08x06 - When I Say Sexy, You Say

Episode transcripts for the TV show, "q*eer Eye". Aired: February 7, 2018 – present.*
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Each episode has five advisors spend a week applying their expertise to help improve someone's life situation.
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08x06 - When I Say Sexy, You Say

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[uptempo music playing]

[man] Pick up!

[woman] Okay, wash my hands.

Did the marinade for this ever get made?

New Orleans is...

She's a bitch, but she's my home. [laughs]

So our hero this week is Anh Luu.

I'm 35 years old,

and I'm the executive chef
at the Bywater Brew Pub.

I cook imaginative
Vietnamese Southern dishes.

It's not "foe." It's "pho."

"Sam, Anh's boyfriend of three years,
is nominating Anh

because he wants her
to start expressing herself again,

emotionally and creatively."

-Want me to massage your feet?

I was attracted to Anh
right when I saw her.

And I thought she was beautiful,

and I think that she's one
of the most fun people I've been around.

[Anh] Sam is very special.

He is my number-one supporter,
my number-one super fan.

Well, your feet don't smell,
so that's good.

[laughs] Thanks.

We have not spent very much time together
very recently.


I just work a ton.

[Antoni] "Anh doesn't remember
the last time she got a haircut."

"So she wears her hair pulled back.
It keeps it out of the soup."

It's good business practice.


"Anh's family was displaced after Katrina
and moved to Portland

where Anh worked her way
up the culinary ladder."

"The same week Anh became owner
of her first restaurant,

her mom tragically died in a car accident
while on a road trip with Anh's dad."

I think about the "what ifs" a lot
in my mom's death.

Me and my mother's relationship
before she died

was that I chose work a lot,

and we didn't get to spend
as much time together,

and I wish it could've gone on more.

I really threw myself into work
after that.

I had never really experienced
the stress levels that started happening.

Gosh, just thinking
about the state I was in

is making me emotional
because... it was pretty bad.

"The mounting pressure of being a chef
and business owner just became too much."

"She sold her restaurant,
and Anh moved back to New Orleans,

hoping to heal and find herself again."

Oh, Anh.

Most of my friends
that know me from before

would consider me, like, fun Anh,
and, like, the life of the party,

and I am not like that anymore.

People process grief differently.

She's not on the best terms
with some of her family,

and so that bothers her.

We found out after my mom died
that she was the glue to our family,

and Vietnamese culture prides itself
on being very close with your family,

but I feel alone,

and it's probably
because I have separated myself

because I would rather
just push it out of my mind

than deal with it.

"Even though she's proud
of the food she makes,

she's missing her mother's cooking."

"Anh has finally committed
to hosting the Summer Supper,

a private dinner event at the restaurant,

to showcase
her mom's beloved Vietnamese cuisine."

[Anh] I'm currently cooking
elevated bar food,

but I wanna show people
that I can do more

and throw a dinner
that is not expected at a brew pub.

I've spent the last five years
hiding and being depressed,

and I feel like I'm in this working
hamster wheel that I can't get off of.

I hope that Anh has the opportunity
to take her time to reflect

in a way that frees herself
of her own mental trappings

because it sucks to see her struggle.

So hopefully this dinner will jump-start
this next chapter of my career.

[Antoni] "So our mission this week
is to help this chef

turn the Bywater Brew Pub
into her Vietnamese Summer Supper Club."


[all] Yes! Yes! Yes!

[Karamo laughs]

♪ Things just keep getting better
Down in New Orleans ♪

[rock music playing]

[Bobby] There it is.

[Antoni] Let's go!

-[Bobby in Vietnamese] Hello!

[Bobby in English] Hi!


Oh my God!


-[in Vietnamese] Hi, Anh.
-[in English] Hello!

-How are you doing?
-Oh my gosh!

-I'm Karamo. Nice to meet you.
-[Anh] Hello!

Oh my God.

-[Jonathan] Where's the hairnet, queen?
-[Anh] Oh no, it's okay.

Welcome to my kitchen.

-What are you preparing here?
-Banh mi burger?

[Anh] This is my famous phorrito.

It's a bowl of pho in a burrito.

Can I have a bite?

Yes! Eat everything. This is for eating.

So it's made with beef belly, pho noodles...

-Oh my God.
-...Thai basil, green onions, jalapeños.

[Jonathan] Pour
some of this stuff on it, Karamo.

[Karamo] Oh my gosh.
g*dd*mn, this is good.

That food!

Let me be honest with you, people.

