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TC 3 Episode 5 - Dame Chocolate (Spoiler Alert!)

Wow- Howie and Joey are doing well and lovin' each other, what a turnaround. I was suprised they didn't send Casey home, but Lia's polenta and trout?? are you kidding me?!?. I LOVE seeing Hung squirm... I think his insolence is going to catch up with him. Both Sara's seem to need to step it up a notch.

A good show tonight, I was happy they weren't on product placement overload. But it kills me that they give them such a small budget... I would think they would want them to really be able to show their talent with top shelf ingredients. It was interesting to hear the cast from Dame Chocolate's comments on everyone's food. Gave me some ideas for my own cooking. I am still rooting for Brian and Tre- - they both seem to be turning out good dishes, but just aren't getting it right yet.

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  1. I liked that they were calling Hung out on his attitude. I think it was the first time that the judges have taken note of the ass on the show and commented on it. I think he'll get worse as the pressure gets worse. He's way too focused on winning, at the expense of focusing on his food.

    I was reading the blogs on the Bravo site. I found it interesting to note that Hung and Marcel are friends. Birds of a feather...

    16 Replies
    1. re: pgokey

      Looking at next weeks episode...what the hell did Rocco do to his face? And he lost a lot of weight! Too much liposuction maybe?

      "There is Rocco in all of his Rocco glory" I had to laught at that.

      1. re: sugarbuzz

        Rocco's no stranger to plastic surgery (the nose knows), but he is also now a "triathlete" so that may account for some physical alterations. Still...whatever...ick.

        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          I, too, was astonished when they showed him in the previews. He doesn't even look like the same guy anymore. Much more like a "pretty boy" now. I think I like the "old" Rocco better.

          1. re: HungryLetsEat

            I thought the old Rocco was pretty the way he was....he looked kind like he's lost weight and his face looks strange - maybe its the studio makeup and bright lights? I dunno....

        2. re: sugarbuzz

          I noticed the same thing! He looked soooo weird! He was a good looking fella (and certainly knew it!) so plastic surgery or whatever was unnecassary. I don't know exactly what next week's challenge is but if its really frozen food it looks a bit lame and waaaay too product placement.

          Maybe they'll all rip on Rocco though. Then it will all be worthwhile. lol

          1. re: Elyssa

            I think the 'surprise' will be that the winning recipe will be added to Brailla's ( I think it was their frozen pasta) product line.


            1. re: Withnail42

              Ick! Well I mean I guess its good publicity but still.........

          2. re: sugarbuzz

            lol - i thought the same thing. i had to rewind on the dvr about 5 times to try and see what he was holding - some kind of frozen food, based on the context of the episode? probably something he's schlocking on qvc. oh how the mighty have fallen. hate to sound so darn snarky but sheeeeeeeeesh did he have an ego on 'the restaurant'

            1. re: winedubar

              Oh don't worry---your not alone winedubar. I think he's a total schmuck. He might be able to cook but he should have just stuck to that. The Restaurant was the worst deciscion that dude ever made. Surprised he's even stepping foot onto Top Chef with out his poor mama.

              1. re: Elyssa

                hi elyssa,

                i'm glad to be in good company :) he's such a lesson in how not to behave as a celebrity chef. here's his wiki entry :


                there's a link at the bottom to an article outlining all his legal trouble from the tv show

                1. re: winedubar

                  Although because of that show I'll also never eat in a Chowdrow restaurant - they both came off as complete as** on it and neither was professional at all.

                  1. re: wingman

                    agreed they both came off like huge jerks.

          3. re: pgokey

            I was happy to see Chef Tom comment on Hung's knife skills and the callous way he struts around the kitchen. Tonight he took off with knife in hand towards the stove-luckily missed Casey but still too close for comfort.

            1. re: foodseek

              I am also enjoying watching the Howie/Joey love fest!! 180 degrees from the last couple weeks.

              And Hung is SO cocky! I find it hilarious he and Marcel are friends...birds of a feather... He always looks so shocked when he's in the bottom group, like the judges have NO CLUE what they're talking about.

              One thing I am really appreciating about this season is the calibur of chefs competing. Last season was FAR too much drama...

              1. re: amanda3571

                I don't know if I prefer the new lovefest or the old WWE pathos. I thought those two were going to get into a lustful clinch there when Howie was awarded the bottle of wine. OK, not a pretty picture, sorry.

