Top Chef. Season 3. Miami. Chopping Block 5.

Top Chef Ladies on Balcony

Guest Judge: Maria Frumkin, DUO Restaurant, Miami, FL
Quickfire Winner: Joey Paulino, Cafe des Artistes, New York, NY
Challenge Winner: Howie Kleinberg, The Food Gang, Surfside, FL
Eliminated: Lia Bardeen, Jean-Georges, New York, NY

In the 5th episode of Bravo‘s Top Chef, Guest Judge Maria Frumkin, of the acclaimed DUO Restaurant in Miami, FL, graces us with her presence. The native of Argentina has been decorated with honors as a pastry chef, a skill proven vacant in most Top Chef contestants over the past 3 seasons.

Maria Frumkin, DUO Restaurant, Miami, FL

Evidently, Padma and I think alike on many levels (some unmentionable) in her reference to last week’s “dessert debacle” by Team Dale. So, this week Padma challenged all of the chefs to create anything they wished using a frozen pie crust.

Dale really had aspirations of redeeming himself in the Quickfire, but it was Joey who snatched the immunity with his humble pastry pairing. With roots similar to Tom himself, Joey has begun to understand the competition for what it is. His complaining has never solved anything, and instead has bonded with Howie and has found his groove.

Joey Quickfire 5 Winner

Still, I believe Joey is somewhat immature under all that exterior and the pressure will most likely get to him before it’s all said and done. On the other hand, Hung‘s as immature as can be. He is still challenging the judges and honestly believes the things that come out of his mouth. I’m embarassed for him at this point.

Hung Quickfire 5 Loss

But more importantly, Casey Thompson is beginning to slip in the ranks. Since the show actually has credibility, I’m not sure how long being attractive can keep you in a competition like this. And the whole Lynyrd Skynyrd look just isn’t working either.

Casey Thompson

The problem is if we lose her, then we lose the audience. So Casey better bring her A game next week or we might have to start watching men cook.

Casey Thompson

So, the Elimination Challenge asked the chefs to cater a “Latin Lunch” for stars of the Telemundo novella “Dame Chocolate.” Originally, the chefs were allotted 3 hours to prepare their dishes. After concepts and dishes had already been initiated, Tom entered the kitchen declaring the lunch had been moved forward 1.5 hours. The chefs handled the news in a variety of ways.

Howie’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Yuca Sour Orange Mojo

Howie decided to braise his pork to maintain the juices that are lost often times in a catered lunch. Much to Tom’s dismay, the braised pork dish went over very well with the judges, and Howie triumphed.

Howie Wins Elimination 5

Upon receiving a bottle of Argentinian wine from Frumkin as a token of accomplishment, Howie then awarded the prize to his new best bud Joey. Throughout the lunch, Howie was feasting on Joey’s Bean Stew w/ Lobster, Shrimp, Chicken & Chorizo, an homage to his “Spanish” boys from back home.

Elimination 5

For the elimination proceedings, Hung, Casey, and Sara N. were all at risk, but Lia was chopped as predicted. The judges were lost to the concept of her Smoked Rainbow Trout with Polenta Cake. It just didn’t translate to the task at hand and she was asked to pack her knives.

Lia Eliminated

We are really starting to get an idea of what these chefs are able to bring to the table every week. Some only cook fish and some only pork, but they will be fine as long as the weaker chefs are still around. When we get down to 5, then we will need to see Howie cook some fish, and Malarkey and Hung (if around) cook some meat. Regardless, Harold would demolish any of them in any challenge with only a butter knife.

Harold Dieterle, Perilla, New York, NY
Harold Dieterle, Perilla, New York, NY

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24 Responses to “Top Chef. Season 3. Miami. Chopping Block 5.”

  1. trybritri Says:

    Thank god you’ve been so good at keeping us all updated on this as I’ve totally flaked on watching but for some odd reason, am still interested. lol.

  2. Pop Cultured Says:

    tivo is the key to survival…i work wednesday nights so top chef has been put to the back burner lately…great show, but not because of the cast this season…we need to get down to 6 before we care who gets chopped…besides casey being chopped of course…that will be the ratings killer and tom and gail know it…

  3. Chris Says:

    I can’t believe it, but I’m actually starting to root for Howie and Joey. After the first couple weeks I had completely had enough of them, but they are starting to grow on me now and I’m glad they finally made amends. Is it just me or are they (especially Howie) the favorites right now. Despite his confidence Hung has been pretty bad. Dale has some talent and a pretty darn good resume, but he has just flopped every week. The girls all seem to be pretty bad…is there anyone else I’m forgetting.

    Everything can turn around on a dime though, so you just never know.

  4. Pop Cultured Says:

    i agree…they needed the drama so they tried to make them antagonists early…

    and the bottom line is that they are quality chefs…Howie cooks in Surfside and Joey in NYC where both cook at innovative restaurants…Tom and Gail love that and their opinion is the benchmark…

    i don’t like hung anymore…he gives no other opinion value…a loser in my mind no matter how much talent posessed…

    dale i do like…they are using him now as the drama, but he is a great chef…he will be there in the end because he is innovative himself and is an individual…

    top chef will mislead us the whole way…guarantee that…howie and joey went from losers to winners…lia went from flow to ebb…dale will go from rail to top shelf…if i’m wrong, you’ll hear it here first…

  5. NaechsteHaltestelle Says:

    I have seen the face of Death, and her name is Chef Maria Frumkin. What kind of Argentinian surname is Frumkin?

  6. Pop Cultured Says:

    Try this…

  7. trybritri Says:

    do i dare ask where you work? either way congrats on that And on Tivo!

    It is the only way to fly

  8. Pop Cultured Says:

    I can’t reveal that yet…my comparative research is under way and to release such information too soon would jeopardize its relevancy…trust me on this though, i have information that will boggle your mind…

  9. Top Chef Miami & Telemundo Babes | Ocean Guy Says:

    […] standing in for Tom Colicchio. Blogging Top Chef The Extrovert Random Reality Thoughts Serious Eats Pop Cultured TV […]

  10. trybritri Says:

    wow. that sentence boggled my tired mind. Looking forward to hearing how You’re the next Top Chef =)

  11. NaechsteHaltestelle Says:

    I KNEW it. My old boss, very Jewish, very Frumkin-licious.

  12. Arjewtino Says:

    Damn it, Chef, I need some updating. I need to see Alyssa or for you to tell me the Dodgers will be ok. I need a reason to keep going, so fucking post already!

  13. Kbee Says:

    Yeah, seriously. Slacker.

  14. Pop Cultured Says:

    the fans have spoken

  15. freckledk Says:

    Let’s take a road trip and go to Harold’s restaurant.

  16. trybritri Says:

    I’m so proud of you.

  17. trybritri Says:

    and why my name isn’t clickable, i don’t know

  18. NaechsteHaltestelle Says:

    I MISS YOU!

  19. Arjewtino Says:

    Now you’re just pissing me off.

  20. maqui Says:

    hey any problem with Frumkin, jewishlicious name?? From Argentina chica, so, why you are so confused about frumkin last name, and Argentinian person?

  21. Arjewtino Says:

    I blame the Dodgers’ slump on you: 6-16 since your last blog post.

  22. trybritri Says:

    I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was blaming the Dodger slump on this guy. Maybe it’s your fault the Sox are f’n up too!

    enough already. get to the bloggy blog.

  23. UR2much Says:

    Howie has gotta go….and take Hung with him!!!!!!!!

  24. trybritri Says:

    Nothing about the dodgers? I guess you really are done here.

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