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Top Chef 3.14 — Finale Part 2 Recap

Well, oh well, oh well. We finally made it to the end. Did the right cheftestant win? What did you think of the challenge and didn't you just want to reach right into your TV screens and eat some of those dishes?!? To check out what happened in the finale,

When the episode begins, the cheftestants are presented lift tickets and are whisked away to the top of the mountain where Padma and Tom are waiting for them. At this point they're told to use the protein and produce provided and create the best meal they have ever cooked in their lives. Oh and the twist? They're all going to be cooking at the same time, in the same kitchen. They're also going to serve at the same time.

They're given 35 minutes to prepare their menus — which I'm surprised they didn't already have planned — and then they draw knives to determine their sous chefs. Everyone assumes it will be former cheftestants, so they're ecstatic to find out that their sous chefs are actually famous chefs. Hung is paired with Rocco DiSpirito, Casey is paired with Michelle Bernstein and Dale is paired with Todd English.

With their sous chefs in order, they head straight to the kitchen. From my point of view, it seemed like the cheftestants were a bit star struck at first, but then buckled down and got to work. The celebrity sous chefs do as they're told, but you can tell they don't always agree. After three hours of chopping and prepping, the cheftestants say farewell to their sous chefs and call it a night.

The next day they're on their own as they finish up the meal. They have two hours to get their three dishes ready and are halfway through when Tom tells them to stop what they're doing and come outside. Peeved, they all head outside only to find out that they each need to do a fourth dish. They also learn that they'll have some assistance from former cheftestants. Hung is paired with Sara, Dale is paired with CJ and Casey is paired with Howie.

Once they get back into the kitchen, the chefs get down to business and prepare their four dishes. Each course is presented to the eight judges — the four main judges, the three celebrity sous chefs and former contestant Brian — and it's clear that some of the dishes are really blowing others out of the water. Courses one and three are awarded to Hung — they even thought his duck was "three star Michelin" caliber — while courses two and four go to Dale. Unfortunately there can only be one winner and after much deliberation — according to Rocco's blog, the judges debated for nine hours — Hung is declared the next Top Chef!

Now for some things to ponder:

  • Did you think Hung was going to win? Do you agree with it?
  • Which dish did you want to eat the most? Personally I wanted that duck!
  • People have been complaining that this season lacked personality compared to the last two. After the finale, do you still think that's true?
  • Which celebrity sous chef would you want to work with?
  • Were you surprised that Hung went with a chocolate cake? Especially in the high altitude?
  • Did you notice that the judges were wearing the same clothing during both the Aspen panel and the live panel?
  • Dale said the scallop dish was a 50/50 collaboration with CJ. Do you think this was true?
  • Overall, what did you think of this season?