              2. re: foodseek

                I like Hung...there is something about him that I find highly entertaining. But I wouldn't want to be in a kitchen with him. If the kitchen was empty that's one thing but he runs around like a hyper chihuaha and seems waaay too dangerous and into his own thing to notice.

            2. Good episode. These are what I like to call the "trimming the fat" episodes b/c you can tell there's still a handful there that aren't going to make the grade. The bottom group's dishes looked awful. Avocado ceviche?! And Hung's cooking so far hasn't backed up his big mouth. At least Marcel's dishes were well done.

              I was surprised they didn't bring Sara in for the top 3. With the way the cast was falling all over her chile rellenos, I thought she would be up there.

              7 Replies
              1. re: lawgirl3278

                I thought that the person who did the avocado ceviche should have been booted, rather than Lia. I agree about Sara.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Agreed! I was pretty shocked, actually. My mouth dropped open when they let Lia go - she won last week! I think Sara Nguyen (avocado ceviche) has been inconsistent and less knowledgeable overall, and I expected her to get the boot. Maybe the judges' blogs will clarify their decision a little better.

                  1. re: carissarene

                    Might be interesting if they had a point system, and awarded points to all "contestants", and then each week boot the contestant with the lowest cumulated point total.

                    Guacamole ceviche? Yuck, but smoked trout and polenta as "latin" food, no way.

                  2. re: MMRuth

                    ditto, ditto, and ditto. i know they're not supposed to, but it seems like the judges should take into consideration the performance over the show and not just one episode...how can someone who wins the previous week get the boot the next, when there are others that are barely getting by each week? i liked lia - i think she's talented and would have been in the running much longer than sara n. will be. I can't stand Hung - I do think he's good, but he's way more arrogant than Marcel was...I didn't mind Marcel, I think editing had a lot to do with the bad rap he got. And, he was extremely talented. He certainly miffed by the constructive criticism the way Hung is. When TC3 first aired, I was rooting for Hung as Marcel's revenge (because I thought he should have won) but no more...yuck!

                    1. re: nancyhudson

                      "I didn't mind Marcel, I think editing had a lot to do with the bad rap he got. "
                      Watch any of the interviews with either Marcel or Ilan, and you'll see that what we saw on TC2 seems to be the way they are in real life. And read both of their blogs (especially Ilan's first one) re: TC3, and yet again, you'll see that neither have any humility.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        and the cheesey bravo web show 'after top chef' or whatever. marcel kept going on and on and on and on. and the season 1 vs season 2 challenge he just acted like a little troll. i could barely watch.

                        and ilan? choked on both cooking components - quickfire and the duck. ouch!!

                      2. re: nancyhudson

                        The other contestants on season 3 seem to find Hung somewhat annoying, but that's in response to specific behaviors, like dropping the crayfish, or running around with the knife. There weren't any problems working with him on the team challenge, IIRC. On the other hand, everyone had issues with Marcel by this point in season 2. And on the season 1 vs 2 throwdown, the season 1 contestants seemed to take a very quick dislike to Marcel, based on personality alone. I find Hung much less irritating than Marcel, or Stephen (who seemed to be channeling Charles Emerson Winchester III in his ego about his own skills and disdain for anyone else's). Hung seems the more "normal" of the 3, IMHO, even with all his disconnect with the judges' opinions. I can't quite put a finger on it.

                        Edited to add: Bourdain calls out Hung (and Rocco) in this week's bravotv blog (Tom's column).

                  3. Very glad to see the judges talk amongst themselves re: Hung's arrogance, but even better to watch them specifically say it to him! Still don't know if he's "playing the game" and being arrogant on purpose for the face time on camera, or if he's actually that way. (With Stephen and Marcel, you just knew that's the way they were.)

                    And very glad to see Chef Tom Collichio call Hung out on running with knives. Something all of us know not to do from hearing it from our mothers so many times! :-)

                    Funniest moment was the survey answer - who's the sexiest judge? Chef Tom! Stupid question asked of viewers, and I'm glad anyone who responded overwhelming chose him.

                    I was a little bemused by Howie and Joey's lovefest going on - complete turnaround from the past few weeks - was it Howie who said that they two of them working together last week that did it?

                    I also was surprised Sara wasn't up there with her chiles rellenos. Editing is obviously trying to throw viewers off track...everything said by the Telemundo folks about her dish led us to believe she'd be one of the top contenders.