My food palette
is more boxed-macaroni cuisine

and skittles du jour.

But this food?

I've seen him
in, like, countless restaurants.

I have never seen him like this.

Your f*cking food is amazing!

I'm the food guy.

I'm the one who's supposed
to be trying all these things,

and these muppets show up

and grab Chef Anh's food,
and they just run off.

Give me that too.

No! Leave me with one thing at least.

-[Karamo] Damn.

I'm ashamed. Not really.

How am I supposed to do my job
if I can't try anything?

-Holy crap.

Can you tell me
about this magic green sauce?

[Anh] Okay, so, this is a basil emulsion.

It's kind of like

all the herbs that you normally eat
with a Vietnamese meal

mixed into one sauce for me.

All the flavors that I work with

are flavors that are based on the food
that my mom cooked for me growing up.

She was my connection to my culture,
you know.

Were you the first one in your family
born outside of Vietnam?

Yes. So there was always a cultural
kind of gap between me and my family.

So the only sense of, like,
your Vietnamese culture you had at home...

Is this food.

I have a special dinner coming up
called Summer Supper Club

that is gonna be a little bit different
than what I normally cook here.

I'm really trying to pay tribute
to my roots, my Vietnamese roots,

and I want people to experience
a Vietnamese-style family dinner.

Is this whole supper, like, for your mom?

It is. I haven't really gotten
to do a dinner like this to honor her,

but it is something
that I wanna try to have regularly.

You know, I love to cook,
but to connect with my guests more,

I need to talk to them,
I need to be out there with them,

and I've been kind of stuck
in the kitchen. I've been hiding.

The whole menu,
is that something you've figured out?

You're in process?
Have you started testing?

-[Anh] So I've figured out most of it.

So, like, every Vietnamese family dinner
kind of has the same components.

It's, like, always white rice, plain,

and then there's, like, a soup
that's made of vegetables or meat,

and then there's always some pickles.

There'll be a plate
of fresh herbs and chilies.

Must, the fresh herbs, yes.

And then a vegetarian veggie dish,
that's kind of just veg.

-What's your vegetarian dish?
-I don't have one yet.

That's one that I'm stuck on.

Growing up there was always,
like, a vegetable dish

that was, like, stir-fried
or sautéed or anything like that,

so there's a hole I need to fill.

So I'd like to volunteer
to be your sous-chef this week.


-[Antoni] That work?

-[Antoni] We can ideate and figure out...

[Antoni] ...and just to play around
with some stuff.

I'm here to help her.
I'm here to assist her.

Get in the kitchen, get our hands dirty,
start chopping up some stuff.

-[Jonathan] Yummers!
-[Antoni] This is stupid good. Beautiful.

[Bobby] I think
we should go see your house.

[upbeat music playing]

We're not bringing the plate?
We should bring the plate.

-[Jonathan] We're home!
-[guys] We're home!

-[Jonathan] Yay!
-[Anh] This is my house.

[Jonathan] It's so cute. Let's go.
Thanks, Bobbers.

[Karamo] Let's go.

[Anh] Welcome to my old
New Orleans shotgun house.

-Shotgun. It's quite wide for a shotgun.
-[Anh] We have a lot of space.

-[Anh] I like it.

[Jonathan] Was this your sweet mom?

We had shrines to our ancestors
all over our house,

and she lit an incense for our ancestors
at every shrine, every day.

-Oh my God, I love that.
-Twice a day.

-A Buddhist thing.

I regret not spending as much time
as I could've with her

the last few years of her life.

She was very caring.

She was always worried
about what everybody was eating.

-Tried to feed everybody.
-Typical Asian mom.

-Vietnamese mom.

And I feel like that's where...
that's why I'm like that.

-You certainly have taken up after that.

-Can we see the rest of the house?
-So this is our living room.

-[Tan] Cute.
-[Bobby] I like the arch.

It's kind of a mis-mashed space.

You know, you've got sofas
shoved up next to each other

and dining tables with stuff
stacked on top of the dining tables,

and it's not allowing her to breathe.

-Down this hallway is our kitchen.
-Good little space.

Lavender is often not an aggressive color,
but this is an aggressive lavender.

[Bobby] Yeah.

Anh is so vibrant,
and there are so many colors,

but the colors she chose...

I'm not even a chef, but I need
counter space to be able to cook.

That's why I bought this table.

-[Tan] Do you struggle with the space?
-[Anh] So much.

-[Bobby] So show us more.
-[Anh] Okay.

