Ed, Autumn, Jay, Jason, Benjamin, and Holli are thrilled to have made it all the way to the final six. After a night of celebrating with Champagne in the dorms, the six chefs, now all on the same team, arrive in the dining room the next morning, ready for their first individual challenge.
Chef Ramsay tells them that for this challenge they'll not only have to create a dish that tastes great but also looks absolutely stunning with a knockout presentation, as it will be photographed by a famous food photographer.
After getting 30 minutes to make their dishes, they head upstairs for the photography session, where each contestant's dish gets photographed separately. As she looks around at the other dishes, Holli admits that hers isn't exactly a work of art.
Later, they go downstairs where the photographs of their plates are hanging in the entryway to "Hell's Kitchen." Chef Ramsay introduces the judges - a group culinary students - who will rank the photographs from best to worst. In the meantime, the six finalists go back to the kitchen to re-create their dishes for tasting.
After the judging is done, Chef Ramsay presents the results. As expected, Holli comes in last. Fifth place goes to Jay (who had earlier announced he'd win the challenge), while fourth place goes to Jason, and third goes to Autumn. That means that Benjamin and Ed's dishes are the top two that will be judged on taste for the win.
Chef Ramsay brings in the editor of food Website Epicurious.com, Tanya Steel, to choose the winner. Ed presents his pan-seared striped bass and Benjamin hands over his pan-seared halibut. Though Tanya really enjoys both of them, she gives the win to Benjamin for having "the total package."
As a reward, Benjamin get a day of pampering, including a facial, haircut, and manicure followed by a photo shoot for Epicurious.com. Meanwhile, the five losers have to polish up the dining room under the watchful eye of maitre d' Jean Phillippe. During the cleaning process, Jay comes clean about his two goals. The first is to win the competition. The second? To sleep with Holli! After a spruced-up Benjamin returns to "Hell's Kitchen," everyone hits the hay and wakes up refreshed for their first dinner service as one team.
Ben's challenge-winning dish is added to the menu and, during prep, he must teach his teammates how to make it. Unfortunately, they all find it overly complicated and frustrating. Before dinner service kicks off, Chef Ramsay announces that he'll be scrutinizing them more than ever as he looks for a leader. He then announces that a VIP guest will be eating at the chef's table in the kitchen tonight.
After the doors open and the orders start rolling in, it becomes clear that Ben's halibut is quite a popular choice. Ed, on the fish station, runs into trouble right away when he sends undercooked scallops to the pass and Chef Ramsay implores him to cook them further.
After many of the appetizers are completed, the team moves on to entrees, but Benjamin clearly isn't in the mood for teamwork. He's reprimanded by Chef Ramsay for not answering Autumn and not communicating well with the other chefs. As he gets worked into a tizzy, he falls and drops an entree; Chef Ramsay warns him he'd better slow down.
Ed makes another series of mistakes on the fish station when he sends out completely raw halibut multiple times. After the halibut arrives at the pass raw a fifth time, Chef Ramsay loses it and after a yelling fit, Ed's teammates try to help him. Next, Benjamin gets in more trouble for serving cold beef, an issue he blames on Ed's tardy fish. Chef Ramsay lets Ben know that he can cook, but he can't lead.
After a burnt batch of scallops comes off the burner, Chef Ramsay reaches his breaking point and kicks Ben and Ed out and reshuffles the stations. Upstairs, Ben says he knows he's going to be up for elimination.
Back in the kitchen, Jay, Jason, Holli, and Autumn get into a rhythm just in time as the VIP customer finally shows up, and it's none other than Whoopi Goldberg and three friends. Thankfully, she's thrilled with her dinner.
After dinner service, Chef Ramsay calls the service pathetic and says the final six have let the dining room and themselves down. He calls out Ed for not knowing how to cook halibut at this point in his career and Ben's lack of communication skills. He asks all six of them to come up with two chefs who don't deserve to stay based on what they've seen so far during the competition.
Benjamin chooses Autumn for "squeaking by" and not having the passion. Jay agrees and says Autumn has been up on the chopping block the most times. Jay then says his second choice would be either Ed or Jason, who has a truly bad temper.
Downstairs, Chef Ramsay asks Autumn for the nominees. She says that the team has nominated both her and Ed. When Chef Ramsay asks Ed why he's a better chef than Autumn, Ed explains he can multi-task and communicate better and has better knowledge. Chef Ramsay asks Autumn why she's been up for nomination five times,and she admits she has a "scarlet letter," but she argues that she's a better chef than Ed because she's been more consistent on the line.
Chef Ramsay's decides that it's Ed who will go home. He's "disintegrating," while Autumn is getting better. After Ed leaves, Chef Ramsay explains that the stronger are now getting stronger and the weaker are getting exposed. It's time to show him why each of them is worthy of still being here.