Latin Lunch - July 18|
On our last episode, we see that
certain people work better than others. Casey and Dale are
breathing a sigh of relief because they don't have to deal with
their teammates anymore, while Camille will be breathing easier
in New York, without the stress of working in a competition.
Lia is sad to see Camille go, while Joey is getting frustrated
that he can't do anything right. So far, Joey hasn't - he has
yet to be in the top group. Hung works like every day is his
last, adding that he has style, finesse, grace and elegance. We
haven't seen much of the elegance part...
Quickfire Challenge - Using a frozen pie crust, the chefs must
create something tasty with it. You have 90 minutes to do it.
Maria Frumkin is the Chef/Owner of Duo's Restaurant. According
to Tre, she is a very experienced pastry chef. Dale, who already
got nailed last episode for trying (and failing) at pastry,
sticks his middle finger out at the cameras. Sara M can't be too
thrilled about this, either. Padma has no problem pointing that
out, and if everyone remembers, no one wanted to go near a
dessert last week. This ought to be interesting...
Hung, one of the people who ran screaming from said pastries
last episode, says that he can't go wrong with bananas,
chocolate and peanuts. Dale is going to go for a Strawberry Tart
dish and will try to redeem himself this week. The thought is
being redeemed by Sara M. while Sara N. says that this will be
hard. Joey, who says that he does have pastry experience, is
going to make a set of tarts, adding that he didn't volunteer
because he thought that someone could sabotage him. Sure, Joey.
Welcome to guerilla cooking!
Lia is not a pastry chef and is trying to get help, from of all
people, Dale. Oy. Howie is going for the savory flavors, while
Hung is waiting for his mousse to set - which it isn't doing.
Tre decides to copy some food that's on his menu, but decides to
add some feminine wiles. Hung's mousse comes out dripping and it
looks like a mess. Dale, conversely says that this is his best
meal that he has made this competition. We'll see if Dale's
The Meals -
Banana Rum and Chocolate Pie with Spicy Peanuts
Hung tries to make the excuse that he didn't have enough time to
set, but Padma calls him on it and he admits that he didn't use
dark chocolate, which would have had it set in time. Hung
insisted that it tasted delicious. So a half-made food tastes
delicious? Both Padma and Maria disagree with the 'delicious'
Peach Tart Tatin with Black Pepper and Balsamic Sabayon
Maria calls the Sabayon too strong.
Trio of Tarts - Berry Cream, Roasted Mango Puree and Rum and
Warm Apple Compote
Joey says that he knows very little about desserts - even though
he says earlier that he knew a bit about pastries. Liar!
Duo - Duck Lollipop Encrusted with Pistachios and Pie Crust /
Duck tart with Cabbage, Tomato and Arugula Puree
Maria said that it was difficult to put together. That's not a
Caramelized Fennel and Apple Tart Tatin with Portwine, Cherries
Maria called it very pretty, and Tre was very satisfied with the
4 Course meal of tarts - Vegetarian Tart with Arugula Pesto,
Seafood tart with Celeriac Puree, Chorizo Tart with Pepper Jack
Cheese and Fruit Tart with Grand Marnier
Brian says that he goes for the home run. Maria asks if he had
to be that ambitious, as I see the arc of the ball leaning foul.
Sara M. -
Braised Swiss Chard and Rabbit Stew and Proscuito-Wrapped
Rabbit, and a Goat Cheese, Feta and Fir Tart
Sara M. also went ambitious, but unlike Brian, Maria likes the
combination of the rabbit with the spices.
Pork Tenderloin with Artichoke and Chorizo Tart
Maria is not liking the meal.
Summer Picnic - Spinach and Salmon En Croute, and Strawberry,
Pear and SAFFRON* Tart with Goat Cheese
*The Saffron is highlighted for all Ilan fans of Top Chef 2.
