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Top Chef 3.9 - Second Helping (aka RWII) Recap


In RWII (Restaurant Wars 2), the cheftestants received a chance to correct their mistakes from last week's episode. They were still divided into two teams — Restaurant April (CJ, Brian, Tre and Casey) and The Garage (Howie, Sara, Dale and Hung) — and each team had to redecorate their restaurants and tinker with their menus in hope for a flawless evening. But before they could begin, there was (of course) a quickfire challenge. This time they were greeted by both Padma and Chef Tom. To find out what happened next, read more


The quickfire was a Mise en Place relay challenge. The first contestant had to shuck 15 oysters, the next had to dice 5 onions, the third had to break down 4 chickens and the last member had to crack and separate 3 eggs, then beat the whites until they were stiff enough to remain in a bowl upside down for five seconds. Brian smoked Howie on the oysters, but Casey ruined her lead by meticulously chopping her onions. Eventually her slow as molasses style chopping caused them to lose the lead and the challenge. The Garage is declared victor and they receive $200 additional dollars for wine, plus the assistance of a guest sommelier — which later turns out to be Stephen from season one. Did anyone else see this coming?

Next they head back to their restaurants and work on the style. Interior designer Christopher Ciccone — Madonna's brother — works with them to fine tune their design and although The Garage — soon to be named Quatre — looks much nicer and more put together, Dale says it looks like "Valentine's Day threw up all over it."


During the service, Chef Tom decides to stay in the kitchen while the other judges, including guest judge Geoffrey Zakarian and four former TC contestants, are seated up front. Back there he gets to see how Sara commands the kitchen as executive chef, and how Tre just lets things go out.

Meanwhile out in the front of the houses, the judges hate half of Restaurant April's food. They even call Tre's beet dish one of the worst dishes they've had in a long time. Over at the other restaurant, they wonder why in the world Dale is in a short sleeve shirt and jeans.


In the end the renamed Garage is declared the winning team and Sara, for her assertiveness in the kitchen, is declared the final winner. This means it's sayonara to either CJ, Brian, Tre or Casey. At this point I started panicking, I realized that Casey and Brian both received very little screen time, so it couldn't have been either of them. This meant it was either Tre or CJ — both of whom I thought would make it to the finals — who would be packing their knives. I couldn't figure out which would make me feel worse, but seeing Tre gracefully say farewell was definitely heartbreaking. Bravo you had me fooled! Even the blogging community assumed Tre had made it to the end, how could you do this to us?!?


Now, after wiping my tears, I have a few things to ask you:

  • Dale absolutely hates the designer, but is very professional about it. Would you have been able to be so nice?
  • Are Bravo's editors finally learning? Dale received so much screen time, I definitely thought he was either winning or losing.
  • Could you chop onions faster than Casey?
  • Was Stephen an addition to the team or an obstacle?
  • I know it's due to editing, but what did Brian do last night?
  • Did you love the scenes of Chef Tom eating in the kitchen as much as I did?
  • Were you surprised by Sara's assertiveness?
  • Wasn't it great when Joey said the lamb was undercooked and therefore must have been Howie's?
  • Who are you rooting for?

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