In the end the best chef won on the merits. In recent episodes, Sirio Maccione, Andre Soltner, Michelle Bernstein, Todd English, Rocco DiSpirito, and Tom Colicchio ALL clearly recognized a superior craftsman in Hung -- and rewarded him with well deserved wins. THAT is the bottom line. You want to argue with that kind of consensus? Go right ahead.
But let's deconstruct a little. Casey, as I've said for some time, is an excellent cook. Her food, in my experience -- and according to judge after judge -- usually tasted extraordinary. But she choked on the last episode, came up short on every single course -- and knew better than anybody that she would not be getting the win. She can hardly complain about her prep sous-chef, Michelle Bernstein, whose facial expressions she might have read better. Casey made most of her mistakes during the conceptualizing, planning, and prep period. By the time Howie came on board, he was, it seemed to me, more help than hindrance. (The judges loved his sirloin.) I barely recognized the Casey I saw on the last episode. Busted by Colicchio for claiming there were no leeks, complaining about the altitude, pointing the finger at Hung for using half the plum wine, at Howie, she looked confused, disorganized and thrown by the sudden freedom to cook whatever she wanted.
There was, during the questioning by judges, a moment which was not, I hope a telling one. When informed that yet more salmon roe was not welcomed in her prawn dish, Casey reacted with, "That was the thing that ruined it ALL. Alright!..." Fact is, the dish was ruined from the outset by bad planning. It was ugly, busy, and didn't taste anywhere as good as it might have. Her foie dish was ruined by salty roe, her selection of pork belly was a huge tactical error, considering altitude and time constraints -- and the sirloin (which the judges liked best of her dishes), was a desperate throw -- which she largely tasked to Howie. I think she knew already by that point that she was in deep trouble -- and was pretty much beyond caring about the additional course. She's a great cook -- and presumably a terrific chef. If Michelle Bernstein likes her? I like her. She did a very difficult thing making it all this way to the finals. She just didn't have what it took to make that last step over the finish line.
Anthony I have been a learned chef for some years but only schooled never put it to work for me.Do you have any advice for a 41 year old lover of cooking that wnts to still try to have a go at it.I respect you immensily and look up to you.
yeah. Season 3 was great. But it pissed me off how both Casey and Dale singled Hung out as a super-competitive-robot. Not to mention that it is one of several asian stereotypes. And the discussion about soul is just pablum wrapped in self-rationalized hatred of the front runner. I think Hung got the short end of the stick on his season. Everyone seemed to dislike him. They put him to a higher standard then themselves. Like when Hung dropped oil, everyone was pissy about how he didn't clean up during a timed challenge. I'm so glad Hung won.