The Biggest Twist On Outchef'd Season 2 Premiere Was The Langoustines

When it comes to cooking on a food competition show, contestants need to be prepared to cook anything that comes their way. On the Food Network show, "Outchef'd," home cooks face off in a head-to-head battle with a celebrity chef to cook one dish using a star ingredient. It's no easy feat considering some of the celebrity chefs. The season 2 premiere pitted home chef Trent against Rocco Dispirito with the signature ingredient, langoustine.

Unless you've eaten in a fine dining seafood restaurant, you're probably not very familiar with langoustine. Even though the crustacean resembles a crawfish, there are distinct differences between langoustines and crawfish. Crawfish meat tastes like a combination of lobster and shrimp, while langoustine has a naturally sweeter, more buttery flavor. 

Crawfish is easier to catch, due to it growing in freshwater like lakes, while langoustines live in saltwater oceans. Langoustines are also much more expensive than crawfish, with langoustines selling upwards of $45 per pound, while crawfish are far more affordable at around $6 per pound. Since many home cooks have not cooked with langoustines, it was quite a surprise to be given such a luxurious ingredient for a competition.

What makes langoustines so unique?

Langoustines are loved by chefs due to their sweet flavor, especially the tail meat. Langoustines were originally discovered off the coast of Norway, but most of the ones we see today are imported from the coasts of Scotland and Iceland. Their high price tag is in large part due to how difficult they are to fish. Langoustines are caught in a similar method as lobster, using trawlers. Langoustines are also highly monitored by the European Union to ensure not too many are being fished, which adds to their high prices.

On the show, Trent used the langoustines for a riff on shrimp and grits, while Rocco Dispirito paired them with creamy tomato pasta. Unfortunately for Trent, the chef wasn't familiar with the crustacean prior to the competition. When it came down to judging the two dishes, Dispirito ended up sweeping the competition with his pasta. So in this kitchen battle, the home chef ultimately lost. However, some viewers thought Trent should have won, as one viewer wrote, "She won in my book!"

 For those who want to experience langoustines themselves, you can travel to a high-end restaurant, like Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, where you can enjoy truffled langoustine ravioli. For those who want to cook up the delicacy at home, it's recommended to simply boil them whole and serve simply with a side of garlic aioli.