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Top Chef

Season 3 Episode 5

Latin Lunch

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jul 18, 2007 on Bravo
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Timing is the theme for this round as the 11 remaining chefs are asked to be creative with a time-saving pastry and then serve lunch to clients on a tight schedule.

Guest Judge: Maria Frumkin

QuickFire Challenge: Create a Dish Using a Frozen Pie Crust.

Elimination Challenge: Cater a Latin Lunch for the Cast & Crew of Telemundo's Dame Chocolate.

Round Fivemoreless

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  • Quick fire challenge, they had to make something using a frozen pie crust. Elimination challenge, they had to make a latin dish for the cast and crew of, Dame Chocolate.

    A very interesting quick fire challenge in this episode. It was interesting to see how each chef approached it. I don't think one person actually kept it in the pie form. Hung's attitude is really getting to me. He just can't accept the fact that maybe he doesn't always get it right. I was surprised that Joey did win. He's come so far from the beginning. He struggled from the beginning and it sure looked like he was going to go home early, but now I don't know. He's really do an awesome job and he's working on reigning that temper and attitude in. I'm also sad that they don't show more of Tre. He must just really be consistent and not that interesting or something. He is still one of my favorites. After the quick fire challenge, came the elimination challenge, of course. The chefs had to make a Latin dish for the cast and crew of the Telemundo show, Dame Chocolate. First they were given 3 hours to cook their dish, then after they started Chef Tom came in and told them they now only had an hour and a half. It threw some of them, but they all still managed to complete their dishes. Again Hung irritated me. At the judge's table he's still with the attitude like the judge's don't know what they're talking about because they didn't fall in love with his dish. He's gotta just suck it up sometimes. I was surprised that Joey and Howie were in the top. As mentioned earlier Joey's been struggling from the beginning and so has Howie. It was nice to see that he was able to pull it together especially since Chef Tom didn't think he would. And I was happy Howie won. I think he needs that win in order to boost in confidence in the coming weeks. I again was surprised with who they sent home. They all really didn't seem to like Casey's and Tom was really hung up on the chicken and rice. Yet, they didn't send her home. I don't get it, but they are the experts. Sad to see Lia go, but as we get along, it's going to be harder and harder each week.moreless
  • They stretch the chef's creativity with a frozen pie crust quickfire challenge and then latin cuisine for a latin cast in the second installment.

    I thought they finally upped the ante of this competition with this episode. I was dissapointed with the lack of creativity in past episodes, but the judges allowed for a lot of it here. Someone in this series finally made a good dessert; Joey! There has not been one decent dessert chef since this series started! Maybe his talent extends beyond tarts and can really help him later on. Other chefs who are not has creative did not fare so well. Diversity and adaptation were the keys in this episode, and Hung, Sarah, and Leah did not have it this time. Let's hope the judges continue to test these chefs beyond the usual gourmet fare.moreless
  • After winning the quick fire challenge, Joey keeps up the pressure with a great second dish. That shows me a lot of character and pride.

    After the first episode I was so blown away by Hung and Tre, but lately Hung is showing that a lot of his talent is in his mind, as he may only be a one horse show and getting him out of his comfort zone is dangerous. But going back there Howie has getting better each week, even though he uses pork almost all the time. This weeks dish even impressed Chef Tom, and that is hard to do.

    As for Joey, go guy, he won the quick fire and could have very easily won the main challenge but I think Tom liked Howies dish more.

    Yes the right person got sent home, but Hung is dangerously close at times, he could very easily self destruct and go home.moreless
  • This episode belonged to Howie & Joey!!

    Howie and Joey were working better with each other in this episode. Whether it was due to them coming together as a result of being in a trio with Casey or what I don't really know. But Joey won the quickfire and Howie won the challenge and Howie shared the prize with him @ the end of the competition. But in this episode, Tre's dish was consistent with his previous work which at this point is just confirming my point that he's a really strong contender. In this episode, the competitors have to make a pastry dish in the quickfire and in the challenge, the group had to prepare a latin dish. Hung, I think, fell even further in this episode. He can't accept criticism and he's a little ADD. I view as a strong arrow that hits the target only so many times until he finally misses the bulleye because a turn has come up and he refuses to bend. Anyway, it was another great episode. Lia was voted off and rightfully off. I think either a Sara/Sarah or Casey might be next.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • First Run Fan Poll:

      Who do you think is the sexiest judge?

      A. Gail 14%
      B. Padma 38%
      C. Tom 48%

      (all percentages are as of the end of the episode.)

    • QuickFire Challenge Dishes Shown:

      • Hung – Banana, Rum & Chocolate Pie with Spicy Peanuts.
      • Howie – Peach Tarte Tatin with Black Pepper & Balsamic Sabayon.
      • Joey – Trio of Tarts: Berry Cream with Balsamic Vinegar, Roasted Mango Purée with Rum & Warm Apple Compote.
      • C.J. – Duck Lollipop Encrusted with Pistachios & Pie Crust and Duck Tart with Cabbage, Tomato & Arugula Purée
      • Tre – Fennel & Apple Tarte Tatin.
      • Brian – Vegetarian Tart with Arugula Pesto, Seafood Tart with Celeriac Purée, Chorizo Tart with Pepper Jack Cheese, Fruit Tart with Grand Marnier.
      • Sara M. – Braised Swiss Chard & Rabbit Stew, Prosciutto Wrapped Rabbit. Vegetable Cigar with Innards and Goat Cheese, Feta & Fig Tart.
      • Lia – Pork Tenderloin with Artichoke & Chorizo Tart.
      • Dale – Spinach & Salmon En Croûte and Strawberry, Pear & Saffron Tart.

    • Elimination Challenge Dishes:

      *Sara N. - Shrimp & Scallop Avocado Ceviche, Charred Corn & Pickled Radish.
      *Casey - Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Rice & Molasses Coffee Glaze.
      *C.J. - Skirt Steak, Black Beans & Jicama Slaw.
      *Hung - "Arroz con Pollo" (Chicken with Rice).
      *Tre - Jumbo Prawns with Jalapeno Cilantro Dumplings & Lobster Ceviche.
      *Howie - Braised Pork Shoulder with Yuca, Sour Orange Mojo.
      *Joey - Bean Stew with Lobster, Shrimp, Chicken & Chorizo.
      *Lia - Smoked Rainbow Trout with Polenta Cake.
      *Dale - Grilled Poblano & Braised Chicken, Tortilla with Fire-Roasted Corn & Jalapeno.
      *Sara M. - "Chiles Rellenos" (Stuffed Chiles).

    • Joey wins the QuickFire Challenge, and the bottom three are Dale, Lia and Hung.

    • Howie wins the Elimination Challenge, and Lia packs her knives.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Tom Colicchio: (to Hung) I just want to say one other thing, you have incredible knife skills, and you're very fast. Just one word of advice: be very careful with your knife, because you almost cut Casey… please be careful.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Air Dates:
      Australia – June 18, 2008 on Arena

    • This week's guest judge, Chef Maria Frumkin, is the pastry chef and owner of the French Bakery Café in Bay Harbor and chef and co-owner with her husband of Duo in Miami.

    • Lee Anne says in her blog that the chefs were each given four frozen pie crusts to work with. She also says they had 90 minutes for the QuickFire (three times longer than usual) in case anyone chose to make an actual pie.