can get too comfortable, they get a little surprise. Their parents walking into the dorm.
The next morning, the girls plan their strategy. Heather hopes to emphasize her advantage in service and Virginia wants to focus on her superior palate. Chef Ramsay then calls the girls to the dining room, where they're surprised by a gaggle of reporters on hand for a press conference. After a quick Q&A, Chef Ramsay informs everyone on hand that Hell's Kitchen will once again be divided into two restaurants, one created and run by Heather and one by Virginia.
Later, the ladies examine their respective spaces to conceive their ideas. Then they each meet with two designers to figure out the look of their restaurants. After that, it's a chat with Jean Phillippe to create staff uniforms and a service style. And then it's into their kitchens. Scott will be working under Heather, and Mary Ann will be with Virginia. Heather's restaurant is shaping into a fun, vibrant, family-style place where the signature dish is white fish. Virginia, conversely, is going for a classy, artistic establishment with chicken roulade.
Chef Ramsay then comes out and tells the girls there's one more thing to take care of. And they need to pack their bags, because it needs to be handled now...in Las Vegas. When they arrive in Las Vegas, Chef Ramsay takes them to a casino for the latest challenge. He's reserved a restaurant for Heather and Virginia to cook their signature dishes and serve them to casino customers. Heather decides to make a Chilean sea bass with pureed cauliflower, while Virginia will make her chicken roulade with a beurre blanc.
With the dishes prepared, the girls hit the casino floor to hand out samples. They grab passersby to taste each dish and give their opinions. Halfway through the challenge, Heather leads 5-4, but as the competition continues, Virginia takes a small lead. The 20th customer enjoys both dishes, but eventually chooses Heather's sea bass, creating a 10-10 tie. A tiebreaking gambler is called over and, with much difficulty, he eventually goes for Virginia's chicken, giving her the victory.
After that, it's time for one more surprise. Chef Ramsay talks about the nervousness and hope that goes with opening a new restaurant and what he felt before his first place opened. Then he presents Heather and Virginia with two plane tickets to London and a reservation at Gordon Ramsay's so they can experience his restaurant firsthand.
Renovations continue as the cooks return to Hell's Kitchen, where design compromises await. The girls start to get a little nervous about whether or not their visions will come together in time. The following morning, Virginia and Heather are treated to yet another surprise. The Hell's Kitchen alumni reunion. Keith, Giacomo, Tom, Garrett, Sara and Rachel file into the dorm. Chef Ramsay quickly calls the entire group to the kitchen, then announces that because Virginia won the Vegas challenge, she gets to choose the first line cook for her team. She goes with Keith, who doesn't seem all that happy to be helping Virginia. Heather picks Rachel, which is followed by Virginia selecting Tom. Tom! Heather, marveling at that pick makes Sara the second member of her team. Virginia rounds out her team with Giacomo, leaving Garrett for Heather. Virginia later explains that she figured Giacomo and Tom would be more willing to put in the work than Sara and Garrett might be.
The teams return to the dorm so Heather and Virginia can brief the teams on their menu. Virginia opens her pep talk by saying she wanted to choose cooks that everybody thought were weak and see what she can do with them. This...unique...approach to boosting team morale doesn't seem to work. On the positive side, Keith admits that he thinks Virginia's menu sounds fantastic. So that's good. But then, of course, comes some bad. Keith leads a minor coup when he declares that he wants a share of whatever money Virginia wins and he wants it in writing. Giacomo and Tom are all too happy to go along. Disgusted, Virginia agrees to give them each $1000 if she wins.
The teams head into the kitchens to begin prep. Heather is supremely confident as the work starts. Virginia, on the other hand, is a little worried about how Giacomo and Tom will handle the pressure when service starts. With only hours until the big service begins, both dining rooms are struggling to complete renovations. But the menus - consisting of three starters, entrees and desserts - are coming along beautifully. Heather's menu includes a warm goat cheese tart with candied pecans, her signature sea bass and a warm bread pudding with caramel and vanilla ice cream. Chef Ramsay examines each of her dishes and gives mixed reviews. The chicken included with one of her salads wasn't sliced with care and looks practically chewed. The signature sea bass is nice, but too boring. On the plus side, her chocolate empanada looks absolutely stunning.
Then it's time to examine Virginia's dishes. Her menu includes a jalapeno tortellini starter, an entrée of short ribs braised in red wine and a classic ice cream sundae for dessert. Chef Ramsey reviews the tortellini and praises the presentation and preparation, also offering a warning to watch the thickness of the pasta. The next dish, foie gras with a quail egg, earns a rebuke. Although the quail egg looks nice on the plate, the flavors don't really match. The egg has to go. Lastly, braised short ribs on a parsnip puree with a honey mustard sauce gets a positive review. After, Chef Ramsay remarks that the two menus and dining experiences Heather and Virginia have created couldn't possibly be more different.