Maria calls it overwhelming. So much for that being Dale's best
maria, apparently, didn't have much of an opinion for the dishes
of Casey or Sarah N. But she did have an opinion of Lia (the
flavors didn't marry), Dale (overwhelming) or Hung (should have
been able to have enough time to set the pie and even Hung has
to admit that he screwed up there). Unfortunately for them, the
opinion was that they had the 3 worst dishes. The best 3? Tre
(simple and elegant) Sara M (Exceptional) and Joey (Nice, and he
has a future in tarts). The person with the best future? Joey?!?
He gets the win, and all of his buttering up pays off. Joey can
not be eliminated, and he FINALLY gets into the happy column.
Fast Fact - With Joey finishing in the Top, the only person left
in the competition who hasn't finished in the Top Section yet is
Elimination Challenge - Create a Latin Lunch for the cast of
Telemundo's Dame Chocolate.
If anything is in Sara M's wheelhouse, this is. Tre should also
do well. Maybe also Hung - he lived in Puerto Rico for 3 years?
Everyone else? Maybe they want to go back to the pastry
challenge like Lia, who has never cooked up a Latin dish. Uh
Everyone has 30 minutes to shop with a $125 budget, and then 3
hours to cook. Joey knows he has immunity, so he feels that he
can play around a bit. Lia is going to go for the grilled
rainbow trout and smoke it. Joey, who has admitted that he and
Howie have gotten closer since the blow up (sure you have) would
want to see Howie cook up something else besides pork, which
once again Howie is using for his dish. Casey, who lives in
Texas, does have knowledge of Latin food and she's going for
Mole' and a coffee sauce. Sara N. is going to go for Ceviche and
Tortillas - first for the homemade section, but she buys
tortillas as a back up. Smart woman.
Brian is wondering if anyone is doing dessert. Lia, who has made
friends with Casey, is concerned that her dish is too simple.
Casey, who wound up doing chicken, is concerned about Lias
choice. Brian is concerned that the Northwest isn't too
conducive to Latin cooking. Sarah M. is not worried about the
cooking because of the 3 hours, while Hung is very comfortable.
The theme this week is timing, and I'll bet you that there's a
Howie says that 3 hours is just enough time, while Sara N. says
that it's plenty for her. Head chef Tom Colicchio calls the
chefs over. Sure enough, the cast od Dame Chocolate moved up
their schedule, and instead of 3 hours, the chefs only have an
hour and a half to get their meals done. Now I know that it's
part of the game, but you're screwing chefs who had an idea that
they could execute in 3 hours which they can't possibly do in 90
Casey is cursing. Howie knew that was coming. Dale sees that the
pressure is on while Howie is seeing flashbacks from episode 1
on clock management. Casey is concerned that a bunch of people
running around in a closed situation makes it a very dangerous
situation. Tre says that different people handle pressure
differently. Cue to Howie cursing out a stove.
Head Coach Tom Colicchio is looking to see what everyone is
doing. Howie is still going to braise the pork and pray. Lia
says that she will still be able to cook her food, while Casey,
though concerned, is looking like she will make her time. Sarah
M. is going to use the back-up tortillas while Hung is going
frenetically. He insists that his arroz con pollo will work, but
on his way out, he almost tags Casey with the cleaver that he
was holding. A grimacing Tom says that there's a difference
between working hard and working smart. He also notes that Howie
seems to be the most affected adding that a roasted pork
shoulder would have worked better. He says that he is VERY
concerned with how Hung, who is working his rice, is brandishing
his knife. You're not the only one, Tom.
Howie thinks that he will complete his dish. Casey is
completing...mushy rice and she has, or all people, Howie help
him to get the food done. Maybe Howie does have enough time to
get everything completed. The chefs complete moving the food
over to the set of Dame Chocolate, as they serve everything
buffet-style. Lia jokes that as the food is going to be
continuously hot that next time she should serve something cold.
