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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Top Chef - the Third Course

After watching the first two episodes of my favorite reality shows - Top Chef on Bravo TV - I missed episode three...so, this week, I've got two hours of couch potato-hood ahead of me.

Top Chef - Episode 3: Two down, thirteen remain standing.

Howie: "I don't like Joey, but I'm not here to be liked." Micah: "I'm not a quitter. I'm here to win."

Today's Quickfire Challenge: The guest judge is Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill in New York, winner of the Beard Award. The ingredients are in an aquarium - piles of seafood. It's called "Catch and Cook" - 30 seconds to fish and then 30 minutes to cook. Hung goes first - and it's clear he's not popular with his fellow contestants.

Padma - "who is going to sink and who is going to swim?"

Cleaning the seafood is time-consuming. No one seems too confident (except our pal Hung). When Hung gets criticized by the judge, he defensively says, "he obviously didn't understand the concept."

The Quickfire Results: Micah, Camille and Tre are the disappointments this week. Favorites: Howie, Brian, and CJ - and the winner of immunity is Brian.

The Elimination Challenge - update the classic American diets in a low cholesterole fashion. The dishes will be served to the Miami Elk's Club Lodge.

On the menu: Sloppy Joe, Franks & Beans, Tuna Casserole, Pork Chops & AppleSauce, Fried Chicken, Chicken a la King - it looks like mom made the menu - although where's the Friday night pizza?

Micah, the foreigner "My reaction to American comfort food: ugggh!"

Dale is making chicken and dumlings...Tom is surprised everyone is doing a literal approach to the dishes. He's not impressed.

Sarah discovers the oven is on "cool down" - and guess who may be the culprit? You guessed it. Hung. Is this on purpose or an innocent mistake? Hmmmm.

Good Lord, CJ's pile of green mush looks horrendous. Let's hope it tastes better than it looks. The judges HATE it.

Sarah's not even sure hers is cooked thoroughly. Again, another horrific presentation. Next up - franks and beans. The seniors do not like it. The lentils aren't even cooked correctly, according to the judges. Three strikes.

CJ comes out and saves the day. Now, we've got Hung with fried chicken, mac & cheese. Sara N has fish & chips. Micah's meatloaf - the consensus is that it's TERRIBLE. It's crunchy.

Brian does lobster and cabbage....is this supposed to be low cholesterol? Casey gets raves for the sloppy joe. The judges appear resoundingly underwhelmed.

Howie impresses - both the judges and the Elks.

Judge's Table - Padma says there are a few surprises and some definite disappointments.
Micah's meatloaf was the dish that kept giving, but not in a good way. Dale scored well with the audience and the judges.

Favorites: Dale & Howie. Padma urges Howie to smile. They're impressed with the Apple Slaw as a replacement for the sauce. And, they're impressed with the dish, despite the instant potatoes on Dale's dish. Howie wins - and he gets to cook at the Gotham restaurant for a week. Wow! This is a good turnaround for Howie, who I thought was going home last week.

The bottom-dwellers include: Micah, CJ, Lia, Sara and Brian (wait, he's got immunity, right?)
Brian gets lectured because he chose to use lobster in a low-cholesterol challenge. Tom urges him to move past the seafood dishes and prove he is capable of more. Micah is combative and defensive regarding her meatloaf. Sara has never had chicken a la king - and her dish had no resemblance to the original dish. CJ's dish failed because it was too green and too muddy in flavors. Lia - did you cook anything? It seemed a little lazy for a dish you had two hours to prepare.

Tom - this was a straighforward challenge.

Micah is asked to pack her knives and go.

Three gone, a dozen remain.

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