Top Chef
Season 3 Finale, Part II

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The Huynh Of A Lifetime

Kitchen. Dishes are finalized, plated, and brought out. Hung's dish is sous-vide duck breast, a chanterelle and lobster mushroom ragout with foie gras, and a sauce of duck stock with lemongrass and black truffle essence. I will dream of that dish until the day I die. Dale has a summer ragout with butter-poached lobster, raw sweet corn, chanterelle mushrooms, basil gnocchi, and curry jus. Casey's dish is crispy pork belly over gingered pea shoots, a "perfectly roasted summer peach" with a sherry and shallot reduction, and, finally, a cardamom-whipped crème fraîche, which Bravo spells as "crème fraichee," forgetting the circumflex and giving it an extra "e." Hung's duck is adored by everyone. The Todd calls it "three-star Michelin," and Michelle admits, "It's perfect -- I'm a little jealous." Padma asks Rocco about helping Hung on this dish. Rocco says, "I'm pretty sure he had a list of things for me to do that had nothing to do with the menu he's making -- just keeping me out of his hair, I'm almost convinced of that -- but everything I did is in this dish now." Dale's gnocchi is too heavy and the curry overwhelming, and Colicchio calls the whole dish "terrible." Casey's dish is also not very well received. While the peach might be perfect, the pork belly totally misses. Michelle thinks Casey left it in the oven too long.

The fourth dishes come out. Hung steps up and explains his dessert of a chocolate cake with raspberries, an almond and nougatine tuile, and fresh vanilla cream. It's his "surprise" dish. Dale's final lamb dish is a rack poached in duck fat and served with eggplant and onion puree, olive oil-poached cherry tomatoes, white anchovy and garlic salsa verde, and raw summer squash. Casey's final beef dish -- her "surprise" dish -- is seared sirloin with roasted fingerling potatoes, roasted chanterelles, ruby chard, and a red wine reduction. "I'm happy to see dessert, I gotta tell you," Rocco says. "It looks really nice," Gail says, and then because she suddenly got nauseated from being too complimentary, she adds, "I mean, who knows how it will taste." They all love Dale's lamb. Michelle says, "The puree of the eggplant is baby smooth." When she says "baby-smooth," is she referring to bottoms or Gerber? They all think Casey redeemed herself with the beef dish. Moving on to Hung's dish, no one has a problem with it, but they don't think it was as adventurous as the rest of Hung's food. Rocco says, "It's a perfect chocolate cake with a perfect crème fraîche." Um, dude? Crème fraîche and vanilla cream are not the same thing. Remotely. Crème fraîche is sour. Vanilla cream is not. Please tell me you knew that and just misspoke. Ted comments on how the dish clearly evokes Hung's beautiful sense of restraint, but The Todd comments, "Wasn't the point of this meal to blow us away?" "Yes," says Colicchio. "Does that blow you away?" "No, it doesn't blow me away," says The Todd. Okay, we will register The Todd as "not blown away." I'm glad we cleared that up.

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