Look in here.

-[Anh] This is the bedroom.
-[Jonathan] Yes.

The space that Anh has is... a space.

[Anh] This is a very small closet, which
is the only closet we have in the house.

That's your only closet?

Yes, and that's all Sam's,
like, barely clothes.

So Sam put up this, like, pull-up bar
that he doesn't ever use,

so then he put a curtain over it.

[Jonathan] You never know
when you'll need it.

But this is our bonus room where...
It's our extra stuff and my closet room.

A blow-up bed, a bunch of junk,
with a rack for some clothes.

This is not a closet.

It's bananas. We've gotta solve this.

We're gonna go explore more.

[Anh] Make yourselves at home.

What do we have here?

Ooh! Ah!

[Antoni] Whoa!

I love a brothel fridge.

[Antoni] Obsessed.

'Cause it's sexual and necessary
at the same time.

It's 'cause there's a red container
up top!

No! I thought it was a... [laughs]

-Wait, put it back! I like the red.


[Tan] Hello.

-[gasps] This is gonna be so chic.
-[Antoni] Tanny?

Who designed it? Who purchased this?

[Antoni laughs]

I've never been more attracted
to you physically, and that tail!

-It's the detail I didn't know I needed.

[Jonathan] I am seeing...

A lot of things I don't use.

Like, I don't really know
how to put on makeup, I would say.

I don't know the steps,
what I should be doing.

-Well, do you wanna wear makeup?
-I mean, not on a daily basis.

-But, like, I would like to know...

Like, if I'm going out.

It's fun to give yourself high-glam slut
when you need to.

For me, beauty is not an avenue to
express yourself for outside validation.

-[Anh] Right.
-It's actually an avenue for yourself.

Yeah, I don't know.

I... I mean, I've been having trouble
zoning in on, like, what I want,

'cause, well, "Whatever is fine."
That's my attitude about most things,

and so I'm trying to be
more like, "This is what I like."

[Jonathan] Yeah. Well, I like that.
I like tapping into that.

We're gonna come up
with something gorgeous together.

There is a little glamour-puss
that resides in all of us

who wants to come out,

and then we look at ourself
dead in the mirror, and we say,

"I am a sexy slut!"

I am a sexy slut!

-I am a sexy slut!

So that the people three blocks away
can hear!

I am a sexy slut!

-[Anh laughs]

Mmm, that was good!

[Tan] You're gonna end that with
"and Tanny forever," right?


Antoni, will you help me do a push-up?

[laughs] It's called a pull-up.

I've got a feeling
you don't know how to use it, so...

-[Jonathan] You're gonna break it.
-[Karamo] I can go for it.

Oh my God, he's gonna fall.
Oh my God, he's gonna fall.

-[Karamo] Ah!
-[Tan] Ah!

[Karamo screams]

[Jonathan] Called it. Called it.

-Bobby'll fix it.
-Oh my God.

[Karamo] Bobby! Bobby!

[Antoni] Bobby,
we need you to fix something!

[Jonathan] Bobby!

-What? Let's look around a little bit.
-Okay. [laughs]

-So, like, I see a dining table here.

But I don't really see it in the position
that it's used very often, no?

[Anh] No. I got this table
because I want to be able to have

a dinner party at my house
with a bunch of friends.

[Bobby] This is, like, cute test kitchen.

It's exactly what I want my space to be.

I haven't been able to make that happen
because of how busy I am,

and how little time I spend at home,
you know?

[Tan] How do you feel about clothes?
Do you care?

I have cared. I like these blouses.
I've never even, like, worn them.

-They are cute.
-[Anh] Cute.

But, like, I go shopping sometimes
and fantasize about wearing these things,

but I don't know
where I'm gonna wear them to.

So I'm like, "Let me buy it,"
and then I don't wear it,

and then they still have tags on.

-You could throw that on with a jean.
-I know, but then it's like...

-It's a replacement T-shirt.
-[Anh] I know.

My looks just haven't mattered
in a long time.

I don't know how to style
around a chef coat.

-[Tan] Okay.
-You know what I mean? Like...

Yeah. It sounds like you're pining
for the days gone by.

[Anh] I do, a lot.

The past five years have been
really just a roller coaster,

and, like, I'm having trouble
just living in the present

and then, like, forming the new me.

And I don't want to limit myself anymore.

You're a zesty person.
Like, you do a wonderful job.

I would love for that to be reflected
in the way you carry yourself...

