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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Top Chef - Partying in South Beach

Didn't blog on last week's episode, where Joey was sent home after he and Hung failed to sell a single freeze-dried prepared dinner - despite the fact the meals were free!

So, this week, we're down the final nine contestants - and the promos have been hinting at a night out on the town in South Beach - an evening interrupted by an elimination challenge.

Quickfire Challenge:

Govind Armstrong from Table Eight in LA is this week's guest judge. The Quickfire includes Coldstone Sweet Cream Ice Cream - make a sauce to mix in with the ice cream. This one sounds fun - and a little less complex than previous challenges.

Hung is making FOAM!! Didn't he watch last season and how Marcel's foam became a joke by the end?

Casey puts Saracha (a Chinese spicy sauce!) for hers - and the judge

The bottom two: Hung (the flavors didn't work), Casey (Saracha didn't work on ice cream)

Favorites - Howie & Dale - with Dale winning immunity! Finally!

Elimination Challenge is delayed - Padma tells the chefs they get a chance to enjoy Miami nightlife. The limo arrives and takes the gang dancing - oh but wait, there's Padma on the red carpet in front of a cluster of catering trucks. The club is Nicki Beach, one of Miami's hottest nightspots. The group will be split into two teams - and they'll be cooking for the late night bar crowd. Dale gets the night off and gets to have dinner with the guest judge at his Miami restaurant.

Team Black - Brian, Tre, Hung and Sara M.
Team Orange - CJ, Howie, Sara N and Casey

The Orange team appears to be disorganized and leaderless. A panic settles in - CJ is trying to calm down the "spastic" energy. Chef Tom stops by to check out the menus and how the teams are proceeding. Surprisingly, he thinks Team Orange may be in better shape as they've developed a late-night menu while Team Black's decision to include a raw bar may be too much in the middle of the night.

When the drunks arrive, the Orange team seems to disintegrate pretty quickly. Sara and Howie seem to be melting down. Meanwhile, the Black Team is running on all cylinders. The drunks in the crowd give mixed reviews.

Judge's Table-

The consensus is Team Black made impressive menu and the crowd enjoyed the service and the accessibility of the food. The winner if Tre's grits with bacon. He wins a copy of the cookbook and a premium card to Nicki Beach nightclubs around the world.

Orange Team gets called in to be told they were the weaker team. Casey & Sara both disliked this challenge and said they were demoralized. Casey talks about her dishes, Howie's cuban sandwiches weren't great, Sara's burgers were underseasoned. Why didn't CJ take a leadership role? Howie calls Sara useless and the "baby of the team." Howie seems to be willing to throw everyone/anyone under the bus to protect himself.

Padma: "Sara, please pack your knives and go."