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Top Chef: Season 3


KristiB50
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Casey was obviously rattled from the start.  Did you catch that interaction with Casey and Michelle Bernstein when they were standing in the pantry area?  I thought Casey sounded like she had just smoked some wild Colorado weed!  Man her sentences were disjointed and she was speaking in broken English.  I couldn't tell what she was thinking-and I don't think she knew what she was thinking or saying. 

Watching the finale again, Casey was exhibiting the classic signs of altitude sickness. Confusion, loss of focus, disjointed speech, and others. If you watch her in several scenes, she's clearly gasping for air and trying to control her breathing. This might be partially a case of nerves but they were at 11,000 feet and altitude sickness can come on after only a short time if you are sensitive to altitude.

Air Force, Navy or Corps?

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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Altitude sickness at 11,000, after having been there for several days? That severe? It's not impossible, but I have never seen anybody that dazed and confused by the altitude and still standing, not after three days.

In general, people that I've seen with altitude sickness do not run around like chickens with their heads cut off. They complain about their headaches, and then do a face plant.

(Bruschetta, a Colorado native, writing to you from 6,500 feet. And yes, we do actually get a rolling boil up here. It just takes a while.)

Edited by Bruschetta (log)

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Elizabeth Cullen Dunn

"Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn." ~Garrison Keillor

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Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but when the judges went over and immediately congradulated Hung at the end, Tom Colicchio wasn't among them. Later, when he gave Hung a hug, Hung didn't really reciprocate. That, combined with Colicchio's tendency to give Hung negative or confused facial expressions during the challenges (he was either neutral or positive with all other contestants) leads me to think the two aren't that fond of each other.

That being said, I concluded that Colicchio is professional enough to put personalities aside and recognize Hung's talents.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Here's something I found annoying: Right before every commercial break, the pretaped show would cut back to Padma live in the studio, and she'd announce that one of the finalists' friends and families were there tonight, and the crowd would applaud. And yet the cameras never ever actually cut to the friends and families. She did it three different times for the three different chefs, and each time, no visual aid. I started to wonder whether they were being held hostage: ''Casey's friends and family are backstage! And if Casey ever wants to see them again, she'll throw this contest by being a bit free with the cumin!''

:laugh:

Thank god for Tivo! I zoomed right past all that live studio crap as I watched the show in leisure the next day....

I think I started pulling for Hung in NYC. I've thought he was talented from day one, but I never really liked him or his demeanor towards others. But, you don't have to like someone one to enjoy their food. I just wish we had been able to see more prep detail and less reality show bravado. I wanted to see hung making the Mushroom Ragout, we were told he cooked the duck sous vide but never saw the duck cooking :( Did the potatos on the Hamachi starter get sliced on a mandolin? we don't know!

I think I felt humbled by the myriad steps taken to get the dishes to the table. Flavor was compounded upon flavor.

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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i think they should replace padma, who replaced katie-lee-awful, with casey next season.

No way! She needs to stick around in Dallas and cook for us!

:)

Congrats to Hung. Solid effort. His "worst" dish was a tasty chocolate cake. :)

But Dale's lamb looked and sound awesome. Poached in duck fat? Sounds delish.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Re: Hung. So very disappointed that he won. It wasn't his arrogance about his cooking versus his competitors'. Rather, it was, throughout the season, his constant, baldly-stated contempt for his "consumers" (anyone eating his food). If a judge found his food incorrectly seasoned, it was the judge's own lack of acumen; it could not possibly be a mistake on Hung's part. If a consumer or group of consumers found his food lacking in some way, it was because they were too common, too limited to "get" him, too pedestrian for their tastes to have any validity.

--Josh

Hung was better than his judges, and because of that fact he should despise them... And most lifer cooks who've worked in high-end restaurants end up hating their patrons - the way that it is...

Well, I haven't seen any indication that Hung was better than his judges, but if, at this young age, he as as filled with loathing for the people eating his food as the "lifers" you refer to, perhaps he ought to consider retiring soon.

--Josh

If a chef doesn't care about the people he is cooking for, then he doesn't care about the food. It shows in the food - souless food.

Most great chefs I've interviewed say it'a bout making people happy. Not giggly happy, but deeply satisfied happy.

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If a chef doesn't care about the people he is cooking for, then he doesn't care about the food. It shows in the food - souless food.

Most great chefs I've interviewed say it'a bout making people happy. Not giggly happy, but deeply satisfied happy.

I agree with what was said about Hung's arrogance. Yes, he is technically a great chef but belittling everyone along the way is a bad habit. Yes, I'm glad he won, he deserved to win because he did what the contest was looking for, granted, but he needs to be careful who he steps on on the way up because no one is certain who they will meet on the way down.

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Of the final three, Hung was the one who showed true exuberance for his craft. Can't fault him for his reaction to some of the rinky-dink challenges along the way. Given a free hand for the final cook-off, his excitement and pride cast him way above the others. The right chef won.

Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I was interested in (I think) Brian's comment about how cool it was to be around people who never get tired of talking about food. I can imagine that. I am not a chef or even involved in the food biz - I'm just the little piggie that loved roast beef, but I talk about food a lot. People (even the ones who love me and enjoy the results of my obsession) get really tired of it. Which is why, of course, I spend so much time here :biggrin: .

Kim

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Did anyone see this brief video on Grub Street of Hung demonstrating some knife skills.

First, it's a joy to watch him work. Second, I think it shows why he's on his way to being a great chef. Time and again, chefs have told me that you must know how to teach and train your staff. It's impressive how much Hung can clearly teach in a few short minutes.