-[Anh] Yeah.
-...going forward.

I would like that too.

-[Karamo] Yeah.

Get that workout, Daddy.

This is so fun!

-[Antoni] Found photos.
-[Tan] Oh, yay.

[Antoni] Oh my God. Is that Chef Anh?

[Tan] Yeah, it is.

[Antoni] Whoa!

Where's that person?

[Tan] We'll find her.

What has life been like
since your mom passed?

[Anh] Oh gosh.

There was a lot of crying alone in my car.

I felt like I was sad for just years.

I just threw myself into work.

Um, I carry a lot of mixed feelings about
the way it went down with my father.

He was driving the car

when the accident happened
that k*lled my mother.

I didn't know that. I'm so sorry.

I just felt like he changed
as a person afterwards.

And he lives in California,
so he's not around here.

And he's remarried now,

and I'm not close with him
as I used to be anymore.

Have you ever had a conversation with him
about how you feel?

I pick and choose my battles
with everyone,

but a lot of times with him.

I have said what I wanna say to him,

but I don't think that it was received

in the way that I wanted it to be.

And you needed and deserve certain things,
and you didn't get them.

Yeah. All of that is true.


-[Karamo] Who is this fella walking in?
-[Anh] It's Sam!

So this is Sam?
I hope it's not a random person!

This is my partner, Sam!

-How you living? Give me some love.
-[Karamo] Sam.

Sam, it's good to see you, Sam.

Tell us why you nominated
this beautiful young lady.

She needs some time for herself
because growth, it starts from scratch,

and she doesn't give herself time often,
I feel like, for that scratch moment.

-[Tan] Yeah.
-Are you ready to start?

I'm ready to start! [laughs]

Let's go!

♪ Get a little waken up ♪

♪ Got a feeling what's to come... ♪

The loss of Anh's mother
weighs really heavily on her,

and she works too much,

and you can tell that from the state
that her home was in.

She needs serenity

and a space to be able to relax.

I wanna make her home her safe space.

Anh is gorgeous,

but I just know that this grief
is heavy on Anh's heart,

and she just forgot how gorgeous she is.

My job is to help her feel secure
in her essence.

Chef Anh has developed an incredible menu
that pleases all of the local clientele,

but at the end of the week
with Summer Supper Club,

this is her first opportunity
to show the world who she is,

the dishes that shaped her.

What a lovely way to honor her mother.

[Tan] She has
a very simple look at her work,

which is a pair of pants and a T-shirt,

but she's the executive chef.

She's a powerful woman.
What does she wanna convey to the world?

[Karamo] Sometimes when we throw ourselves
into our jobs,

it's not just because we love what
we're doing. It's because we're hiding.

Anh is still grieving not only her mother

but also not getting the help
that she needed from her father.

It's time for her to confront that
so that she can start healing.

♪ You got so much class
And so much style ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

♪ A multi-million-dollar smile... ♪

What did your parents say
about you wanting to cook for a living?

Well, at first they were like, "Why?"

Because Asian, yes.

Because Asian, and they always told people
that I was gonna be a lawyer,

'cause we already had a doctor
in the family.

-Same! Same.
-And I'm like, "No."

-I understand this all too well.

Was there tension between you and your mom
as a kid?

Yes, because she was not, like, somebody
that I felt like I could just talk to

about any problems I might have.

You know,
I was always afraid of her judging me

because of the cultural difference.

Because she was so Vietnamese,

and you clearly, at that point,
were so American.

Yes. I was sent to an all-private school,
which was mostly white kids.

So it was, like, painfully obvious to me
when I was growing up

that I was different,
but I feel like I grew out of that.

And after I was able
to kind of establish myself

as a chef who cooks Vietnamese food,

I, like, felt official to myself.

-You know what I mean?
-[Tan] Yeah. Yeah.

-I don't feel shame.
-[Tan] Feel validated.

-I feel very proud now.
-Yeah. Yeah.

I was buying the restaurant
right when my mom passed away,

so she knew that that was happening.

So I feel happy
that she got to kind of take a glimpse

into the path I was taking,

but I'm sad that, like,
she couldn't go on that journey with me.

-Can we try on clothes and lighten up?
-[Anh] Please!

Okay, give me a hug.
I know that was a lot. I'm sorry.

-It's all right.
-But we really are very weirdly similar.

We chatted about the kind of clothes
you typically wear

and that you don't really
get "dressed up" much anymore.

I like getting dressed up, but my formal,
in my mind is, like, my fancy chef coat.

