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Top Chef 3.2 - Sunny Delights Recap

I'm going to start off by stating the obvious: There are too many cheftestants in the kitchen. Not only did the quickfire challenge look like a madhouse, but I'm not even sure every contestant received airtime. There are still a few people that make me say "who's that?" (anyone catch the random chef about 35 minutes into the show?), however there are definitely a few personalities that have started to shine through. Also, the food was pretty impressive this time around - things really appear stepped up this season and I can't wait to see what happens next. But before we go on, let's get through last night's recap. To find out what happened and who went home,

Things start off with a citrus quickfire challenge judged by Padma and Norman Van Aken - a Southern Florida authority. The table of ingredients is jampacked with all things citrus: limes, lemons, grapefruits, blood oranges, tangerines, etc. After a quick 30 minutes fly by, the chefs present their food. Surprisingly there are shells and seeds and a lot of unhappy dishes. The winner of the challenge, and the one who is granted immunity, is Hung. CJ and Tre round out the top three and at this point, I'm convinced that Hung & Tre are the ones to watch this season. Perhaps it's due to the selective editing and the fact that we haven't even been introduced to all the chefs yet, but these two are definitely my faves so far.

After the quickfire, the cheftestants are told that they'll be lighting up the bbq for 60 people at an "ultra-glamorous champagne" bbq hosted by Lee Schrager, Miami's star event planner. They're then given $200 each, 30 minutes in the grocery store, 2 hours of prep and 2 hours of bbq'ing time. My favorite part was definitely seeing how several of the contestants didn't even know how to start a bbq.

At this point, based on the editing, I'm convinced that Sarah N. is going home. She bumbles her way around the grocery store, declares that she didn't know how hot peppers were, and comes across as just plain ditzy. To my surprise her Vietnamese BBQ dish landed her into the top three. Along with Micah's Grilled Lamb with Mint Sauce and Brian's episode-winning "Chino Latino" seafood sausage. I must admit, I was really intrigued by this dish, it definitely looked like gourmet bbq - sausage made from shrimp, scallop and seabass?! Sign me up!

So if the people I thought were losers ended up being winners, who ended up being losers? The people I thought were winners? Well, sadly that's exactly what happened. My current fave Tre, who kept tooting his own mad-Texas-skills horn, was in the bottom 4 along with Howie, Sandee and Joey. The four of them go in front of judge's panel and what's this? What's this?? DRAMA! Joey and Howie start with the finger-pointing and the whining. In fact, it starts to really heat up in the stew room and if you enjoy seeing people yell at each other, there are two bonus clips that didn't air.

So who went home? I really thought it was going to be Howie. He barely scraped by last week and made some obvious mistakes this time. However ultimately it was Sandee, who didn't actually bbq anything, who was asked to pack her knives and go.

So what did you guys think of the episode? Do you think the right person went home? Also, have you noticed the product placement? It's a bit heavy-handed, but at least Padma's not repeating the name every 3 seconds. And finally, what did that party guest say to Tre? I rewound the tivo a bajillion times and still couldn't make it out. Did anyone catch it?

Join The Conversation
siren6 siren6 10 years
We did repeated rewinds on the dish recording of the show, and I think we figured out the party guest said something to the effect of "this needs some acid" to Tre at the BBQ challenge. I'm getting a little annoyed that there are at least 2 women who have gotten zero airtime so far this show; clearly the personality and action is with the guys thsi season, but you think by now they'd at least show all the contestants, right? All I keep thinking though is "At least I would eat the food most of these chefs prepare, unlike Hell's Kitchen where I wouldn't even employ any of the contestants as a sous chef, let alone give them a restaurant to run."
mme-sky mme-sky 10 years
I agree that Sandee should not have been sent home. Joey bothers me more than Howie. I also don't remember the contestants being so random in past seasons. Are there more of them this year? They showed that Paloma woman talking about her dish at one point and I had NO clue who she was.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 10 years
Yup, there were two times when our viewing group went "who's that?" and only once did one of us remember seeing them before. Women both times BTW. Sandee so should have not been sent home. Howie bugs the crud outta me and totally should have gone home for not bringing it TWO WEEKS in a row. I was surprised that in the quickfire that what's his name (still getting them down) was a top pick even with the seed in there.
ccy ccy 10 years
The editing is really driving me crazy this season. It feels jumpy and almost amateur. The random contestants is odd too. I don't think other shows have this problem showing all the contestants? It's the same number of contestants as before isn't it? So, strange.
Food Food 10 years
oceanguy - did you watch it last season? If i heard Kenmore Pro Kitchen one more time I was going to vomit everywhere! This time it's in the footage, and the challenge was named after kingsford, but at least they didn't say Kingsford over and over and over again. Last season if you played a drinking game where you took a shot everytime padma said Kenmore Pro you would have been drunk before the quickfire challenge was over!
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
I miss this show so much. Must TiVo it!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
Cj is so freaking tall! I also noticed chefs talking, that i had never ever seen before! I would be super peeved if i was them and i wasnt getting any airtime! another note...chicken legs as gourmet Barbecue? he should have gone home, that was just insulting, at least mowhawk girl tried to be classy.
Lindsb Lindsb 10 years
Howie doesn't impress me.. I think he probably should have gone home. I think I like Micah. But I completely agree that there are random chefs that appear.. and disappear. There was a darker woman (indian maybe) on the first episode that I didn't see AT ALL in this one. It's really bizarre.
oceanguy oceanguy 10 years
I am really impressed with the cast but the editing is irksome. But the most annoying thing is the Nascar-like product pushing. I never though I'd hear Padma say anything like, "Welcome to Top Chef Miami's Kingsford Charcoal Elimination Challenge." Where's her Glad ball cap and Fresh Market patch sewn to her top? They've gone a little over the top with the product pitching and placement.
cpumpkins77 cpumpkins77 10 years
I live in Miami and went for dinner at Howie's restaurant "The Food Gang" and I was impressed with the cocktails and the appetizers and the dessert. However, I had a snapper entree that was way over cooked with lime. We went the day before the grand opening and I didn't think it was super amazing. It was very VERY expensive from what I remember. Anyway, I'm not so sure Howie should be on a show like this. He seems like the type of person who really likes to take his time and the time pressure on this show is an issue. I think I will try the Food Gang again, but I'd better set aside some real dough before I go!!
Mama-Ward Mama-Ward 10 years
As a Texan, I was saddened by Tre's lackluster performance at the BBQ. On the other hand, if you are doing Texas BBQ, it has to be LOW and SLOW and the time restraints didn't allow anyone to produce real 'q. I still am dying to check out Abacus here in Dallas, where Tre works/worked. I was really rooting for Sarah, thinking she was doomed. The editors did a good job faking me out with that. I'm just hoping the women step it up! I don't want to watch the Tre and Hung show all season long.
em1282 em1282 10 years
I think the editing so far this season is terrible. All the quick shots make everything seem so confusing, and I have no idea what that person said to Tre. Joey irritates me to no end. Tre kinda scared me at the end when he was taking the criticism with nothing but a cold, dead stare. Brian's dish looked really good and deserved to win. Hung's spastic running kinda makes me laugh, but part of me thinks he's gonna hurt himself. Let's just hope he doesn't run with freshly sharpened knives in his hands. :)
ddene5713 ddene5713 10 years
the chef with the red lipstick and orange-ish hair made me go " she a contestant" i was so confused.
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