It was fun to see this week's guest judge, Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill in NYC, on hand for the catch & cook round. His restaurant is an institution in Manhattan -- a truly beautiful place and he is legendary. Man, you can read so much in his facial expressions as he samples all of the quick fires. I can't believe how expressive it is ... it speaks volumes. Thanks for that lovely introduction to the Quickfire, Sara N. However, I don't want to hear you whine over a wimpy net. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Season 2 would have had both our hands bound behind our backs and we would have to catch the clams with our mouths ... you know, Eddie Murphy style -- "Goonie-Goo-Goo!" LOL! Howie ... Love ya', babe, but please wipe your brow. I'm trying to watch my salt content! And thanks to Lia for having the balls to confront Hung over his sloppiness in the kitchen. How a chef conducts him or herself in the kitchen is also so much a part of being a "Top Chef" and is so often overlooked in this competition. I haven't seen much of Lia so far, but I like her style. Is she perhaps the dark horse who will emerge victorious?
Congrats Brian on your Quickfire win! Other than your straightforward approach, you were wise to pretty much stay out of the way of the seafood and let it speak for itself. You're on a roll now, kid. Stick with it ... You know, I get jealous every time I see the contestants lounging in that Jacuzzi, but my therapist tells me it is natural. HA! When I packed for TC2, a swimsuit was not on my list!! "Family Favorites" conjures up so many meanings, not just awful cafeteria food. America is a great melting pot ... literally. There are so many great traditions that are personal to each family. I was a bit disappointed to see so many turn their noses up to these classics, rather than embrace them. This challenge really gave them a chance to have fun and be creative with these old favorites. Unfortunately, several chefs viewed this assignment with dread -- and it showed.