Top Chef: All Stars

2006, TV Show

Top Chef Episode: "Sunny Delights"

Season 3, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: The heat is on when the chefs are assigned to cater a gourmet barbecue party. Chef Norman Van Aken serves as the guest judge.
Original Air Date: Jun 20, 2007

Full Episode
click to playclick to play
Season 3, Episode 2
Paid | iTunes
Length: 44:04
Aired: 6/20/2007
Also available on VUDU
play more info

June 20, 2007: The Upscale BBQ Season 3, Episode 2

So last week I told you that I love Top Chef mainly because I love food. But there's also one thing I didn't tell you: I'm on a diet. My wife calls this a "lifestyle change" instead of a diet, but I like "diet" instead. When I talk about a "lifestyle change" to people they immediately think I'm going to start wearing panties (the I Heart Clay Aiken Underoos don't count as panties) and calling myself Davida instead. In the end, I have to explain that I'm on a diet anyway, so it's just easier. OK, so now you're wondering why I told you this. Well, it plays into a hotly contested topic on the string last week - whether the chefs should cook food that's on the lower end of the food scale, aka "stuff we'd eat." My answer to that question is that I like seeing them cook this outrageous stuff. Foods like geoduck that I'd see on a window display menu for $45 a plate and walk right by are the kinds of items I need on Top Chef. There's almost no chance that I'll ever get to try most of these concoctions, therefore my diet is safe. No need to even bother to poorly recreate these at home. On the other hand, Jamaican jerk chicken is something I'd make at home. And then the pounds would just go straight to my butt and thighs. Oh, silly me. Now I'm sounding like Davida. Interlude: Did you happen to notice that in the beginning when they announce that the winner gets $100,000, the numbers appear right in front of the box of Cling Wrap? That makes it look like they are going to get 100K in stuff to keep their food from exploding all over the office microwave. I'm just sayin'. As for what went on this week, I have to say that I think more shows should begin with someone flipping the double bird. Dear Micah was flipping everyone off because she isn't a morning person. I go to work at 10. My wife wakes me up at 6:30 for her job and never once have I put my middle finger up high. Again, just sayin'. So who's this Norman Van Aken guy? I thought for a minute this was Clay's third cousin once removed, but then I saw the spelling. I love this show.... You know that. But it's always bugged me that I haven't heard of half of these judges. I know that the contestants on the show have and I'm sure these guys are famous, but they do nothing for me. That could have been Norman Van Licktenschnozin, famous homeless man outside the studio, and I would have never known the difference. Mr. Van Aken may be the "godfather of South Florida cuisine" but we ain't never heard of you in Pennsylvania, sir. This guy was pretty darn critical of the dishes in the quickfire challenge, wasn't he? And I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But until the last few dishes, he was really ripping them apart and it seemed necessary, too. For a moment or two I was worried that all of them forgot how to cook. There was a seed in C.J.'s dish. Micah's avocado-citrus soup had the texture of pudding. And Sara N. is so nervous she can't even speak. Strangely enough, C.J. is in the top three despite the seed, and Hung and Tre look good again. Hung gets the immunity with the win even though he clearly doesn't need it right now. Along with Sara and Micah, one of the dueling Mohawks, Sandee, was also in the bottom group. The elimination challenge is a fun one this week: Create a high-end barbecue. Sounds easy enough, right? But then again, I put on a frozen patty and maybe an ear of corn (if the grill is lucky enough) so maybe I'm not one who should think it's easy. I have to admit that I don't think I've ever had a sausage that wasn't made out of some traditional meat, so hearing about Brian's scallop, shrimp and seabass sausage made me cringe. If nothing else, I'd be able to safely bet it wasn't made out of the hindquarters and knuckles of some random animal. (Ew, gross!) So it has something going for it. Tre's peach BBQ salmon sounded the best of all the dishes to me. The mixture of the fruit with the barbecue sauce on a nice piece of fresh salmon sounds mouthwatering. But he got cocky with it and seemed to oversalt half of it