As reward of the favor that Howie did for Casey, Casey
volunteers to write out Howie's dish on his buffet platter. And
it's a good thing she does it in the nick of time, because lunch
Sara N. -
Shrimp and Scallop Avocado Ceviche, Charred Corn and Pickled
The group thought there was not enough fish in the ceviche, and
the guacamole was overpowering.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Rice and Molasses Coffee Glaze
Good molasses. Didn't like the coffee part. Chicken...eh. Casey
is concerned about the dish. Tom called the chicken dry.
Skirt Steak, Black Beans and Jicama Slaw
No comments on it, so this is probably the last we hear of CJ on
Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)
Hung, trying to butter up the crowd, speaks Spanish while
serving the food. I'm not sure how well that is working out, as
his Spanish is being corrected. Maybe his Spanish cooking needs
to be corrected - the people complain that it's too dry, and
Jose Diaz-Balart offers to give him lessons afterwards. Oops.
Jumbo Prawns with Jalapeno Cilantro Dumplings and Lobster
Tre gets a quick thumbs up on the idea by the judges.
Braised Pork Shoulder with Yucca Sour Orange Mojo
Maris is impressed that Howie kept his plans together by making
his pieces smaller and taking less time to braise. Surprisingly,
the dish worked. Telemundo loved how moist it was and the
flavors. Jose Diaz-Balart says that Howie made the food taste
like the real thing. Gail called it fantastic.
Bean Stew with Lobster, Shrimp, Chicken and Chorizo
Howie thought that Joey's dish was delicious and it blew him
away. That says a lot for someone who was his arch-enemy to say.
The group loved it - but they would have loved to have seen it
come with a tortilla or tostada. Tom enjoyed the meal and was
impressed that he didn't sit on his laurels, despite being the
Quickfire Challenge winner.
Smoked Rainbow Trout with Polenta Cake
Polenta is Latin? It's not, but Lia explains that she uses Latin
flavors on it. Ah. Maybe it doesn't work - the fish is too bland
and the polenta doesn't work with it. According to Gail,
everyone around her didn't touch it. Ouch. Padma called the
polenta mushy and Maria didn't think it was Latin enough.
Grilled Poblano and Braised Chicken / Tortilla with Fire-Roasted
After the last two challenge disasters, Dale needs to step it up
Sara M -
'Chiles Rellenos' (Stuffed Chiles)
Sara says that she made everything herself and within the time
limit. The clientele, including Maria Antonetta Collins, say
that she nailed it. Sara needed to step it up - and she does so.
In the back, Joey thinks that his dish is the best. Meanwhile,
Casey is concerned about the rice. Padma calls up Joey and
Howie, and they come in...shoulder to shoulder? The redemption
thing worked out. Joey watched some of his Spanish co-workers
and he used the recipe. He said that he didn't have to do
differently, while Howie answers that he would have, with a
smirk. Each of them taster each other's dished and they liked
it, with Howie adding that when Joey's name was called that he
was in good shape. The winner is...Howie. As a result, he gets a
bottle of wine from Argentina.
Fast Fact - Howie is now the first person to win 2 Elimination
When they to out to the group, Howie tells them that he is
giving the bottle to Joey, because Howie thought that Joey had
the better dish. Joey decides that they will split the bottle
together. These two really did kiss and make-up, as they hug
each other. AwwwwBarf.
Unfortunately for Howie, he also has some not-so-nice business,
which is to announce who is going to see the judges for the
wrong reasons. Joey says that the judges want to see Lia, Sara
N. Casey and...Hung. This ought to be interesting...
Hung is asked why he is there, and Hung wanted to know if it was
too classic. Tom said that it was dry and underseasoned, but
Hung gets defensive and says that he was worried that it was
overseasoned. Tom tells him that it was too dry, and even though
it wasn't horrible, that it wasn't flavorful. He also tells Hung
to watch it with the knives, because he almost cut Casey. I have
a feeling that the 'knife' thing was the real reason why Hung
was there, but it's fun to see him squirm a little.
