I have to say, watching it all, and checking out the set-up, I have to give a shout out to my girl Lee Anne, because the citrus table was pretty darn impressive. They had some really nice stuff. They were all cut open, to accentuate how beautiful the citrus was. She's a good producer, it was cool. I think watching Hung cook, there are two things: One -- he's going to bust his ass one of these days falling while running. He looks like he's pretty much on the edge of being out of control all the time. Two -- it's clear that his knife skills, and his technical cooking ability are probably the best amongst the group. I thoroughly appreciate the fluidness of watching him cook and cut.
Norman Van Aken likes to hear himself talk. You put him inside an atmosphere like "Top Chef," and he'd probably get eaten alive. Possibly. I don't know how Norman rolls anymore. But he certainly knows what he's talking about, and he's certainly articulate, and he's certainly knowledgeable, but some of the stuff he talks about... he's a little aggressive. It all depends on the type of chef you want to be. You want to be a teacher and a nurturer, or do you want to be someone who's aggressive? Sara N. was clearly nervous, and he was a little aggressive with her. On the elimination round, I was kind of surprised by Sandee. I mean, she's from Florida, I'm looking to see some Florida chow here. Poached lobster? I mean, if that's your go-to dish, I'm sure there's a chance you're going to get to use eventually, but I was a little surprised. And I think, it's my opinion, that Tre needs to stay away from the salmon.
I haven't ever had a good salmon dish come out on the show, and I haven't seen anybody really kill with the salmon. He went back to the salmon in the quickfire, he went back to the salmon in the elimination, maybe he was just feeling salmon that day, I don't know. I thought Brian's fish was spot on. Going into the third season, I can't think of a specific challenge where a contestant did a dish that was just so appropriate for it, and he just nailed it so smack on the head, I really dug it. As for Joey and Howie. I couldn't believe it. They're going at it already? This is it? It's early on. How can you focus on the food when you have to worry about the citrus shenanigans?
I think when the judges pull the four of them up there, to the judges table - I got a little nervous. I didn't think the dishes were that bad, they were fine, but I don't think a lot of them listened to what the challenge really was. I didn't get the sense that there was a lot of high-end barbecue going on. If you're going by what barbecue is, which is slow and low -- where's the brisket? That's what I want.
Hung got immunity, so what are you gonna do about it? It doesn't really matter what he did, because he was at the winner's table at the first challenge, and he won the quickfire, so he can sit there and drink champagne if he wants to. And he's not going to get called out on anything. I do think he's the type of guy that's going to try and push people's buttons, and I'm looking forward to seeing that. I think Lia is a really great cook, too. It just may take a while for her to find her comfort zone. I think she comes from too strong a pedigree to sit in the middle the whole time. I'm waiting to see what she's gonna do. See you next week.