magalaya magalaya 10 years
I don't know why, but I knew that Hung was going to win in the end. He seemed to not have much compassion - he had a really just go and do it personality in my opinion.
laurelm laurelm 10 years
I think Hung deserved to win, a compliment of 3 star Michelin did it for me. We cannot taste the food (oh how I wish I could), but I believe it when a chef says that! I dont think scallops was 50/50, I think Dale was being nice. I was surprised at Dale and impressed by him, as I didnt see much from him throughout the show. I still think Season One was the best season and most interesting food. I thought this finale was kinda boring.
sumnboutme sumnboutme 10 years
I thought all along that Hung would be a contender for the title although I was rooting fro Tre and CJ in the beginning. Unfortunately for Hung, the Bravo editors made him out to be the prick. I would've been happy seeing either Dale or Hung winning because Casey soooo did not bring it. It's like she fell apart and couldn't make up her mind. I would've loved to try that Hung's duck dish and Dale's lamb and scallop. Yummy!
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 10 years
Hung has no personality. He was by far the best chef but his personality is that of a robot. Casey just fell apart in the final and did not have a chance. Dale just needed to make that lamb dish go away.
mswender mswender 10 years
I love Dale. Hung was a jerk, but so much better than marcel and he can cook.
tundrababe tundrababe 10 years
Hung deserved to win just for the fact alone that he cooked a cake at that altitude and it came out great! That is no small feat. I loved that he made a foam too. He and Marcel need to open a foam-themed restaurant. This season was great. I really enjoyed the finale. I was sad to see Casey choke up - a combo of nerves and altitude sickness, probably. It's wonderful to see Dale as a chef again, his hard-luck story last week really moved me. I'm a vegetarian, so there wasn't much in the finale I'd actually want to eat! The cake, for sure. :-)
lula29 lula29 10 years
I knew it! I've been really rooting for him for a while. And I'm also glad to see others were rooting for him. It was a competition, not summer camp! Lord, he wasn't their to nice nice everyone, but to win, and I feel he did that without alienating others. Honestly, I think some were just a bit envious of his obvious technical skill. Congrats to Hung!
omgmonster omgmonster 10 years
Yay for Hung! Why is everyone hating on Hung? I think he got along find with his fellow contestants, no one really hated him in the show sooo...? I don't get why the viewers would hate him. So he's the kind of person who doesn't take critcism too well, so what? It's not like he's going around trying to ruined other people's chance of winning. Beside, Top Chef is about food.
ccy ccy 10 years
Go Hung! As much as I love Dale and as talented as Casey is, I'm really happy for Hung.
polly17 polly17 10 years
hung is my fav from day one!@ so glad he won!!!!
karisaamy karisaamy 10 years
Dale should have won, I so wanted to reach into my tv and grab that lamb dish he made. I didn't get how they were surprised/annoyed and the added dish. Come on that always happens, watch your Top Chef reruns chefs. I hated the fact that the judges were wearing the same thing in the live show and the pretaped one. Come on this isn't survior you have access to a closet. Plus Padma's dress was just plain ugly.
Diana172 Diana172 10 years
I totally thought Hung was going to win and I'm so happy for him. I liked the others too though!
veside veside 10 years
Well, it was a tight race, wasn't it? I think that Hung outperformed the others, he was more of a perfectionist than Dale. The judges had perhaps more confidence in Hung than in Dale who had forgotten ingredients for his dishes before. However, I agree with kiddylnd abve in that I would rather go to a restaurant headed by Dale or Casey than by Hung--since I thought the other two put more sould and a touch of whimsy into their food. And I agree with leelah also in that Hung was not at all a villain! Theres no point looking for villains everywhere. This Season was the best --no shenanigans, good personalities, classy concession speeches (esp by Casey) and 3 very strong contestants in the end. Ilan & Marcel were not that inspiring a duo last year. PS Yes, Marcel needs a hair makeover! Gawwwd!
em1282 em1282 10 years
I think the winners get more annoying (personality-wise) every year. Ilan started a trend, in my opinion. :) But, food-wise, didn't Dale have 2 great dishes? It was still nice to see him in the finale, though. Word is he's also opening up his own restaurant here--I'd be more than willing to check it out.
flutterpie flutterpie 10 years
he was always in the bottom! the majority of his food was unoriginal and according to the judges, bland. ridiculous decision! it should of been dale!
designergirl designergirl 10 years
I'm so glad Hung won. I think he deserved it more than Dale.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
If you read the Blogs on Top chef, Tom, Padma, Anthony, Rocco,ted and anyone else you will see that Hung not only won for being technical, but for taste also. It would be a mistake to think that these judges would award this to him on that alone....Did you miss the "this is worth three michelin stars" comment? Thats probably worth more to hung than winning this whole thing, and you dont get those on TECHNICALITIES. god. quit hating on Hung, he deserved it
HonestMuffin HonestMuffin 10 years
YYYEYEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! I am so happy Casey didn't win. There is a Food God!
tati33 tati33 10 years
I agree with Caterpillar Girl about Hung...He was competing..That's just how it is...
kristyrk kristyrk 10 years
I am SO glad that Casey was out and it was between Dale and Hung. I have wanted Hung to win since the beginning. I always seem to root for the one that the majority hates! I even rooted for Marcel last year and still think he should have won.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
I wanted Casey to win...until I saw how her dishes were coming out then I was rooting for Dale. I completely agree that Hung is better TECHNICALLY, but I don't feel that this is what really makes a Top Chef. Hung's food always seems just as Chef Chaliccio says it is - perfect presentation. To me though, perfect presentation is not what makes a dish. I don't care how well it's presented, or that it's cooked to perfection every single time. What I care about it that my food has some love, soul, and character to it. I don't think Hung has that AT ALL (despite what he says). I am really sad for Dale (Casey too, but only because she knew by the end that it wouldn't be her), as he really pulled it out and deserved the win. I would never eat anywhere Hung cooks intentionally, as I don't feel like my food would be made with care and concern for me as a consumer.
fishlady fishlady 10 years
I agree! Hung wasn't really a jerk at all. His win is deserved, but if the judges said Dale, I'd have been happy, too. I Dale more, but I figured Hung would win early on. If you stop trying to fit him into the "evil, arrogant jerk of the season" mold and go back and watch, Hung actually says a lot of sweet things. I guess Casey peaked early, which is too bad, because it kind of sucked to have her up there at the end when it was clearly a two man race.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 10 years
I agree that Hung deserved to win, though I wanted Casey to win. She just flopped at the end!!! The altitude got to her. Hung did have great dishes throughout the competition. And how can the judges agrue with a chocolate cake!!! Of course I was craving chocolate at the time so I'm being bias :P
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
I am so happy that Hung won. I never thought of him as "Cocky" he was confident and some people dont like confidence. It was a competition, he wasnt supposed to help the others out!! I felt so bad for Casey, it was like she saw all those ingredients and the high altitude made her brain snap and she lost her concentration. It was awesome to see marcel there especially because he got robbed last year, his little beard was very yummy. Overall it was a great season, especially with so much bourdain.!!
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