                    Edited to add - Joey's comment about Howie always making pork is very true - I believe this is the third time he's done pork with a slaw on top?

                    And I think Sara Nguyen (sp?) or Casey should have gone over Lia.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      What, you don't think Chef Tom *really* is the sexiest?


                      1. re: susancinsf

                        Well, as a heterosexual woman, he floats my boat (in a teddy bear-ish way) more than Gail or Padma does. :-)

                        I think those survey questions are dumb, so having Chef Tom win over Padma was funny.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I do love his cookbook, but I have to confess to being turned off by the way he stabs at his food when he tries the dishes (superficial, I know). What are the surveys to which you refer?

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I *totally* agree with you Ruth - his cutting with knife/fork method is a bit - ummm...unorthodox? He "fists" the fork, IIRC, which just looks so awkward and uncomfortable.

                            And the surveys are those that the Bravo announcer does about 10-15 minutes into the show, just before cutting to a commercial. It's a cell phone / text vote thing. Usually one a show.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Oh - I've seen those - I thought maybe it was something on the Bravo website. Yes, you'd think he would have learned how to eat "properly" by now. I wince every time, and think "how can a man who so clearly loves and appreciates and knows food stab at it like that".

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            I think he won because there are more gay men and straight women who watch the show than there are straight men, and the women would have split the straight guy vote.

                            I'm gay and would have voted for Padma, for what it's worth.

                            I did think it was funny when Tom asked the Dame cast who the "bitch" was. I knew what he meant by it, and don't think the question was inappropriate, but the way it came out was...funny. When it was clarified that he meant the villain, I think he realized it came out a little wrong.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              I thought that was funny too, but I figured the ladies split the vote since if you added up their percentages, the total exceeded Tom's. I'm a heterosexual woman too and I find Tom kind of attractive, especially this week when he was in jeans. Of course, Padma is very beautiful, but Gail really doesn't do anything for me at all.

                              1. re: Debbie W

                                I'm a heterosexual woman but I find Padma more attractive than Tom.

                                I also think most people who watch shows don't vote in those things so regardless of who is watching, we're seeing a reflection of who bothers to go online and vote for hottest judge.

                            2. re: susancinsf

                              Whatever....CJ is the sexiest in Top Chef history

                              I have a MASSIVE crush!

                              1. re: Elyssa

                                CJ rocks.
                                Humor, height, cooking skills...he rocks

                            3. re: LindaWhit

                              Howie always makes pork and Brian always makes seafood.

                              1. re: Elyssa

                                I know - wouldn't it be great if there was a challenge where neither could be used? Or each of them had to use the other's favorite ingredient?

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                LindaWhit, I was surprised about the rellenos too!!! Sara even had time to make cheese despite the time crunch.

                              3. FYI, this is episode 5, last week was 4.

                                I was sad to see the lineup at the end, knowing that one of them was going to go, as I feel like they are all very strong chefs - no half-@ssing and squeaking by like last year (Mikey, Betty.) Lia is the exec sous-chef for Jean Georges, for Pete's sake! Ah well, her dish was pretty weak. I figured it would be either her or Sara N. to get the boot.

                                Joey seems to be calming down abit and coming into his own, but from some of the previews I've seen, it looks like he will still have some implosions to come.

                                Hung's pie looked terrible as well.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Rocknrope

                                  I kinda thought it should be Sara N. just because her dish looked nasty...not like ceviche at all.

                                  But then again it was a little obvious that either Lia or Casey would be sent home since out of the blue they focused on their friendship.

                                  Although I must say I kind of like how they are all really inspired by each other this season...and friendlier. I think they just respect the high quality of talent that is represented among each other and there for get along better.

                                  1. re: Elyssa

                                    I thought the same thing when I saw the bit about what good friends they had become. I figured either one was on the way out, or one would throw the other under the bus!

                                  2. re: Rocknrope

                                    My bad- it IS ep.5- this season is going so fast! TY 4 the catch.

                                  3. Still enjoying this season.

                                    Have the feeling that Joey and Howie will have a big falling out.

                                    Didn't recognize Rocco when they briefly showed him. At first I thought he was another of the 'Queer Eye' guys.

                                    I am sure that Guy Savoy and his people are able to control Hung's hyperness. More likely Hugh knows better thant to behave like an idiot around Savoy. So like a kid with the parents away he is acting out.

                                    Thought that the judges and other eaters came down a little hard on the contestants Latin cooking. Seems like they wanted authentic traditional cooking. Considering that contestants don't have access to reference material seemed a little much.


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      I dunno, I think the caliber of chefs is overall higher this season, but now the drama isn't as good. They were probably concerned about getting better chefs this season after last season, but now they've sacrificed getting more dysfunctional or outlandish characters for better or worse. Only Hung approaches craziness, but even that is highly edited to amp it up. The first season managed to have both talented and intense personalities, the second less talent and more personality, and now they've gone in the other direction. They're all kind of normal, which makes for better cooking I guess, but boring TV. Even Joey and Howie are friends now!

                                    2. I agree, Joey does seem to be getting alot better - I think he finally let his strong island guard down and is just relaxing and cooking - tensions are no doubt high with the amount of money/ notieriaty on the line with the competition. I think the reason Sara N. wasn't sent packing is that her dish in some way tied back to Latin flavors and while it turned out to taste like just gucamole I don't think the guacamole was "awful". I believe Padma said that Lia's dish was inedible so I think her overall lack of quality was what sent her packing.

                                      I think Hung is going to have a nervous break down in a week or two - should be fun to watch!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: wingman

                                        glad to see Joey and Howie getting along,though they may in a future episode go at it.I think and might be wrong,but Hung may get booted out next time,whether because of food or attitude not sure which.
                                        They did not have a lot of time to get really detailed and in depth in Latin cuisine.
                                        Howie's dish is traditional,and so is chili relleno.Not sure on the others.but I think the cerviche would have been better if she had been generous on the seafood.Then scooped out the avocado and used the shell to put the cerviche in.The avocado could have been used to make a guacamole and cauliflower salad ,with jicama and
                                        pepper strips.Yes,there is such a mexican salad using guacamole and cauliflower.
                                        Will get back to you on the cookbooks I've seen it in.I think even Diane Kennedy has a recipe for it in one of her books.
                                        i might have done a stew with meatballs,hominy,chicken and other ingredients,like a posole.
                                        there are different forms of course of latin cooking.You have cuban,puerto rican,guatamalan,etc.I think that the chefs were trying to learn more towards mexican cooking,which most people are familiar with.
                                        I think one of the complaints about Sara's dish was not enough seafood and too much guacamole.
                                        Surprised no one tried to make enchiladas or empanadas( little turnovers) or tacos.
                                        Casey's chicken was dry and the rice was bad too.Surprised they didn't tell her to go.Her dish was also bad in the team challenge with Howie and Joey.I think why she was still there besides immunity,was because of the comment she made to Chef.
                                        She's right,it wouldn't have been fair to send either Joey or Howie home because she screwed up.

                                      2. I thought it was a little interesting that all the contest went with such Mexican styles of food when asked to cook Latin dishes, especially in light of the guest judge being Argentine, which would have given them a whole lot of really cool options to play with--chimichurris and steaks and that sort of thing.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. Joey's stepped up and stopped whining, focusing on putting out good food and nearly pulling off a double whammy. He definitely has shown he belongs. Hung's been taking a beating and really needs to stop being so arrogant, I can only imagine what choice words he would have used if a fellow competitor had turned out a runny mousse like that. I thought last night it was Casey or Sara N to go, Leia caught me by surprise. I think Casey got a break because they felt the time crunch played a role in the dry chicken/soggy rice, it may have turned out differently with the full 3 hours, while Leia's dish would have turned out the same even with the full 3 hours. Sara N is hanging by a thread, she's a notch below some of the other competitors.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Bunson

                                            Have you ever noticed how Casey is always eating on the episodes? Well, at least she's getting her nutrients for the challenges. It's just funny that whenever they head back to the suites, she's always making a sandwich, and a pretty big one at that.

                                            I thought Sara N. and her guacamole should have gone last night. But I guess bland food will always get you.

                                            I also agree that Hung's chocolate mousse was awful looking and I'm surprised he served it to the judges.

                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                              Big sandwiches or not she's still easy on the eyes! ;)

                                              Hung's quickly becoming the most overrated chef - his technique and skill are arguably the best based on what they've showed, but it looks like the flavors aren't there yet, at least not to the extent he feels they are in his own mind. I don't think he'll make it to the final because he'll end up shooting himself in the foot.

                                              1. re: Bunson

                                                I have to say I think Tres demonstrates better technique than Hung. His presentations are always expertly displayed and sophisticated.

