In the case of both Hung and Casey, their chicken and rice were actually over cooked and quite dry -- two serious transgressions when catering for a group of eaters who count arroz con pollo among their cultural staples. For Sara N., the problem had more to do with communication. Regardless of whether she made her own tortillas or not, the dish was labeled a ceviche but showed none of a ceviche's signature characteristics. We could not detect the citrus that should have marinated and lightly "cooked" the scallop and shrimp. Because she used too much avocado, the dish seemed much more like a seafood guacamole than anything else.
Furthermore, although it wasn't terrible tasting, it certainly was not substantial enough to be a main course. Then there was lovely Lia, who I was absolutely heartbroken to send home this early in the competition. Sadly, her Smoked Rainbow Trout with Poblano Charred Corn Polenta Cake gave us no choice. It was mushy and void of much texture, under seasoned and most importantly, did not embody the essence of Latin American food.