The judges and Telemundians arrive and queue up for lunch. Gail's back and she's starting off with Sara N.'s shrimp and scallop avocado ceviche with charred corn and pickled radish. The ceviche is presented on an endive spear with tortilla chips on the side. Casey's tells someone about her bacon-wrapped chicken breast with molasses-coffee glaze, served on a bed of rice. Casey says her breast is stuffed, but we aren't told with what. My guess? Silicone. Speaking to a Telemundian, Casey warns, "And in the front, I have a really, really spicy sauce. It is super spicy." Casey then tries to say, "But that's the way I like it," when the Telemundian talks over her, saying, rhetorically, "Do you think it's going to be too spicy for me? I'm Mexican!" Seriously, Casey -- what was with all the spice warnings? Know your audience! "I know that's why I did it!" Casey insists. CJ serves up some skirt steak with black beans and jicama slaw. Hung, speaking Spanish that even I can understand, greets his lunchers with the same level of hyperness he displayed all day. One of the lunchers seems to totally laugh at Hung speaking Spanish. Sort of in a, "Well, aren't you just ADORABLE? Look at you -- trying to speak our language!" sort of way. Hung agrees, "As people are coming through the line, and I'm speaking to them in Spanish and they're loving it! They're loving it!" Hung tells them he made Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken) with cilantro, lemon, chicharrones (pork rind? Cracklings?), and avocado. He sort of flubs the Spanish for avocado, but Casey's spicy Mexican chick helps him out. And because she has a comment on practically everything, Casey has a comment on all of this for us: "He's got all these condiments, so he's asking: 'Do you want a little of this and a little of that?' and he is ALL over the place, and I'm just [she makes an "ew, back off" movement]. It's Hung being Hung." He is Hung, no disputing that.
Moving on to Tre, we see his jumbo prawns in yellow tomato-coconut sauce with jalapeno-cilantro dumplings and mango-lobster ceviche. Gail, her hair blowing wildly in the wind, gives Tre a melting smile and tells him she likes his dumpling idea. Howie dishes up braised pork shoulder and yucca with a sour orange mojo sauce. Chef Frumkin wants to know how Howie's braising went with the condensed time. Howie explains that he cut the pieces smaller and shortened the braising time, but he stuck to his plans. A very braided Padma steps up to receive Joey From New York's two-bean stew with lobster, shrimp, chicken, and chorizo. Howie drools to us, "Joey's dish was just delicious -- I was eating it the whole time I was standing next to him. I couldn't stop eating it!" I have such a dirty mind tonight. "It blew me away," Howie admits. See? Padmahontas has Lia explain her smoked rainbow trout on a poblano and charred-corn polenta cake before she thanks her in a decidedly unenthused voice and takes her plate away to eat. "Polenta?" barks Gail's voice, "Is that Latin? HMMMM!" She's being rhetorical and sort of condescending, Lia, don't fall for it! Lia falls for it and explains to the food person, "No, but it's Latin flavors." Gail hurriedly says that it's interesting and she loves polenta and it's a "nice little twist." You know, it's not such a far-fetched, wild and crazy idea to pair Latin food with polenta. It has enough of a kinship with masa harina that it's not really a leap of the imagination.