With Heather's dining room completed, it's time for Chef Ramsay to scrutinize it. He likes the feel and atmosphere she's created, including a giant video screen that plays video of Heather cooking, but isn't crazy about one touch. Personal message scribbled on the pillars. Heather thinks the dry erase graffiti can simply be taken down. Chef Ramsay then turns his attention to Virginia's dining room, which finally has the functioning waterfalls she desired. Chef Ramsay is quite impressed by the ambience and the flattering lighting in particular.
Chef Ramsay then calls Heather and Virginia together for one last piece of advice. He implores them to remember the line cooks are staff, not friends, then warns that he'll be watching everything tonight. Everything. Then the doors are thrown open and the first orders come in. Heather calls out the first order and is greeted with enthusiasm. Whereas Virginia's reading of her first order is met by a sedate team.
Little do the chefs know, a very special guest is on hand tonight. The president of the Red Rock Resort is in the dining room. He'll be sampling dishes from each kitchen and passing along his recommendation to Chef Ramsay. Heather continues to crack the whip in her kitchen, demanding communication from her staff. Due to her control of the kitchen, the first starters breeze out of the kitchen. On the other side, dishes are prepared, but Virginia is allowing them to idle on the hot plate as she meticulously plates each dish. Her quest for perfection is slowing down the entire process.
Heather has already served 32 of her 50 starters, but one tart is returned to the kitchen after a guest complains of a lack of flavor. In the blue kitchen, Virginia samples a scallop salad that Giacomo has prepared, thinks about it, and then rejects the dishes, demanding new ones with less salt and more walnut oil. One hour into the service, Heather has served most of her appetizers. Virginia is doing a great job with quality control, but due to Giacomo's ineptness, not many starters are leaving the kitchen. On Chef Ramsay's advice, Virginia decides to stop plating dishes by herself. With the team now helping, the logjam is eased and starters begin to flow from the blue kitchen.
In the dining room, patrons are beginning to rave about the taste of Virginia's starters. Although the president of Red Rock is a little concerned that the tortellini was too thick. Over in Heather's dining room, diners have very strong feelings about the dishes. However, some of those feelings are strongly positive and some are strongly negative. A second starter is returned to Heather's kitchen.
As the kitchens turn to entrees, Heather rejects some steaks from Rachel and forcefully orders her to cook them to the requested temperature. The hard attitude pays off, as both an average diner and the Red Rock president compliment how well the steaks were cooked. On the other side, Virginia is once again struggling to catch up. Unfortunately for her, Tom isn't doing much to help out. On the fish station, he merely stands around idly with nothing to do. Then he complains in private that he can't stand being bossed around by a woman. Then, when Virginia finally calls out two snappers, Tom's first move is to cut his hand. All in all, it's a typically useless performance from Tom.
Two hours into the service, Heather has served 42 of her 50 entrees. Conversely, Virginia has only served 35. And she goes into a mild panic when she learns about Tom's cut. To Tom's credit, he does attempt to rush through the bandaging process. Virginia begins to push out entrees, and the evening takes a positive turn for her when the casino president is quite impressed by her dishes. Continually harping on her staff, Virginia is able to send out all of her entrees. But one order of snapper is sent back because it's far too oily. The diner would simply like a new snapper prepared, but there isn't any in the house. In fact, there's not much of anything left in the kitchen.
As Virginia struggles to replace the entrée, Heather's team moves on to desserts. Sort of. Sara plates two empanadas, but Heather rejects them for not being plated properly. The second attempt is also a failure. Heather continues to crack down on her staff and Virginia continues to flounder as she looks for a replacement fish. She's somewhat bailed out when Jean Phillippe returns with the news that the unhappy diner in question has decided to simply move on to dessert.
In the red kitchen, Heather orders her team to finish with a perfect flourish. Both teams race to send the final desserts and, as quickly as it started, the service is over. Chef Ramsay congratulates both Heather and Virginia for a successful service before unveiling his last surprise. He brings forward the Red Rock president and informs the cooks that his comments will weigh heavily on Chef Ramsay's decision. For a quick review, the president announces that he loved everything about Heather's sea bass and that Viginia's short ribs are the best he's ever had.
Chef Ramsay then sends Virginia and Heather back to the dorm to await his decision. Both girls fret that they've lost as Chef Ramsay ponders his decision. A decision based on customer comments cards, the casino president's comments and his own observations throughout the night. Finally, Chef Ramsay reaches a decision and summons the girls. Like last season, Heather and Virginia are each placed in front of a door. Whoever's key unlocks the door and walks into the dining room will be the winner. Chef Ramsay declares that the customer comments gave a very, very, very slight advantage to one cook, and claims that this might be the toughest decision he's ever had to make.
Virginia and Heather take their keys and turn to face the doors. They slowly turn the knobs and...the door is opened by...Heather. She screams in excited disbelief and walks downstairs to greet her parents. Virginia follows, happily greeting her parents as well, and admitting that she trusts Chef Ramsay's decision. Chef Ramsay explains that he selected Heather because of her determination and the way she controlled her kitchen.