Squirming much more is Casey, who knew that she had rice issues.
She admits that it boiled over on the water. However, she was
happy with the coffee-molasses sauce, but Tom is wondering if it
echoed Latin. Lia, who also admits that she wasn't surprised to
be there, thinks that she didn't use enough Latin products, but
she wanted to take a creative risk. She didn't think it was bad
enough for her to go home. Sara N. admits that it wasn't a great
ceviche, but she tried to copy her roommates recipe, adding
scallops and corn. She says that it's not supposed to be a mile
dish but thinks she may have overdone it with the guacamole.
On the way back, the judges converse. They are alarmed with
Hung's attitude, adding that the dish wasn't nearly as good as
he thought it was. They thought that Sara made more of a chips
and dip than a meal. Lia's dish was called both lack of taste
and texture. Padma says that even if it wasn't Latin, it's still
inedible. Lia is convinced that she's going home, but the judges
thought that Casey's rice was terrible. Padma thought that the
coffee/molasses tasted like cough syrup, while Tom still can't
get over the super-dry chicken. So between Casey and Lia, the
person who's food was the worst is...Lia. She is asked to go and
Casey knows she ducked a bullet. At the same time, Casey is
upset because that's her best friend leaving the house. Lia did
love her time here, and although she is embarrassed to leave
this early, she loved the time there.
Next Episode - The teams are paired up with some ridiculously
high stakes. Join us in 14 days to see how high it gets - and
who hits the lowest of lows.
FAST FACT SECTION
Quickfire Challenge Winners -
Micah - 1 (Episode 1)
Hung - 1 (Episode 2)
Brian - 1 (Episode 3)
Casey - 1 (Episode 4)
Joey - 1 (Episode 5)
Elimination Challenge Winners -
Tre - 1 (Episode 1)
Brian - 1 (Episode 2)
Howie - 2 (Episode 3, 5)
Lia - 1 (Episode 4)
Top Notated Chefs
Hung - 4 (Episode 1 (QF/Elim), 2 (QF), 4 (Elim))
Tre - 4 (Episode 1 (Elim), 2 (QF), 4 (QF), 5 (QF))
Brian - 3 (Episode 2 (Elim), 3 (QF), 4 (Elim))
Sarah N. - 3 (Episode 1 (QF), 2 (Elim), 5 (QF))
Howie - 3 (Episode 3 (QF/Elim), 5 (Elim))
CJ - 2 (Episode 2 (QF), 3 (QF))
Micah - 2 (Episode 1 (QF), 2(Elim))
Dale - 2 (Episode 3 (Elim), 4 (QF))
Joey - 2 (Episode 5 (QF/Elim))
Casey - 1 (Episode 4 (QF))
Lia - 1 (Episode 4 (Elim))
Bottom Notated Chefs
Dale - 4 (Episode 1 (QF/Elim), 4 (Elim), 5 (QF))
Tre - 3 (Episode 1 (QF), 2 (Elim), 3 (QF))
Howie - 3 (Episode 1 (Elim), 2 (Elim), 4 (Elim))
Joey - 3 (Episode 2 (Elim), 4 (QF/Elim))
Hung - 3 (Episode 4 (QF), 5 (QF/Elim))
Brian - 2 (Episode 1 (Elim), 3 (Elim))
Sara M - 2 (Episode 2 (QF) 4 (Elim))
Sara N - 2 (Episode 3 (Elim), 5 (Elim))
Casey - 2 (Episode 4 (Elim), 5 (Elim))
CJ - 1 (Episode 3 (Elim))
OUT - Lia - 3 (Episode 3 (Elim), 5 (QF/Elim))
OUT - Camille - 2 (Episode 3 (QF), 4 (Elim))
OUT - Micah - 3 (Episode 2 (QF), 3 (QF/Elim))
OUT - Sandee - 2 (Episode 2 (QF/Elim))
OUT - Clay - 2 (Episode 1 (QF/Elim))