The Full Wiki

Top Chef (season 3): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Top Chef: Miami
Top-chef-season-3.jpg Judges Ted Allen and Gail Simmons (center left), hosts Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio (center right), along with the chefs participating in Top Chef's third season
Winner Hung Huynh
Original run June 13, 2007
– October 10, 2007
Filming dates April, 2007
– May, 2007
No. of episodes 16
No. of tasks 14
No. of chefs 15
Season chronology
Previous Season 2
Next Season 4

The third season of American reality television series Top Chef (also advertised as Top Chef Miami) began airing on Bravo on June 13, 2007.[1] Padma Lakshmi returned with Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and new judge Ted Allen, who will switch off with Simmons throughout the season. First season contestant Lee Anne Wong was brought in as a food consultant and assisted in planning the challenges. Production took place in April and May 2007 in Miami Beach, Florida, with 15 contestants living, and the production activity centered, at the historic Fontainebleau Hotel.[1] As with Season 2, the winning recipe from each week's episode of Season 3 is featured on Bravo's Top Chef website and prepared by Season 1 contestant Lee Anne Wong in a web video called The Wong Way to Cook. Another former contestant, Season 2's Carlos Fernandez, is featured on a Yahoo!/Telemundo blog called Sabrosazon in which he presents recipes and writes about Season 3 in Spanish, as well as a Bravo blog called Miami Spice in which he presents recipes in English.


Host, judges, and special appearances



As of this season, Simmons and Allen will alternate episodes beginning with the preview episode "Four-Star All Stars," which features a cookoff between teams of four top chefs from the first two seasons.[2]

Guest judges

  • Anthony Bourdain (Ep. 1 and Ep. 12 Elimination)
  • Norman van Aken (Ep. 2 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Alfred Portale (Ep. 3 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Jamie Walker of Bombay Sapphire (Ep. 4 Quickfire)
  • Barton G. Weiss (Ep. 4 Elimination)
  • Maria Frumkin (Ep. 5 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Rocco DiSpirito (Ep. 71 Quickfire and Elimination, Ep. 15)
  • Govind Armstrong (Ep. 8 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Daniel Boulud (Ep. 9 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Geoffrey Zakarian (Ep. 10 Elimination)
  • Michael Schwartz (Ep. 11 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Jimmy Canora (Ep. 12 Elimination)
  • Sirio Maccioni (Ep. 13 Quickfire)
  • André Soltner (Ep. 13 Elimination)
  • Eric Ripert (Ep. 14 Quickfire and Elimination)
  • Todd English (Ep. 15)
  • Michelle Bernstein (Ep. 15)

1Episode 6 was a reunion special

Special Appearances


The contestants for Season 3 were announced on May 9, 2007.[1] [3] In elimination order they are:

Contestant Age Current Hometown Original Hometown Episode Eliminated
Clay Bowen 28 Santa Barbara, California Columbus, Mississippi Episode 1
Sandee Birdsong 39 Miami Beach, Florida St. Simons Island, Georgia Episode 2
Micah Edelstein 33 Boca Raton, Florida Bridgewater, Massachusetts Episode 3
Camille Becerra 34 Brooklyn, New York Elizabeth, New Jersey Episode 4
Lia Bardeen 28 Brooklyn, New York Tacoma, Washington Episode 5
Joey Paulino 29 New York, New York Franklin Square, Long Island, New York Episode 7
Sara Nguyen 25 New York, New York Santa Monica, California Episode 8
Tre Wilcox 30 Cedar Hill, Texas Duncanville, Texas Episode 10
Howie Kleinberg 31 Miami, Florida Miami, Florida Episode 11
Chris "C.J." Jacobsen 31 Venice, California El Toro, California Episode 12
Sara Mair 34 Miami, Florida Kingston, Jamaica Episode 13
Brian Malarkey 34 San Diego, California Bend, Oregon Episode 14
Casey Thompson 29 Dallas, Texas Cedar Hill, Texas Fan Favorite / Runner-Up
Dale Levitski 34 Chicago, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Runner-Up
Hung Huynh 29 Las Vegas, Nevada Pittsfield, Massachusetts Winner

Ages listed are at the time of Top Chef 3 taping in April-May, 2007. Locations are according to contestants' official Bravo biographies.