and not salt the other half. Bad Tre. [ Slap on hand] When I first saw that Howie was doing Jamaican jerk chicken, I thought he was a goner. I was just in Jamaica for my honeymoon a little over a month ago, where I had plenty of jerk chicken that was in no way "high-end." It wasn't bad, but it was 100 chickens chopped up in a bowl with some sauce on them. Seriously, I could probably make a batch before I'm done with this blog. So maybe I should be in the running for $100,000 of Glad Wrap? And seriously, what's up with Sara N.? I mean, Hung had to help her and she had absolutely no confidence in her dish at all. How in the world could she pick up Scotch Bonnet peppers not knowing they are one of the hottest peppers in the world? Never once have I looked at peppers in the store and just went, "Eh, these look mild to me." I'd think that would change the entire spectrum of her dish. It was also interesting that Hung helped her a bit. In the intro last week he said he wasn't here to help anyone. Maybe it's because he's in the lead and doesn't think she has a chance in hell to win this competition? And then the crazy thing happens: Her Vietnamese BBQ with a pine nut, radish and cucumber salad was actually good enough to land her in the top three. Micah also makes the top three with her lamb with grilled halloumi and pomegranate sauce, as does Brian with his unique sausage. And Brian goes home the winner. As for the bottom, most of the dishes must have been good for Tre to be in the bottom just because of his seasoning problem. Howie and Joey didn't go upscale and Sandee didn't barbecue. Howie's now 2-for-2 in screwing up in the elimination challenge. Does this guy have any business being there? Is he the Sanjaya of Top Chef? In the end I agree with the judges this time, though. Not using the barbecue in a barbecue challenge rightfully puts you in dead last and gets you sent home. It's really nice to see the judges pick up on all these things throughout the show. Not much gets by these guys. So we have one Mohawk down, one to go. We also have our first blowup of the year between Howie and Joey. I am man enough to admit when I'm wrong, and man was I wrong in immediately liking Joey. Although Hung's watermelon drink did seem a lot like Joey's from the quickfire, Joey whined about it like a 12-year-old, offering to buy Hung knee-pads because he's an a-- kisser. It's pretty bad when I've changed my mind on him this quickly, but both of them need to go. I guess Hung becomes my favorite guy now, and I haven't really found a favorite woman yet. I'm sure that will come soon. Until next week, friends. Don't forget to check out Top Chef clips in our Online Video Guide. show less
So last week I told you that I love Top Chef mainly because I love food. But there's also one thing I didn't tell you: I'm on a diet. My wife calls this a "lifestyle change" instead of a diet, but I like "diet" instead. When I talk about a "lifestyle change" to people they immediately think I'm going to start wearing panties (the I Heart Clay Aiken Underoos don't count as panties) and calling myself Davida instead. In the end, I have to explain that I'm on a diet anyway, so it's just easier. OK, so now you're wondering why I told you this. Well, it plays into a hotly contested topic on the string last week — whether the chefs should cook food that's on the lower end of the food scale, aka "stuff we'd eat." My answer to that question is that I like seeing them cook this outrageous stuff. Foods like geoduck that I'd see on a window display menu for $45 a plate and walk right by are the kinds of items I need on Top Chef. There's almost no chance that I'll ever get to try most of t... read more

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: March 08, 2006, on Bravo
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (310 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Premise: A reality competition in which aspiring chefs compete for culinary stardom. Each episode features two challenges---a short test of basic cooking skills and an elimination challenge, in which one failing contestant is sent packing.

Cast

Shop

Top Chef: Texas - Season 9
Buy Top Chef: Texas - Season 9 from Amazon.com
From A&E Home Video (DVD)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $23.00
How to Cook Like a Top Chef
Buy How to Cook Like a Top Chef from Amazon.com
From Chronicle Books (Hardcover)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $19.96

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular