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Jul 18, 2007 08:23 PM

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 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!