And in response to some questions raised in the comments section, Mr. Bourdain has the following to add:
Let me respond quickly to a valid question that's already come up twice: Why do the judges (and why do I) keep suggesting that Hung might benefit from incorperating Vietnamese flavors or ingredients or culinary traditions into his offerings? Simple answer. Because we (rightly or wrongly) see a Vietnamese heritage (particularly one with deep associations with the restaurant business) as an enormous advantage for a cook. Because most chefs I know are crazy about Vietnamese food and if lucky enough to have visited Vietnam, totally ga-ga over the place; the easy accessibility of excellent, fresh, startlingly sophisticated food--even in humble homes, food stalls and markets. Hung comes from one of the "foodiest" of foodie cultures. Whether second generation, living in Texas or LA or Minneapolis, he has grown up with--and around--that food culture. He has said as much. There is a tendency among chefs and judges to expect and even hope that he'll show us some of that. Not that he has to. He could just as easily win this whole thing with his French chops.