Credit order: Brian, Joey, Hung, Sara M, Howie, Dale, Micah, Tre, Lia, Sandee, Sara N, Clay, Casey, CJ, Camille.

Contestant progress

Episode 1 2 3 4 5 7 84 93 10 11 12 13 14 Finale
Micah Hung Brian Casey Joey Casey Dale CJ Dale
Sara M.
Brian Hung Hung Casey None
Camille IN IN IN OUT
Sandee IN OUT
Clay OUT

Note 1: Episode 6 was a non-competition reunion special.
Note 2: From Episode 9 forward, the winner of the Quickfire does not receive immunity from elimination.
Note 3: No one was eliminated in Episode 9. While Brian and Dale were brought back for the second appearance at the Judging Table, they were only there as representatives of their teams, not because they were the worst. They were told that the judges chose to give each team a second run for this Elimination Challenge in Episode 10.
Note 4: Dale, as winner of the Quickfire, was excused from the Elimination Challenge.

     (WINNER) The chef won the series and was crowned Top Chef
     (WIN) The chef won that episode's Elimination Challenge.
     (HIGH) The chef was selected as one of the top entries in the Elimination Challenge, but did not win.
     (LOW) The chef was selected as one of the bottom entries in the Elimination Challenge, but was not eliminated.
     (OUT) The chef lost that week's Elimination Challenge and was out of the competition.
     (Runner-Up) Runner-Up of the season


Each episode includes two challenges. The Quickfire Challenge is a short, simple challenge with a varying reward each week; in the initial episodes of the season, it usually guarantees the winner immunity from being sent home that week. The Elimination Challenge is a more complex challenge that determines who goes home. One or more guest judges join the show each week to evaluate both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges. Each week's elimination is announced in a segment called "Judges' Table."

Episode 1: First Impressions

Episode 2: Sunny Delights

  • Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish featuring Florida citrus within 30 minutes using oranges, lemons, key limes, grapefruit, tangeloes, and/or blood oranges from the display and any items from the Top Chef pantry. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
    • WINNER: Hung. (Slow roasted sea bass, citrus crumble watercress & radish salad)
  • Elimination Challenge: Sponsored by Kingsford charcoal. Create an "upscale barbecue" dish with two hours to prep and two hours the following day to cook on a barbecue grill on location at a barbecue party.
    • WINNER: Brian. (“Chino Latino”: Scallops, shrimp & seabass sausage with ginger slaw & chili glaze)
    • ELIMINATED: Sandee. (Vanilla lobster & pancetta wrapped date skewers with black truffle & walnut slaw)
  • Elimination Challenge Prize: None noted in the broadcast airing.
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons and guest judge Norman van Aken (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges).
  • First aired June 20, 2007

Episode 3: Family Favorites

  • Quickfire Challenge: “Catch and cook” a shellfish dish in 30 minutes after using nets to fish scallops, crawfish, and conch out of tanks. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
    • WINNER: Brian. ("Tres Rios" (3 Rivers): Wine, butter, garlic, chives with clams, scallops, mussels & crawfish; oyster mignonette; conch toast)
  • Elimination Challenge: Update traditional “family favorites” such as tuna casserole, stuffed cabbage, and chicken and dumplings by creating a healthier, more modern dish with reduced cholesterol in one hour for judgment by members of an Elks club.
    • WINNER: Howie. (Fennel crusted pork chops with apple fennel salad & sultana raisin emulsion)
    • ELIMINATED: Micah. (Italian style meatloaf with smashed garlic potato & roasted pepper sauces)
  • Elimination Challenge Prize: Three books from guest judge, Chef Alfred Portale and an invitation to spend a week at the Gotham Bar and Grill working with Chef Portale and his staff.
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Ted Allen and guest judge Alfred Portale (Quickfire and Elimination Challenge).
  • First aired June 27, 2007