I want to look more polished,

but I don't know how to flatter myself
at this point in my life.

I am the heaviest I've ever been
right now.

-And I love button-up shirts.

But I can't ever wear them
because if I go a size up

because the button isn't buttoning,
it makes me look bigger,

and then it fits only right here
but not right here.

Let me tell you, they're gorgeous.

I wanna show you
how you can really balance those out

so you can feel a bit more confident
when it comes to your body.


I don't expect Anh to dress in a ball gown
to go to work,

but she still needs to be taken seriously.

What is she gonna wear
to her Summer Supper Clubs?

I want her to feel very chic
and also professional,

and that's what we're gonna find here.

-Can I see?
-[Anh] Mm-hmm.

Ooh! Okay. Won't you join me please?



I wanna just pull this out
just ever so slightly.

I love the shirt. The shirt's super

-[Tan] With the jean, it's still dressy.
-[Anh] Yeah, totally.

I don't ever tuck in my shirt either,
so that's a new thing.

The way that we, as shorter people,
are going to feel our very best

is by making sure
we're balancing out our proportions,

and so doing the little tuck-in
is really gonna make all the difference.

And then, making sure that your pants
aren't too skinny at the bottom

to really make the most of our height.

-You look gorge.
-Thank you.

I feel different in these clothes,
for sure.

-They make me feel more confident.

I would like for you, going forward,
to not just see it as,

"I've got clothes on my body."

-It's gonna make a difference.
-That's where I wanna be.


-Shall we try on a dress?
-I'm down. Yes.

Good, let's try it on

[Anh] I'm ready!

-[Tan] Can I take a look?

[Tan] Let's see it.

-Oh! Oh!

Okay, you tell me what you think.

-Um, the dress isn't my favorite dress.

And this is what happens to me a lot

with, like, dresses
that have pre-boob parts.

It's, like, this part makes me feel weird.

Maybe if it was a little like that.

Okay. Let me test something real quick.

-Excuse me whilst I give you a weird hug.
-[Anh chuckles]


Oh, yeah.

[Tan] We've given you the waist,
and then this then gives you hips also.

Like, you have curves, womanly curves.

-I do like that I have a chest.
-Love your chest.

I want the shape of it to honor
how the rest of my body is, you know?


And then the boot, I'm obsessed with, Anh.

-Are you gonna tell me you hate 'em?
-No. I actually like them.

Great! It gives you an edge.

I love that it offers femininity
without it being too on the nose.

[Anh] I agree.

[rock music playing]

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ I better get ready... ♪

-I'm excited to cook for you.
-[Anh] I know.

[Antoni] I'm gonna be
your little sous-chef!

Right. I don't have to tell you
where we are.

Yeah, we're at work.

Usually a little more crowded in here,

Yeah. I spend a lot of time in here alone,
though, so...

-Oh, you do?
-I do.

-I like to come before everyone else.

I wanna treat this
as much as testing as possible.


So at the end of the week, Chef Anh
is launching her Summer Supper Club

where she gets to share dishes
that she grew up with

in her Vietnamese household.

The one thing she still has left
to figure out is a plant-based recipe.

We're here to test. We're here
to have fun. We're here to play.

I love that you're not too precious
and, like, staying in one specific lane.

-I don't want to do that. [laughs]
-[Antoni] No, that's not you.

-[Anh] It's not me.
-Not what we're here for.

-I was obsessed with the wraps.

-[Antoni] Unreal.
-Thank you.

That's how I know Vietnamese cuisine,

is that it's all of this deconstructed
and these beautiful colors,

and you're building your own.

That's the part of it that I love.

One of my favorite things
is recipe testing,

because there's so many discoveries
that come from it.

When you work with somebody else
who's creative and just have fun,

that's the best day for me.

I know we started touching
on plant-based options.

This is a new one.

-So this is Beyond beef, steak version.

-Let's see how this crisps up.

-Are you down?

-Are you down?
-I'm down!

[Antoni] Okay, great. Boss me around.
So we have our basil, our cilantro.

We have our fresh mint,
our lightly pickled carrots.

We have our green sauce.

Do you feel comfortable
with the menu the way that it is now?

-Everything I've tried...
-I'm never satisfied, Antoni.

So you're even tweaking things
that are already working

and constantly figuring out how to...

Yup. If I am stagnant
and alone with my thoughts,

I almost always get emotional.

You know? When I think about my past,
it, like, makes me sad.

