Top Chef
Season 3 Finale, Part II

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The Huynh Of A Lifetime

Casey seems to be having difficulty verbalizing her instructions to Michelle. They discuss the pork belly prep. Michelle tells the camera she's worried about the pork belly because she fears they don't have enough time to get it tender. She personally would not have chosen it. Casey mutters to herself as she collects ingredients and tells us, "Sometimes it's almost easier to just do it yourself because as you're doing it you think of things. Or you might change something, or do something a little differently." Casey stands there and thinks aloud to Michelle about her menu. Michelle tells the camera that she's a minimalist, so every time Casey added something, she wanted to subtract. This is not boding well for a XX win.

Hung tells us how awesome it was to have Rocco supporting all his ideas. In the kitchen, Hung brings up Bourdain's blog: "He says he'd love to see a cook-off between you and I." "I'll tell you what," says Rocco. "Here's what we'll do -- we'll open a restaurant together. This way, Anthony will never know whose the better cook." HA! Hung giggles.

The Todd comments to Michelle how nice it is not to have to think for a change. Dale tells us that The Todd "is basically [his] prep bitch." I wouldn't say that to The Todd's face. His eyebrows shoot death rays. Meanwhile, Dale checks on some lobsters and brandy and comments, "Even though it is a celebrity chef that is my sous chef, I am confident at this point that I am a great chef and I am a great cook and I don't know if I want advice." He then instructs The Todd to chop some herbs a little finer. The Todd tells us, "The only critique I might say about Dale's menu is I'm a little worried he's made things a little too complex and some things may not meld together." Too complex? This from the guy who served wood-grilled salmon over mustard-chorizo mashed potatoes with clams and asparagus sauce, and whose "specials" menu had nine appetizers and ten entrees alongside an already tome-like regular menu printed on 11x17 paper. Simple, The Todd is not.

Dale comments that he had to deal with "altitude shenanigans," which lost him an hour when making the gnocchi. Also related to altitude, Casey has a hard time getting a boil, because the burners are adversely affected. Casey tells us, "At this high altitude, the burners work differently, the boiling point is different, it's tricky." But boiling point is lower at high altitudes, which would work to their advantage, so it's just the burners that are really problematic. However, since you can't ever get water to a temperature higher than 212°, even if you bring the water to a rolling boil, you aren't necessarily cooking your food the same way you'd be doing at 212°. Dale also bitches about a lack of boiling water, and is concerned about how his gnocchi are turning out. With forty-five minutes left, he has to change his gnocchi tactics.

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Top Chef

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