Episode 4: Cooking By Numbers

  • Quickfire Challenge: Contestants are challenged to create an appetizer to pair with Bombay Sapphire mixed drinks; the specific drink was selected by random draw. Prize: Immunity from elimination.
  • Elimination Challenge: In teams of three, contestants prepare a tasting menu of four courses, each consisting of trios around a central ingredient. The contestants were to divide themselves up into teams, select the main ingredient for each course, and the order of the courses.
    • First Course: A trio of shrimp (Brian, Hung, Lia)
    • Second Course: A trio of tuna (Casey, Howie, Joey)
    • Third Course: A trio of beef (CJ, Sara N., Tre)
    • Fourth Course: A trio of pineapple (Camille, Dale, Sara M.)
  • The meal is served to the judges and members of Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. The Barton G. restaurant, owned by one of the diners, Barton G. Weiss, served as the venue.
    • WINNER: Lia. (Olive oil poached Key West pink shrimp with avocado, cucumber, lime & grilled pepper salad) The team of Brian, Hung, and Lia was judged the best trio, and Lia was declared the winner.
    • ELIMINATED: Camille. (Pineapple upside down cake with ginger sabayon)
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Ted Allen, Jamie Walker of Bombay Sapphire (Quickfire), Barton G. Weiss (Elimination).
  • First aired July 11, 2007

Episode 5: Latin Lunch

  • Quickfire Challenge: Contestants are challenged to create a course starting with a pre-made pie crust, using additional ingredients from the Top Chef pantry.
    • WINNER: Joey ("A Trio of Tarts": Berry cream with balsamic vinegar, roasted mango puree with rum, warm apple compote with brandied whipped cream & cardamom syrup.)
  • Elimination Challenge: Contestants are asked to prepare a classical Latin lunch course to be served to the cast and crew of the Telemundo telenovela Dame Chocolate. They had $150 in grocery money to spend and initially had three hours to prep but were told, on the day of the lunch, that they only had 90 minutes to complete their meals and pack them for service.
  • Elimination Challenge prize: A bottle of Argentine wine from guest judge Maria Frumkin (which Howie gave to Joey).
  • Judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Maria Frumkin (Quickfire and Elimination Challenge).
  • First aired July 18, 2007

Episode 6: Watch What Happens

  • Various chefs from all three seasons are reunited to discuss the series. Hosted by Bravo vice president and blogger Andy Cohen, the episode includes Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and guest judge Ted Allen, along with Season 1 chefs Harold, Lee Anne, and Dave; Season 2 chefs Ilan, Michael, Cliff, and Sam; and Season 3 chefs Clay, Camille, Lia, Micah and Sandee. Participants were asked questions drawn from viewer emails, and were shown video segments highlighting footage from all three seasons. Questions included what Cliff thought when he saw himself wrestling with Marcel; whether Lee Anne and Harold are dating (Lee Anne says "no"); and what Micah really thought about American comfort food. Clips include Harold introducing his restaurant, Perilla, and Ilan competing in a cook-off against Jacques Pepin at the Food & Wine Classic.
  • First aired July 25, 2007

Episode 7: Freezer Burn

  • Quickfire Challenge: The contestants are challenged to the culinary equivalent of a spelling bee, and have to identify foods by either taste or appearance.
  • Elimination Challenge: The contestants are randomly paired up and challenged to create Bertolli-inspired Mediterranean entrees that will be frozen overnight. The food will be served to shoppers the next day in the style of pre-packaged frozen dinners. They are given $100 to shop at Fresh Market to buy enough food to make 15 full courses and sampling dishes, two hours to prepare prior to freezing, and another hour after freezing before serving their meals.
    • Team 1: Hung & Joey (Tri-color fusilli with garlic & sun-dried tomato sauce & chicken.)
    • Team 2: Howie & Sara M. (Mediterranean shrimp pasta with fennel & sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.)
    • Team 3: Brian & Sara N. (Chicken rigatoni with kalamata olives, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes & rosemary.)
    • Team 4: Tre & CJ (Black truffle & Parmesan linguini, kale, tomato confit & grilled chicken.)
    • Team 5: Casey & Dale (Turkey & pork meatballs with orecchiette & pesto.)
    • WINNERS: Tre and CJ (Prize: Two tickets to Italy for each member of the team)
    • ELIMINATED: Joey
  • Judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Rocco DiSpirito (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges)
  • First aired August 1, 2007

