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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,

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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auntzue auntzue 10 years
This is the third year I have watched the show and I just love it. My feeling is that CASEY must go. I can't stand her. I agree with the person who pointed out all of her mistakes. She's not a good cook at all, and she won the "sniff-touch-taste" quickfire because she got such easy items. The onion chopping was beyond belief. She wasn't even trying. Sara has temporarily redeemed herself by doing a great job as executive chef. Like Casey, Brian and CJ were lame-o's in this challenge. Tre did FOUR dishes! They each did one and didn't help him, for all Casey's bragging that she and Tre were like brother and sister. She's a user.
lanilovespeaches lanilovespeaches 10 years
I agree sdelrosa! Sara needs to go!!! seriously and so does HOWIE!! grr, i really am not a fan of him. Hung too, i think he needs to go. He's way too cocky and stupid
sdelrosa sdelrosa 10 years
Yeah, and WHEN will Sara's luck run out?
sdelrosa sdelrosa 10 years
I thought Tre was going to win the whole thing. I thought Dale should go. Now the only one who I might want to win is CJ. I thought Tre was twice the cook CJ was!
lanilovespeaches lanilovespeaches 10 years
ahh!! this was a crazy episode!! especially the quickfire, i was seriously so mad at casey...she literally chopped so dang slow!!! ahh i really did want to hit her! but anyways, so sad to see tre leave =(
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 10 years
I am pissed! I wanted Tre! GRRR!!! They are racist or something for sure! He was an amazing cook!!
veside veside 10 years
Thanks for alerting us to the Bourdain blog, CaterpillarGirl. It was one of his better efforts! "What's next--Mickey Rourke's dog groomer?" Priceless.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
Anthony Bourdain Called Madonnas Bro an A$$hat on his Topchef Blog....perfect
Seraphim Seraphim 10 years
i don't understand how the ladies are still in the competition... i'm all for girl power but come on! :) bye tre ::waves:: and yes i could chop onions faster , lol
Mama-Ward Mama-Ward 10 years
I felt sick after Tre was cut. I do feel lucky that I live in Dallas, though. Wherever Tre ends up, I will frequent that restaurant often.
karisaamy karisaamy 10 years
I wanted to go threw the TV and cut those damn onions for Casey, it was killing me. At the end I was very sad since I knew one of my favorites were going home. CJ is my fav so at least he's there for anouther show.
verily verily 10 years
I am always astounded by how the judges pick the loser. Tre had several overall wins under his belt; I don't understand how one slip-up sent him packing. But this is Top Chef and they've done it a few times before. I don't know who I want to win at this point. There isn't a standout anymore; I had thought that Tre was it. :( I suppose they looked at his overall performance though. He was too quiet in the kitchen and didn't assert himself as much as he should have. Whereas Sarah surprised me by being so assertive! Tre's career should take off though and Dallas is a good city to do it in! Very cosmopolitan.
Lara16 Lara16 10 years
The bravo editing with their foreshadowing is becoming very predictable. I watched the show last night, and still can't believe that Tre got booted. The ultimate winner will not be the Top Chef, but the one who does not mess up as badly as the others. Case in point: Casey. Everyone considered her dish awful, but probably not as bad as Tre's. And she is still in the competition.
Karla-Sugar Karla-Sugar 10 years
It was so wrong. I'm sorry, but at this point in the game, it's not "just about this round" -- you have to consider someone's skill and performance up to this point. Tre was the only realistic winner, and I will take no joy in the show now that he's out. Of course, I also thought it was ridiculous that Ilan won last season and not Sam, but maybe the judges get myopic.
WildHeavenFarm WildHeavenFarm 10 years
It seems to me that the person who gets extra camera time in the beginning of the ep, especially talking about themselves or their relationship with teammates, is the one to get the ax.
Nahm Nahm 10 years
I really thought Tre would be at least in the final 3 :( He seems to be very talented and also the only one I like in those 8. And by the way, I couldn't help getting pissed at Casey. Being slow is OK I guess. But being THAT slow is unbelievable!!! Wish she was gone instead of Tre.
pinkgirl22 pinkgirl22 10 years
I didn't want to see Tre go home he was my favorite.
laurafox laurafox 10 years
Go Brian! Poor Tre :-(
ltltw ltltw 10 years
I so wanted Tre to win, but you are right he did exit with great style. I am not sure who I am pulling for now. I have not really liked Sara but she did her job last night so I am happy the judges gave her the win. The whole team really pulled it together and had the "esprit-de-corps" that they needed to pull it off.
rothchild rothchild 10 years
so sad to see Tre go :(. i really don't think i can watch it anymore. how can Casey and Sarai still be in the competition is beyond me? ugghhhhhh
gracemademe gracemademe 10 years
Chicago represent... go Dale!
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Madonna has a brother?
vndlfan vndlfan 10 years
I still can't believe it I really thought Tre would be there until the end. Casey is such a f*** up in the kitchen hello, my dog can chop onions faster than her. Why.... Why.... Why.... Is there no Top Chef God out there? OH and don't get me started on Madonna's brother what a jerk.
veside veside 10 years
It is very sad that Tre had to go. Now I wish I 'd tried the salmon/beet/pesto dish just to see how bad it was!! Love the description of Stephen Asprinio (Aspirinio?) as a grouper in a suit, C-girl! LOL! I am not sure that the sommelier was an to the Quatre team since the judges did not talk about the wine pairings at all. However, good wine may have subtly influenced their appreciation of the food--who knows? What a dumb name change from the Garage to Quatre. From rough'n'edgy to posh French. At least name it "QUATRO" guys, since you are in Miami and all! Madonna's bro came off as an unbelievably smug jerk, and I can't say that I liked his contributions..
misshouston misshouston 10 years
I knew Tre was on the chopping block the minute they showed Casey waxing eloquent about how he and she had "developed a special bond." Has anyone noticed that any time one cheftestant is shown discussing a special relationship with another, one of them inevitably gets sent home?
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