                                          2. I agree with lawgirl above that Sara should have at least been called in with Howie and Joey.
                                            I suspected Casey or Lia would leave since they showed them bonding at the house earlier.
                                            Although I'd love to see a female chef win, I don't think any of the remaining women are creative or skilled enough to make it to the finals.
                                            Although Hung really is a spaz and pompous, it seems like all the finalist in the last season had thier "runny mousse" episodes, and I think he'll make it through these "cutting of the fat" episodes if only because he is the one real drama-queen left on the show now that Joey and Howie have made up.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: masala maci

                                              Hung seems more talented than his food has been good for the past couple of episodes. He's his own worst enemy. I don't think he can handle pressure all that well. I think the pressure is short circuiting his skills.

                                              I still don't like him, and wouldn't mind seeing him leave soon. I don't need drama to enjoy the show. I watch for the food, not the soap opera.

                                              1. re: masala maci

                                                I agree that Sara M.'s food looked great this time and I thought she should have been there with Howie and Joey. She used cheese in both challenges and I really wanted to try the rabbit dishes. Sara seems really creative and hasn't gotten the airtime she probably deserves. Making stuffed poblanos that impressed the latino guests that much is an accomplishment.

                                                I am sure Howie's pork was great, but so similar to his other winning pork dish! Tender boneless pork, tart garnish. I think the guest judge just didn't want to pick Joey because she had picked his tarts earlier. Howie's endorsement was pretty strong. The stew looked delicious.

                                              2. I think I should be worried. I'm on the West Coast and saw some of the "spoiler" posts so I watched it live rather than TIVO or one of Bravo's endless repeats. I was sorry to see Lea go, though I'm glad she had her reward and week of glory.

                                                Hung = Marcel. Full of himself, anyone with criticism is passe.

                                                I've begun to notice the editing. They show Collichio saying the braised pork dish won't be good with the reduced timeframe, and it would probably be better grilled anyway. Then it turns out the opposite. A braised dish is ideal for firing, cooking, and then putting away gradually cooling for serving later on -- the perfect rewarmed dish.

                                                I completely disagree that they didn't have enough money for food. The opposite. They were supposed to serve 20 lunch-on-the-go portions -- two or three ounces of the main would be more than sufficient. Did I see correctly or did Howie have like five or six ENTIRE pork loins, 3 or so pounds apiece!!!

                                                1. Maybe it was just bad editing but from what I remember it seemed like the Dame Chocolate people actually liked Hung's dish quite a bit. I remember they showed him talking to them in Spanish while serving his dish and then right after they cut to a shot of them at the table with one guy saying something like "they should keep him around here longer". It kind of threw me off when at the judges table they brought him in as one of the worst.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: mliew

                                                    I think the comment about Hung's arroz con pollo was that he "killed it" and that perhaps they should keep him around longer "to give him a lesson" about how to make it correctly.

                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                      Ya...it was more along the lines of we should keep him around to show him how to really do it.

                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                        Interesting insight. When they said "he killed it", I took that to mean that it was great, just like a comedian "killing" on stage. It sounds like your observation is more correct.

                                                        1. re: Rocknrope

                                                          Yeah same here. Without additional context those two comments could be taken to be good or bad.

                                                    2. So, a friend of mine, a great guy, set up a date with Dale a couple of days ago.

                                                      No spoilers, but according to Dale... Joey was much nicer than he is being made out to be...
                                                      Hung was far worse than he was portrayed.

                                                      That said, I was screaming Tamales! Man, some tamales would have rocked.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: delk

                                                        one interesting aspect of this challenge was that they had a hint that their time might be shortened (when Padma briefed them she said that the Dame Chocolate folks were known for sometimes having to change filming schedules at the last minute)...so given that I am not sure I'd be comfortable making tamales: they can be time consuming and it might be hard to adjust the timing....

                                                        btw, given that Padma made the comment on schedules changing during the briefing, I don't think that contestants should be given too much of a break if their dish couldn't be adjusted well to a change in timing (which I suppose could have been why Hung's pie looked so bad? Perhaps it just didn't have enough time to set?)

                                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                                          I am certain that the abbreviated cooking time was no surprise to the producers - it seemed awfully planned out to me. I am sure the cooks were actually surprised, but I think it was planned in advance as a way to heighten the stakes.

                                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                                            Hung's pie was for the quickfire,not the main challenge, which was when they changed the time limit.

