Top Chef: Noodles and Rice and Everything Nice
March 19, 2022 9:36 AM - Season 19, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The chefs are surprised in the kitchen by "Top Chef Miami" winner, Hung Huynh, and challenged to make a dish inspired by five of the larger Asian communities in Houston; along with Hung, the judges and Kiran Verma, they'll be serving 100 guests.
posted by ShooBoo (7 comments total)
Did anyone else think that Sam was acting weird? I can see trying grilling his potatoes after forgetting the ones in the kitchen, but then doubling down on that decision at judges table was weird. His behavior at last chance kitchen was also weird, but at least he made something good.
posted by Spike Glee at 10:36 AM on March 19, 2022

Well, either you knuckle under at judges' table or you defend yourself regardless of how odd it sounds. But he does seem a (Slightly manic? Maybe leaned a little too hard on the Adderall?)
posted by praemunire at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2022

Padma's face when they came up to Sam's booth...that's when I knew it was over for him.
(She did keep a straight face! But you could tell she was like wtf is this)
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 2:03 PM on March 21, 2022

Yeah he was always a bit odd in the show, but maybe due to editing he came across as sympathetic. This show though he was quite off-putting. To say nothing of his food!
posted by Carillon at 8:23 PM on March 24, 2022

Oh I thought Sam Kang was great and I was sorry to see him go. NGL, a lot of why I liked him is he seemed very cute. Magnetic smile and he engaged eye contact with the camera really effectively; I suspect he has had TV acting training. I wouldn't be surprised to see him again as a TV chef in some role or another.

Here's some short bio info on Sam. I may have eaten food he's made, he worked at Eleven Madison and Momofuku.
posted by Nelson at 8:34 AM on April 1, 2022

I feel Damarr is going far. Of the "I'm going to prove people will love my rustic food!" genre of contestant, he's doing unusually well early.
posted by praemunire at 11:07 AM on April 1, 2022

Sam was fun and goofy as well as chill and laid back; the first two characteristics are always welcome, the second two seem like a bad fit for Top Chef. Halfway through the episode when he talked about loving to work with kids, my wife and I exclaimed that he should be sent immediately to Top Chef Kids or whatever it is, do not even finish the dish he's working on, because it's such a great fit for his energy.

It seemed to me like he might have bought his own bullshit there; like of course when you're serving the judges food and you're grilling potatoes because you don't have the facilities to boil them, you pretend that's your intention and hope you finish fourth or fifth from the bottom. But when they haul you in front of Judges Table, you don't need to pretend anymore -- just fess up, and say you had boiled potatoes that you wanted to simmer in the curry, but you had a brain fart and forgot to pack them and scrambled for something since it was so core to your dish. They know it's a high pressure show, and I suspect they're going to be more forgiving for a dumb mistake (esp only 3 episodes in) than pretending you're dumb enough to think grilling potatoes will work.
posted by Superilla at 10:38 PM on April 3, 2022

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