Episode 8: Guilty Pleasures

  • Quickfire Challenge: The chefs are given 45 minutes to prepare ingredients to be mixed into Cold Stone Creamery ice cream just prior to serving.
    • Winner: Dale. (Cobbler topping: flambéed peaches with candied pecans) Prize: A free pass from participating in the Elimination Challenge and dinner with restaurateur Govind Armstrong at Table 8.
  • Elimination Challenge: The chefs initially are told they were to have the night off to enjoy Miami nightlife. They discover later that they would be cooking outdoors for patrons at the Nikki Beach night club. The eight chefs drew knives to divide into two groups: Black Team (Brian, Hung, Sara M., and Tre) and Orange Team (Casey, CJ, Howie, and Sara N.). Each team was given a catering truck to use as a mobile kitchen; thirty minutes and $300 to shop; and two hours to prepare a number of "late-night" bar food dishes. The menus were:
    • Black Team: Oysters in a half shell with watermelon and spicy ceviche taco (Brian); onion rings and teriyaki chicken wings (Hung); jerk flank steak soft taco with cilantro cream & pico de gallo (Sara M.); and bacon wrapped shrimp, cheese grits with tomato chipotle butter (Tre).
    • Orange Team: Four cheese quesadilla with roasted tomatillo salsa (Casey); ceviche taco with shrimp, scallops, chili, green onions & cilantro (CJ); "Media Noche": Cuban pork sandwich with plantain chips (Howie); and beef sliders with caramelized onions & plantain chips (Sara N.).
    • WINNERS: The Black Team won the challenge, and Tre was chosen as the individual winner.
    • Elimination Challenge Prize: A first-edition copy of Armstrong's book and a platinum card good for entry into all Club Nikki locations.
    • ELIMINATED: Sara N.
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Ted Allen, Govind Armstrong (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges)
  • First aired August 8, 2007
  • Tre is the Fourth person to win 2 in a row for an elimination challenge behind Elia & Betty in season 2 and Tiffani in season 1

Episode 9: Restaurant Wars

  • Quickfire Challenge: The chefs are given 30 minutes to prepare a burger, as inspired by Red Robin's line of "Adventuresome" Burgers.
  • Winner: CJ. (Scallop Mousse & Shrimp Burger with Tangerine) Prize: First choice of three teammates for the upcoming Elimination Challenge.
  • Note: As of this episode, Quickfire Challenge winners will no longer receive immunity.
  • Elimination Challenge: The chefs divide into two teams, and each one will be responsible for taking an empty space and opening an operating restaurant out of it in 24 hours; teams have $2,500 and 45 minutes to purchase decor items, and $500 and 30 minutes to shop for food items at The Fresh Market. Each restaurant is connected to the Top Chef kitchens and thus teams would share the kitchen space. As CJ won the Quickfire, he will select all 3 members of his team. The teams are unaware prior to the challenge that Andrea Strong, author of the food blog "The Strong Buzz", would also be dining in each restaurant and commenting on decor, service, and food, with her comments partially influencing the judging decisions.
Restaurant April - Brian, Casey, CJ, Tre
  • Amuse bouche: Bluepoint oyster with ginger & watermelon granita
  • First course: Seared sea scallop on corn & black truffle custard
  • Second course: Seared grouper with shellfish, basil pistou & artichoke hearts
  • Third course: Wild mushroom & gorgonzola crusted beef tenderloin on smoked fingerling potatoes
  • Desserts: Mango lemongrass & sake sorbet, Tarte Tatin with brandy sauce & creme anglaise.
The Garage - Dale, Howie, Hung, Sara M.
  • First course: Tuna tartare with egg vinaigrette, niҫoise olive puree & herb salad
  • Second course: Wild mushroom risotto with foie gras & black truffles
  • Third course: Braised lamb shank with sunchoke potatoes & baby vegetables
  • Dessert: Sweet crêpes with dark chocolate & orange Grand Marnier sauce.
  • WINNERS: No team won the Elimination Challenge, since the judges felt both teams' respective successes in their restaurants were canceled out by the relative mis-steps. However, the judges decided not to send anyone home this round, rather opting for a re-do of the challenge the next day, where someone will be going home afterwards.
  • Elimination Challenge Prize: Each chef received a copy of Guest Judge Daniel Boulud's Letters to a Young Chef.
  • ELIMINATED: No one.
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Ted Allen, Daniel Boulud (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges)
  • First aired August 15, 2007
  • One unusually vocal diner, who complained about food tasting like metal and protested the scented candle on his table by putting it out with his napkin and setting it on the floor, was later identified by Bravo staff as Christopher Ciccone, brother of Madonna. Bravo executive Andy Cohen also mentioned at that time that Ciccone would be appearing in the following week's episode in an unnamed capacity.[4][5] Ciccone would reappear in Episode 10 to assist with interior decoration for both restaurants.