                                                            1. re: cocktailhour

                                                              yes, you are right about that; which is what happens when I try and watch a show at ten at night....

                                                        2. This is jfood's first season and he needs to sneak into the library and watch while others watch their shows. But some observations/comments to add.

                                                          - Great set-up with telling everyone that the timelimit was 3-hours. then changing. as they stated at the end, that was the challenge not whether you could make a great taco dish
                                                          - given the change the dishes that got crammed were those that the chef did not use the time properly. in fact could you imagine how bad the chacken with rice and theother rice would have been with another 90 minutes. The polenta dish would have been much better with grillingthe polenta. unfortunately the "mush" did her in
                                                          - interesting that the chef mentioned that the pork should have been roated with the time change instead of braised, then it comes out the winner. maybe the judge should have been eliminated as well. and no jfood does not believe he is the sexiest
                                                          - hung is just a jerk. but you gotta keep him around for the entertainment aspect. does the name Sanjaya ring a bell?

                                                          And with Rocky coming next week. Jfood understands that he will bring a pot of Momma's meatballs and throw them at the chef's while their cooking. Hung will try to protect everyone by slicing them in mid-air with his cleaver. At one point he'll miss and slice another contestant. Dan Akroyd will enter the kitchen dressed as Julia Child screaming "the fish is a prop, the fish is a prop."

                                                          More fun to come.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            ha! i have a great visual in my head.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              You make me laugh, jfood, but I'm not sure your Sanjaya analogy is an apt one. Afterall, Sanjaya was totally loveable and modest....just no talent. Hung apparently has at least SOME talent (although he overestimates his own ability often, and that gets him in trouble...) but he's a total jerk.

                                                              I agree with Susan that the contestants had warning their time was likely to be changed....part of the challenge was seeing how flexible they would be in that situation. Totally planned.

                                                              1. re: janetofreno

                                                                Bourdain's blog on bravotv.com of this episode is priceless...

                                                                1. re: amanda3571

                                                                  Oh my! I just sat at my laptop and laughed and laughed. AB is the man!

                                                                  Why don't they make Tony a permanent sub like Ted Allen? And get rid of Gail. Granted she has toned down her act a lot but she still grates when she opens her mouth.

                                                                  1. re: amanda3571

                                                                    Excellent blog by AB.....he was dead on re: his comments about Hung and his arrogance about what the guest jdges think of his food. Hung just seems to think he's better than any of those people commenting on his food!

                                                                    Interesting comment re: Hung (or anyone) not underestimating Rocco DiSpirito next week. Will be interesting to see if Rocco lives up to his food rep!

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      Bourdain is so good...we're lucky he went into cooking and not some other trade. Nothing would make for better TV then Hung saying something disrespectful towards Rocco and how his television career unfolded...hopefully we'll see some good drama.

                                                                    2. re: amanda3571

                                                                      Can you link to this? I couldn't find it on their main blog site.

                                                                2. I'm stunned that Lia lost. She's one of the top chefs at a restaurant that many, including me, consider one of the best in the world, It's not a restaurant known for bland, boring food either -- which is what she was accused of making. So for me it's like seeing a top physicist from Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies losing a round of "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Brian S

                                                                    Jean Georges speaks for itself but I'm wondering how much her background played a role. I'm not familiar with what goes in a kitchen, but she never went to culinary school(self-taught), and looks like has always been a line cook/sous chef - how much creative leeway does a sous chef get? I'm guessing she can execute a menu flawlessly, but how much experience would she have at making her own menu, and, how much exposure would she get at knowing how unfamiliar ingredients blend and match as a sous chef/line cook?

                                                                    I know other chefs on the show have no formal culinary training, but have executive chef positions, where they are responsible for creating a menu...

                                                                    1. re: Bunson

                                                                      Seems that Lia had a similar problem to that of Ilan - an inability to move outside the comfort zone. Ilan knew Spanish and did it well, but couldn't cook a duck to save his life. And he won. Lia knows French and does it well. But she couldn't prepare a Latin dish worth a hoot. And she was kicked off. Maybe it's a testament to the talent of the other contestants this season.

                                                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                                                        just watched this episode, and can't believe a Jean Georges Sous chef went home! Jean Georges is my favorite restaurant, and so really wanted to see her do well. I thought she would at least be in the final four.

                                                                        Its really not an easy competition...