Top Chef
Season 3 Finale, Part II

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The Huynh Of A Lifetime

Hung tells Sara that, for his fourth course, he wants to make chocolate cake. He even has recipes ready to go because he wants to prove to the judges that he's well-rounded. Sara thinks it's a pleasure to work for Hung even if he gets a little nuts at times.

Casey looks at Howie as just another set of hands, and the two of them investigate the walk-in to determine what Casey's extra course should be. They settle on beef. Howie tells us, "None of us became executive chefs from the day you walk into a kitchen. We've all had to work under other people, so it's easy for me to jump into that and say, 'Okay, Chef, tell me what you need.'" That's very nice of him -- he's clearly chilled a good bit since he was packed off.

With thirty-five minutes left, Dale quickly goes over his to-do list with CJ, who admits to not remembering anything Dale told him at that moment, but says he managed to figure it out later. "And I was excited," CJ adds. Dale doesn't want to do a dessert for his fourth dish because he's been busted on it before, so he's going to do a "quick scallop dish" and put it toward the beginning of his meal. CJ tells us, "So we just came up with this great purslane and scallop dish, and he just gave it to me and so I just got to make this dish and I was excited because it's his thing but I just feel more a part of it because I get to make this whole thing." Wow, that's all by way of saying that CJ made the whole scallop dish thing.

Howie tells us, "It's one thing if I screw up for myself, but it's another thing if I screw up somebody else's chances of doing something great so that kind of puts a lot of extra pressure on me." That's almost a perfect symmetry to something he said during the frozen Rocco challenge: "I don't mind if I go home for my screw-up, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna go home for somebody else's inability to work as a team."

All of a sudden, there's just ten minutes to go, and Casey freaks out a little bit. This is where Dale says, "When Casey's focused, she's focused, but if she's out of sorts, she's a mess." Food is plated for the first course and carried out by servers.

Padma reminds us they are in Chicago, which is Dale's hometown, which means he has a lot of supporters there. Thanks, Padma. I don't know what we'd do without you.

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