Once he gets a few more years on him and is a little less giggly, I'd love to see him do a cooking show.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I was interested in (I think) Brian's comment about how cool it was to be around people who never get tired of talking about food.  I can imagine that.  I am not a chef or even involved in the food biz - I'm just the little piggie that loved roast beef, but I talk about food a lot.  People (even the ones who love me and enjoy the results of my obsession) get really tired of it.  Which is why, of course, I spend so much time here :biggrin:

Kim

Hey, I didn't comment on the reunion show last night because -

I was out EATING! I'll catch it on one of the numerous re-runs . . .

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I watched it last night. Was typical. Though, I must say, the two host lady's, Padma and Gail, were mighty fine lookin' last night ;)

I'd say Padma and Casey looked great, as did Camille (in red). Still, a fun show, and I will say it again, this season was the best.

Cheers! :cool:

Lia looks pretty good, too. Too bad we didn't get to see more of her last night. (or during the run of the show)

Edit to add: Watched Hung's knife video. That's a very flexible chef's knife he is using.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Did anyone see this brief video on Grub Street of Hung demonstrating some knife skills.

Knife skills, yeah, above average. But, for anyone working in "the biz" you should be able to tap tap tap out a few pounds of onions or squash at least as fast as that. If he were cutting stuff for a real anal chef, he'd catch shit, lol.

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Knife skills, yeah, above average. But, for anyone working in "the biz" you should be able to tap tap tap out a few pounds of onions or squash at least as fast as that. If he were cutting stuff for a real anal chef, he'd catch shit, lol.

Given his work experience, I'd say he has already cut stuff for "a real anal chef"--several of them, in fact.

I was looking at the Top Chef website and I read, for the first time, Hung's bio and q&a. I only got to watch the first few episodes, but I still don't understand why people really believe he cooked "without soul" or that he was as much of an a**hole in real life as on the show. His q&a answers certainly make him seem much less arrogant than made out to be on the show. And with fish sauce, lemongrass, and sugar as three of his four go-to ingredients, Vietnamese cooking is very much a part of his heart...or soul...

From The Times Union (bold print is mine)

But, too, Huynh's food was judged at times less tasty than cerebral, and his supreme assuredness in his own talents more than once put off viewers, fellow competitors and the judges.

"I regret talking back to Tom Colicchio," Huynh says, about one of his reactions to criticism. He'd also take back a comment that a rival's dish was so easy that Huynh's "monkey could do it."

Otherwise, he says, "I was there to win, and I was there to make good TV. That's what it was -- a cooking competition on TV. I promised (Bravo) that I was going to be good on TV." Case in point: a blinding-fast julienning of vegetables, done without looking at his cutting board. "I have good technique," he says.

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I too watched the reunion show...did I hear right? Tom Colicchio said in answer to a viewers question that he would willingly take on a contestant in a head-to-head match, and when pressed about who, he said "The winner, Hung, of course!"

I guess its too much to hope that Bravo will take him up on that. If they did, I would hope that they get a consensus from the other contestants about a stupid quickfire challenge to start with, like how to make tripe into a pretty amuse bouche.

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Knife skills, yeah, above average. But, for anyone working in "the biz" you should be able to tap tap tap out a few pounds of onions or squash at least as fast as that. If he were cutting stuff for a real anal chef, he'd catch shit, lol.

Given his work experience, I'd say he has already cut stuff for "a real anal chef"--several of them, in fact.

I was looking at the Top Chef website and I read, for the first time, Hung's bio and q&a. I only got to watch the first few episodes, but I still don't understand why people really believe he cooked "without soul" or that he was as much of an a**hole in real life as on the show. His q&a answers certainly make him seem much less arrogant than made out to be on the show. And with fish sauce, lemongrass, and sugar as three of his four go-to ingredients, Vietnamese cooking is very much a part of his heart...or soul...

From The Times Union (bold print is mine)

But, too, Huynh's food was judged at times less tasty than cerebral, and his supreme assuredness in his own talents more than once put off viewers, fellow competitors and the judges.

"I regret talking back to Tom Colicchio," Huynh says, about one of his reactions to criticism. He'd also take back a comment that a rival's dish was so easy that Huynh's "monkey could do it."

Otherwise, he says, "I was there to win, and I was there to make good TV. That's what it was -- a cooking competition on TV. I promised (Bravo) that I was going to be good on TV." Case in point: a blinding-fast julienning of vegetables, done without looking at his cutting board. "I have good technique," he says.

I didn't mean for that to sound like I was discounting his skill level, I was just stating the fact that anyone that has any sort of skill in any sort of kitchen should have knife skills like that or close. His knife skills were just above average, thats it. I know people that do things with a paring knife that would make you blush, lol. But, Hung obviously has a lot of practice. :)

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I was interested in (I think) Brian's comment about how cool it was to be around people who never get tired of talking about food. I can imagine that. I am not a chef or even involved in the food biz - I'm just the little piggie that loved roast beef, but I talk about food a lot. People (even the ones who love me and enjoy the results of my obsession) get really tired of it. Which is why, of course, I spend so much time her

It was Brian, and I agree, when he said that, I was like wow, that would be awesome to be around that. My husband tries, but frankly he rather be eating whatever I may be talking about, haha (which is still a great quality)

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On that reunion, I thought Casey looked frightening with all that makeup on. It almost looked like a different person. Especially when they kept flashing back to show moments. She looks much better without it (or at least keeping it minimal).

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On that reunion, I thought Casey looked frightening with all that makeup on. It almost looked like a different person. Especially when they kept flashing back to show moments. She looks much better without it (or at least keeping it minimal).

Check out her restaurant web site. She doesn't look at all the same!

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