Episode 10: Second Helping

  • Quickfire Challenge: Continuing with the same teams from the previous week, both teams compete to be the first to complete the following mise en place tasks, in relay:
  1. Shucking 15 oysters (Howie v. Brian) Done first: Brian
  2. Finely chopping 5 large onions (Sara M. v. Casey) Done first: Sara M.
  3. Breaking down 4 whole chickens (Hung v. Tre) Done first: Hung
  4. Separating 3 egg whites and beating them until the peaks stand in an upside-down bowl for at least five seconds without falling out. (Dale v. C.J.) Done first: Dale
  • Winner: Team "Garage" Prize: The team receives the help of Season 1 contestant and sommelier Stephen Asprinio for pairing wine with their courses, along with an extra $200 to spend on wine.
  • Elimination Challenge: Each team reopen their restaurant, using input from the previous challenge, along with the assistance of Christopher Ciccone, who appeared as a diner in the previous episode, for interior decoration. The teams are allowed to change anything else they wanted with their restaurant, including its name. Each team must prepare two different options for three of the four courses. They are given four hours of preparation time before both restaurants opens. Head judge Tom Colicchio is present in the kitchen during the preparation time and into the serving period.
Restaurant April
  • First course: Seared sea scallop on corn and black truffle custard or beet-cured wild king salmon with macadamia nut pesto and grapefruit
  • Second course: Chilled carrot and ginger soup or lobster salad with arugula and caramelized cauliflower
  • Third course: Wild mushroom and gorgonzola crusted beef tenderloin on smoked fingerling potatoes or monkfish with mascarpone potatoes
  • Dessert: Apple & brioche bread pudding with cinnamon and brandy anglaise.
Quatre (formerly The Garage)
  • First course: Tuna tartare with egg vinaigrette, nicoise olive puree and herb salad or poussin with mint gnocchi, sweet pea purée, carrots and hazelnuts
  • Second course: Halibut with grapes and braised leeks or lamb with white beans and haricots vert
  • Dessert: Panna cotta with fresh berries or sweet crêpes with dark chocolate and orange Grand Marnier sauce.
  • WINNERS: Team "Quatre" won the overall challenge, and Sara M. was selected as the overall winner.
    Prize: A fully-stocked pantry from Town & Country (not shown on the aired episode but revealed by Sara M. on "Watch What Happens" following her elimination).
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Ted Allen, Geoffrey Zakarian (Elimination Challenge)
  • First aired August 22, 2007
  • Eliminated chefs were among the diners. Joey and Sara N. dined at Quatre, while Camille and Lia dined at April.
  • Sara M is the second person to win both the Quickfire and Elimination Challenge in the same episode.

Episode 11: Chef Overboard

  • Quickfire Challenge: The chefs draw numbered knives corresponding to an aisle in a supermarket. Each chef has 20 minutes to create a dish using only $10 worth of products from that aisle, in addition to a limited selection of items from the Top Chef pantry.
  • Winner: Brian (Spam, corned beef hash and fried egg with onions and Balsamic reduction).
    Prize: Ability to choose the team leader for the Elimination Challenge.
    Brian chose himself to be team leader.
  • NOTE: Howie failed to present any dish for judging.
  • Elimination Challenge: Working as a team, the chefs are to cater a party for fashion designer Esteban Cortazar and 60 guests aboard the yacht Venetian Lady chartered by the Pure nightclub. The entire team has a total of $350 to spend for supplies, and has two hours of preparation time on board the yacht prior to service.
    • WINNER: Casey (Beef Carpaccio with watercress and fried caper, shiitake broth).
      Prize: A 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer.
    • ELIMINATED: Howie (asparagus and prosciutto "cigars" with Parmesan cheese; mushroom Duxelle on puff pastry).
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Dana Cowin (Elimination Challenge), Michael Schwartz (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges)
  • First aired September 5, 2007
  • During Judges' Table, Howie initially tried to withdraw from the competition and his request was denied by the judges. They then said that his two dishes were the worst and eliminated him anyway.

