His decision to move completely out of the kitchen, set up his own (presumably roomier) work area using the portable stoves (which he'd observed previously to be better suited for the altitude) was breathtakingly shrewd, further evidence of his willingness to cut his own path -- alone if need be. He seemed to enjoy working with his hero Rocco, and had no problems delegating work to him (thereby putting the lie to the "does not work well with others" argument). He worked clean, fast, smart, and organized ,and when asked how it had gone by the judges, he didn't whine, he didn't complain, he didn't point the finger or make excuses, he said he'd had "fun" and I believe him. Where cooking "anything you want" was a challenge for Dale and Casey, for Hung it was like letting him out of the paddock.
His hamachi "fish and chips" was inspired. His prawns looked great -- though they fell a little short on salt and acid. (I believe Rocco's comment was "close ... SO close"). And his duck a triumph. "Three star Michelin" said Todd English. The chocolate cake was an afterthought -- a sweet (if somewhat ordinary) treat. He didn't need it. Hung likely felt ( not without reason) that he'd already won the day. So, congratulations, Hung. You are as good as you said you were -- a rare thing these days. And to those who feel that you have to be "nice" to be a Top Chef, an inspiring chef, a great chef, I leave you with this: Marco Pierre White Albert Roux David Bouley Joel Robuchon.... I could go on, but I have to get back to my pint. See you next year.