CBS

Season 2: Episode 15 - Red Herring

Red Herring: Jane and CBI investigate the murder of a chef competing in a best chef competition in Napa Valley. The 23rd Annual Westing Resort Best Chef competition is just underway when chef Jeffery Barge falls over dead while describing his dishes for the judging panel. Jane tastes a dish from Chef Barge which is far too salty and after checking the victim’s tongue he realizes Barge was poisoned. Jane’s theory is confirmed when the coroner suspects that ricin was used, a poison made from castor beans. The other chefs in the competition are the likely suspect pool and the CBI finds that their personal lives were all intertwined. Eliza Greene, Jeffrey’s sous chef had a shot at her own restaurant but was unable to get her liquor license and when the restaurant folded Eliza went back to work for Jeffrey. French chef, Adrien Ludo, and Jeffrey were known for their disdain of one another. Chef Hannah Diaz sent a bottle of gin to Jeffrey knowing he had a drinking problem, the night before the competition to keep him off his game. Even though the poison was found in the gin, Jane doesn’t suspect Hannah. Jeff’s estranged wife, Abigail tells them of a phone call she received from him the night before he died. He called to say he was sorry, she hung up on him. The team learns that Jeff was having an affair with another chef, Julia St. Germain. She and her husband, Arliss were all competitors in the cook off. The competition continues along with the investigation, but it’s shut down when Julia drops dead in the kitchen with the ricin found in red savina pepper spice that Julia liked to use in her dishes. The remaining contestants all gather for a memorial dinner where Jane adds red savina pepper to the soup unbeknownst to the chefs who have prepared the meal. As everyone partakes in the soup Jane announces the addition of the pepper to the dish. Eliza panics and says that they all must go to the hospital outing her as the killer. She confesses that she killed Jeffrey and Julia because they blocked Eliza’s liquor license so that he could keep her in his own kitchen.