Top Chef
Latin Lunch

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

Colicchio reappears, this time for an honest-to-goodness Sniff 'n' Sneer. Checking in with Howie, Colicchio learns that Howie had been planning on braising pork shoulder, and in fact, he's still intending to braise the pork. "You're still braising it?" Colicchio queries. He is, and he'll probably finish it in the oven and pray for the best. Colicchio, totally skeptical in face and tone, says, "Good luck." He's so resigned to Howie screwing this up that his "Good luck" basically comes off as sarcastic. Colicchio checks in with Casey and Lia, who both think they can pull off their dishes with some minor changes, and learns that Sara N. had the foresight to buy tortillas since she will now be unable to make her own. Spastically freaking his hands and body every which way, Hung insists that the reduced time "is gonna work! It's gonna happen! No problem! No matter what, it's gonna happen!" Colicchio laughingly holds up a hand -- maybe to ward off the sweat and herbs Hung is flinging his way -- and says, "I actually believe you!" Hung's answering laugh is bordering on hysteria with a touch of mania. Just a touch. Colicchio then watches Hung dart off with his cleaver and makes a "Uch!" face as Hung steps in front of Casey. Casey, who had momentarily been stopped by the rampaging Hung, moves over to the stove and wonders aloud, "Was that a knife? Jesus Christ!"

Outside the kitchen, Colicchio registers his concern about Hung running with a knife, "He almost caught Casey, face-high." Okay, I don't think it was quite "face-high" because, come on, Hung's short, but yeah, dangerous. And so dangerous, in fact, that Colicchio should have said something to him right then and there instead of waiting until Judges' Table. Colicchio makes a point of saying that Howie is just sweating and that in Howie's place, he would roast the pork and not mess around with braising, "It would have been fine -- it would have been, actually, probably better." Better than winning? Spoiler! Time ticks down and everyone packs up. Hung tells the cameras that he's just doing "last minute refinements," and adds, "I mean, if I can't cook rice, I should just go home right now." He laughs to illustrate how insanely ridiculous it would be for him (HIM!) to be sent home. Speaking of rice, Casey's rice boils over and Howie helps her scrape it out of the pan. "It became sort of…mushy," she explains.

We scamper on over to the luncheon site in time to see a small brown lizard scuttle down a tree. If this were Man vs. Wild, he'd be the luncheon, and one of the Brians (MALARKEY!, probably) would be doing naked push-ups in the snow. We get some lights, camera, best boy scenes and then the cheftestants arrive. Sara M. gushes over the Dame Chocolate set and explains, "It was set on Star Island, you know, all the fancy people live there." Not all the fancy people live there -- don't the Jeb Bushes live on Fisher Island? You know what they say, "Live on Fisher Island, get buried in Palm Beach, that way you'll have the best of Florida." Lia explains that doing their luncheon buffet-style means having to deal with chafing dishes and hot boxes, which sucks, because the food just keeps cooking. For that reason, Lia decided to do a cold dish. The cheftestants do more prep and write out nametags for their dishes.

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