Top Chef
Latin Lunch

Episode Report Card
Keckler: A | 1 USERS: A+
'Cuz She's Lia-ving On A Jet Plane

Padma explains that the Elimination Challenge is to cater a Latin lunch for the cast and crew of Telemundo's Dame Chocolate telenovela as well as other Telemundo stars. She sort of slurs through that last part, so those "other stars" must not be as important as those on DAME CHOCOLATE. They have 30 minutes to shop, $125 to spend, and three hours to cook. Padma's tone here is very, "THREE HOURS is SO much time and I'm making a POINT about how much time it is because we're SO NOT gonna take it away from you!" Hung, as confident as he always is, tells us he lived in Puerto Rico for three years and he thinks he's going to do well.

Shopping sequence. Dale is "fairly panicked," but to Joey From New York, the idea of "hot Latino women," gets him excited and happy. In his pants. On a totally, totally different topic, Joey informs us, "You know, Howie and I became really close since our incident." He knows Howie is talented and would like to see him do more than pork. Casey, swiveling her head this way and that, tells us, "I live in Texas, I'm close to the border. I actually have quite a bit of knowledge working with Latin food." So, by "border," you must mean "Taco Bell," because Dallas is "close to the border" in the same way that San Francisco is "close to the border." As in, you are in a state that borders Mexico but you aren't CLOSE to said border. Maybe she means the Oklahoman border. Lots of good Mexican food up there. Casey is going to do some sort of mole sauce, which, as she explains is "different in every region." She flips her hair and tells us, "I decided to do a coffee sauce. Coffee is very popular in South Florida." Did you hear that? Coffee is very popular in South Florida! Man, I wish I lived in a state where coffee was very popular, don't you? Sara N. is making an avocado ceviche where the spicy seafood is incorporated into a fairly acidic guacamole. The difficult part of her dish will come from making her own tortillas but luckily (LUCKILY!), she always buys some pre-made spares, "just in case something doesn't work out." Aw, you'll never, ever, ever need those.

Back at the pad, one of the Brians wonders if anyone is doing dessert, "The name of soap opera is chocolate-something or something." (He didn't hear Padma's explanation because MALARKEY! was gnashing his teeth too loud over their loss.) Casey is happy to correct him with heavy accents, "Dame Chocolate." She's seen the show and adds, "It's HUGE in Mexico." (By which she means "Oklahoma.") "Do you have a favorite character?" Lia asks. Casey responds, "They've got their sultry-looking ones and their older…people." Oh, for Pete's sake -- that can apply to any soap, drama, sitcom, or infomercial on television! How much were they fed these lines? I mean, I know djb said they never fed lines on his show, but come ON! Am I really supposed to believe this is all natural when Casey can't even regurgitate a single character? Come to think of it, Paris Hilton would have been better off taking this hedging tactic when asked about her favorite Bible passage, "I like the venge-y ones and the sinnery…parts." But let's not worry about the flagrant product placements here, because Lia is telling us how close she and Casey have become in their short time together. As they discuss their dishes, Casey is eating another packed sandwich and taking really big bites. When she swallows, I sort of expect to see a big lump going down her throat.

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