Episode 12: Snacks on a Plane

  • Quickfire Challenge: The chefs are awakened in their penthouse by Padma Lakshmi and have 20 minutes to serve her breakfast using only a butane burner, a Breville blender, and a selection of ingredients brought over from the Top Chef pantry.
  • Winner: Hung (Steak & eggs with papaya, banana & Grand Marnier shake).
    Prize: Early copy of Padma's new cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet and being first to choose a protein for the Elimination Challenge.
  • WINNER: Casey (Veal medallions with crimini mushrooms & apple brandy, cauliflower gratin with gruyère).
    Prize: Two Continental Business First tickets to any Continental destination worldwide.
  • ELIMINATED: C.J. (Pan-seared halibut & toasted farro with mint oil, roasted broccolini with breadcrumbs).
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Anthony Bourdain (Elimination Challenge), Jimmy Canora (Elimination Challenge)
  • First aired September 12, 2007
  • Beginning with this Elimination Challenge, no further part of the competition was held in Miami.
  • Casey is the fifth person to win 2 elimination challenges in a row behind Tre, also in season 3, Elia & Betty in season 2, and Tiffani in season 1.

Episode 13: Manhattan Project

  • Quickfire Challenge: The chefs dine at Le Cirque on a classic dish of sea bass wrapped in thinly sliced Russet potatoes over leeks. They then have 25 minutes to recreate the dish as close as possible to the original. Judged by Sirio Maccioni, owner of Le Cirque and the co-creator of the dish.
  • Winner: Hung
    Prize: Extra 30 minutes of cooking time for the Elimination Challenge and the opportunity to serve the elimination judges first.
  • WINNER: Hung (Butter poached chicken, pommes dauphine, petit greens, natural jus).
  • ELIMINATED: Sara M. (Fricassee Chicken with Seared Breast, Couscous and Potato Risotto, Confit Onions).

Episode 14: Aspen Finale, Part 1

  • Quickfire Challenge: The chefs are each given a fresh trout from the Frying Pan River Valley area of Aspen, Colorado, along with a frying pan, camping stove, and several basic pantry ingredients. They then have 20 minutes to create an original dish to impress guest judge Eric Ripert, executive chef of Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City.
  • Winner: Casey (Trout Filet with Crisped Skin, Grapes & Summer Corn).
    Prize: Casey is the only one who will be able to use the items she brought from home in the Elimination Challenge. All others must use what is provided. Casey, however, told Colicchio before judging that she had chosen not to use the advantage which she won in this episode's Quickfire in order to save those items for the finale.
  • Elimination Challenge: At the Moon Run Ranch, the chefs will cater the annual dinner for the Snowmass Rodeo Riders, using supplies already in place for the event's original caterers. Once the chefs arrive in the kitchens, the protein is revealed: elk. Each chef has three hours to create his or her own menu of dishes, and an hour for service.
  • Brian: Whiskey-braised elk shank, horseradish & sour cream potato purée, pancetta corn asparagus relish, blackberry balsamic & sage brown butter.
  • Casey: Mushroom-crusted elk loin with a cauliflower duo & tomato butter.
  • Dale: Spiced elk loin, huckleberry & blackberry sauce, cauliflower & fingerling potatoes.
  • Hung: Seared elk loin, pommes boulangére, chocolate red wine sauce.
  • Note: Chief Judge Tom Colicchio announced that, for the first time in the show's history, three of the four chefs would advance to the finale.
  • WINNER: Dale
  • Judges: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Eric Ripert (Quickfire and Elimination Challenges).
  • First aired September 26, 2007
  • The events in this episode took place approximately one month after the last elimination challenge in New York.

