Thirty minutes to shop, three hours to prep a Latin dish, and I am freaking out thinking once again that I was part of the wrong season! That quickly dissipated when Tom walked through those kitchen doors to announce they will only have 1½ hours, and that familiar sinking feeling returned to my gut! Now this is Top Chef stress as I remember it. Howie does seem to have a certain affinity for pork. Hmm. Is it just me, or does it seem that Casey is getting a little cocky?
I know firsthand that it could very well just be the editing, but as Andy Cohen says, they cannot create what did not exist on some level. However, by the time she got to the judging table she seemed appropriately humbled. (And I don't know about you, but those sandwiches Casey has made for herself the last two episodes look better than a lot of what is prepared for the competition.)
It was great to see so many of the stars from Telemundo at the competition, including my faves who I have the opportunity to work with every week on "Cada Dia"--Maria Antonieta Collins, and Jose Diaz-Balart.
I loved Jose's line about Hung needing to spend a little more time in Miami to master Arroz con Pollo! Also on hand were the stars Maria Celeste Arraras from "Al Rojo Vivo," Natallia Streignard of "La Tormenta," Genesis Rodriquez and Kristina Lilley of the ultra hot "Dame Chocolate," and Renato Lopez from "Vivo, Have you Cine?" Tom, Gail, and Padma seemed a bit shocked at all the culinary knowledge these folks possessed, but I wasn't surprised in the least. Cooking and dining are an integral part of the Latin culture. Like all things Latin, they are done with passion and gusto! I thought they were spot on in their critiques without being cruel. Did anyone notice that when Gail was commenting on Lia's polenta being so very un-Latin she looked just like Mo Gaffney's character on "Absolutely Fabulous?" And that "Rebecca of Donnybrook Farm" hairdo and outfit? Well, I will leave that to Bravo's other reality show blogs to decide!