The chefs learn that there is a "money saver" theme for this special competition: Ingredients in each basket will not exceed $10, but the chefs' dishes are still expected to look and taste like a million bucks. In the first round, a meatless basket has some of the chefs searching for protein in the pantry. Then various levels of creativity are one of the factors that the judges consider while analyzing three ham-steak entrees. And the dessert basket, including chocolate chips, seems deceptively simple.
Four chefs set out to make low-cost items taste like a million bucks in three "dollar dish" challenges. Some homegrown greens and a box of frozen finger foods are two of the no-frills finds in the appetizer round. One of the competitors is shocked to find the ingredient that they most fear is in the second basket. Finally, the inexpensive collection of goods in the dessert basket includes a clever hack for what to do with leftover wine.
The chefs are surprised with some thrifty, yet uniquely yummy, finds in the baskets, like pork buns and Mexican street corn in the first round. The competitors must pair a pickled product with a fair favorite in their entrees, then some delectable little cakes and an odd sauce make an appearance in the last basket.
The judges are excited by the prospect of beautiful octopus appetizers in the first round as the four chefs scramble to create dishes featuring mollusk morsels. The canned product in the second round threatens to throw the competitors off their game and leaves one chef in an unusual predicament. The two remaining chefs choose the same format for their Gorgonzola dolce desserts in the final round, leaving the judges to thoroughly compare the two dishes.