Episode 15: Aspen Finale, Part 2

  • Elimination Challenge: The chefs take a ski lift to the Aspen Mountain Club, elevation 11,200 feet. Their instructions for the final challenge are simple: "Cook us the best meal you've ever cooked in your life." They are shown a large, diverse array of proteins and produce and are given 35 minutes to plan a three-course menu. This final meal will be served head-to-head rather than back-to-back: Each chef's course will be presented at the same time as his or her competitor's. The chefs then draw knives to see with which of three sous-chefs they will be paired for the three-hour prep period on the first day.
Hung is paired with celebrity chef and author Rocco DiSpirito
Casey is paired with chef Michelle Bernstein
Dale is matched with Todd English, also a chef and restaurateur.
On the second day, the chefs are given two hours to complete their dishes before service. With an hour left, however, they are told they must now add a fourth course to their menus. It can be composed of any ingredient available in the kitchen, and can be served at any point in the meal. Eliminated contestants CJ, Howie and Sara M. are randomly paired through knife drawing with Dale, Casey and Hung, respectively, as sous-chefs to assist in the fourth course preparation. The four judges were joined at the dining table by the three celebrity sous-chefs and the eliminated contestant Brian. The final menus for each chef (with the surprise course italicized) are:
  • 1st Course: Cinnamon-scented scallop with celery & foie gras with apple
  • 2nd Course: Poached prawn with rice cake in lobster mushroom broth
  • 3rd Course: Crispy pork belly over pea shoots with a roasted peach & crème fraîche
  • 4th Course: Seared sirloin with potatoes, mushrooms, ruby chard & parsley purée.
  • 1st Course: Foie gras mousse with ras el hanout gastrique & arugula
  • 2nd Course: Seared scallop with purslane, grapes & sweet corn
  • 3rd Course: Lobster, corn, mushrooms & gnocchi in curry jus
  • 4th Course: Poached Colorado lamb with eggplant purée, tomatoes & squash.
  • 1st Course: "Fish & Chips": Hamachi, potatoes, olive oil & tomato vinaigrette
  • 2nd Course: Shrimp with palm sugar, cucumber salad & coconut foam
  • 3rd Course: Sous-vide duck with mushroom ragout & truffle sauce
  • 4th Course: Chocolate cake with raspberries & nougatine tuile.
At "Judge's Table," the judges all agreed that Hung presented the best first and third courses, while Dale presented the best second and fourth courses.
  • ELIMINATED: Casey and Dale.
  • WINNER of Top Chef 3: Hung.

Episode 16: Reunion

  • All Season Three chefs were reunited to discuss the season. Hosted by Bravo vice president and blogger Andy Cohen, the episode also included Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and guest judge Ted Allen. Participants were asked questions drawn from viewer emails, and were shown video segments highlighting the season. The chefs joked about Hung's speed in the kitchen, CJ's issues with his height, CJ's flirtation with Padma and Casey, the chefs' time spent in the "stew room" (the room in which they waited while the judges discussed the elimination challenges), and the unlikely friendship which developed between Howie and Joey. More serious issues discussed included Tre's elimination in "Restaurant Wars, Part 2," Hung's refusal to assist other chefs, Casey's performance at the dinner service in the "Finale, Part 2", Dale's regaining his confidence as a chef, and the chefs' back-talking to the judges during Judges' Table. Additionally, Casey was announced as "Fan Favorite" from an online and SMS poll, winning a $10,000 prize underwritten by Calphalon and a suite of Calphalon cookware.
  • First aired October 10, 2007


  1. ^ a b c "Bravo Announces Contestants for Top Chef 3 Miami". MovieWeb. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  2. ^ Ted Allen."I'm Not Wearing Teal," Bravo Top Chef blog, June 11, 2007
  3. ^ "Top Chef Season 3 Cast". Bravo. 2007-05-09.;title;25. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  4. ^ Andy (2007-08-16). "An Unidentified Christopher Ciccone Spices Up Top Chef". Towleroad. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  5. ^ "What's Cooking?", New York Post Page Six column, August 17, 2007.

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address