The remaining 16 chefs arrive at the Los Angeles Times building to face their first team challenge. They meet judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich, who welcome them to one of the busiest cafeterias in city.
Their team challenge is to create a five-course meal for the busy office workers in the building. The service must consist of soup, salad, pizza, a special entrée, and dessert. The chefs will be given two-and-a-half hours to prep and two hours to serve 350 guests.
The 16 competitors split into two teams, which are chosen by Max and Derrick, who had the best dishes in the previous Elimination Challenge. Max, age 18, uses speed and experience as his criteria when he selects Christian for the Blue Team, while Derrick picks Suzy for the Red Team because he believes in her ability as a chef.
Max also chooses Alejandra and then Giuseppe, because he believes the Italian-born cook "can make a pizza pie." He rounds out his team with Tony, Tracy, Esther, and Jennifer. Derrick adds Adrien, Alvin, Ben, Erryn, Jennie, and Jennifer to his group.