Top Chef
Season 3 Finale, Part II

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The Huynh Of A Lifetime

The cheftestants hug and thank and say goodbye to their cheftestant sous chefs before going out and receiving applause from the dinner table of judges. Padma thanks them and says they'll see them at Judges' Table.

In Chicago, Padma gives us more useless info.

Judges' Table. After talking about what a great meal it was, Ted, Gail, Colicchio, and Padma bring out the trio. And this is where the Casey train wreck begins. My face still has nail gouges from where I clutched it in horror. It's so sad that this is the very last time we will see her smile so excitedly, because at this point, she thinks she still has a chance in hell. All three cheftestants talk about how they feel they cooked that day. They're all very proud -- Dale thinks he was finally cooking as himself, and Casey thinks she did some beautiful dishes but would maybe change some things -- and Hung excitedly says, "It's great because I like to cook at the spur of the moment and that's when you really get to use your natural instincts as a cook." How spur-of-the-moment is it when you know you're going to cook the meal of your life (it's been the same challenge since Top Chef time began) and also get to bring $200 worth of special ingredients?

Colicchio asks whether any of the cheftestants had a dish they know or felt didn't quite work out as they planned. Dale happily tells the judges that he was going to do his foie mousse as a cannoli, but that there was no fryer in the kitchen. Gail italics that she loved the foie flavor but that "there was a little too much of it." Dale admits that it could have used some bread, but "that wasn't in the cards today." Colicchio proclaims Dale's second dish "a triumph," and asks how much of it was a collaboration between him and CJ. "It was one hundred percent fifty-fifty collaboration," Dale announces proudly. "How Bayesian," the Evil Dr. Mathra says, warming up his ire for NumbTHREErs. Of course, we know that CJ executed it 100%, but Colicchio doesn't ask who made it. Colicchio tells Dale that the next dish -- the lobster and gnocchi -- was an "absolute mess." The lobster was undercooked, the gnocchi was too heavy, and the curry was overpowering. Moving to his lamb dish, Gail mentions that Colicchio explained it was a deconstructed ratatouille and wants to know whether Dale has ever made it before. Never, Dale admits; the duck-fat poaching was his way of compensating for the high altitude. "Dale, you are one decadent boy," says Ted with a big decadent smile. HoYay! Wait, what do you call it when it's actual? HeyHo? Colicchio tells Dale to keep that dish with him for the rest of his life.

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Top Chef

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