And then to get some of that out

is why I'm constantly, like,
changing stuff with my food, you know?

So is it sometimes,
like a distraction, maybe,

from, like, dealing with, like, feelings?

Oh yeah. I've put so much effort
into what I do here

that, like, I feel just drained
of anything after I leave.

And so then I become
kind of just like a blob at home.

[Antoni] I don't have a relationship
with my mother,

but I have these moments
when I'm preparing Polish food

where I just kind of...

I'm immediately taken back
to, like, what it was like being a kid,

trying it for the first time, seeing
the whole process and how it was made,

that ritual of how it was presented
at the table.


My mom used to just, like, enlist my help
in, like, small projects.

Like, I would peel the shrimp
or rinse the rice,

um, and I would just watch her.

When I try to recreate it,
I'm envisioning it.

-But it's a fun journey too.
-[Anh] Yeah.

And I can smell and hear and taste
everything just how it was.

-I can remember it like yesterday.

It's happy sad,

and it's, like, I feel like both of them
can kind of coexist together.


[Antoni] So maybe instead of using cooking
as a way to forget the bad,

use it as a way to remember the good.

Preparing her mom's food
and sharing it with other people

is so important
during the grieving process

'cause it's a process.

It doesn't just end one day
when you wake up.

Some days you're happy.
Some days you're sad.

But you can always honor that person.

I just hope that she continues
to go as personal as she possibly can.

[Anh] Okay, these are the things
that I use in the marinade.

-[Antoni] Granulated garlic.
-This is the lemongrass.

[Antoni] Perfect.

[Anh] I kind of use equal parts
of tamari and Maggi.

[Antoni] Yup.

And then our wonderful shallot oil.

-[Anh] You don't need very much.

So that's it.

I usually marinate regular beef.

-Do you think we should coat it?
-I think we should.

-Let's just mix it all in there.

-[Anh] Now it can go into a pan.
-[Antoni] Okay.


-You can see it crisping.
-[Antoni] It's getting a little brown.

I love to see that.

[Anh] And plating is so simple.

-[Antoni] Yeah, let's try it.
-[Anh] It smells good.

Okay, that's beautiful.

So I like herbs first,
and then I do the pickled veg.

Then I do the meat.

-Then I go fried onions last.
-[Antoni] Fried onions last.

-You get that crunch.
-[Anh] Then sauce.

-[Antoni] Oh, the sauce.

-Not forgetting the sauce.
-[Anh] And then...

[rock music playing]


I can't tell the difference.

That's pretty shocking.
This is just like meat.

-That's really fricking good, right?

-[Antoni] Holy crap.
-[Anh] Mm-hmm.

So how is this gonna complement
the overall menu for the Supper Club?

I could use the same seasoning,
the same marinade,

and then there's gonna be white rice,
so people can pair it with whatever, yeah.

It was so lucky to grow up with my mom
and how she fed us.

-[Antoni] Yeah.
-It really affected the rest of my life.

And doing a dinner like this,
I wanna get out of my funk

and get out of the kitchen,

interact with my guests more.

-This dinner is... is for me.

-And for your mom.
-[Anh] Yup.

-You know?
-And for the culture.

♪ In love ♪

♪ Thinking about you ♪

♪ Thinking about you... ♪

[Karamo] I had a dream
the other night about your food.

-[Anh] Really?
-[Karamo] I'm not even joking.

Thank you.

Is it relaxing when you start cooking?

It is, but then I get immersed,
and then I... I lose myself,

and then I'm like, "Shit!"

"Now I've been working for so long,
and I'm tired as..."

-[Karamo laughs] Yeah.

[Karamo] Not enough you time.

[chuckles] Right, but just, like,
my mind clears a little bit.


-I wanna go back to your father a bit.

-[Karamo] Were you and your father close?
-We were.


-Were you, like, a daddy's girl?
-I was.

And so it... it affected our relationship
a lot after my mom died

because I felt
like he wasn't the same dad.


What are the things that your father did

that made you feel
like you didn't have your dad?

He remarried pretty quickly.

It was not very long
after my mother passed, so...

-Like, how long?
-Like, six months.

-Got it.

And he kept the whole thing a secret.

So, yeah,
I have a lot of feelings about that.

So while you were grieving,

you then felt rejected from him.


I love my dad still.

But the ones you love the most,
when they betray you,

are the hardest to talk to, you know?


Anh, the only way to fix betrayal
is getting answers.

Am I about to have a conversation
with my dad?

-Yeah, we're gonna FaceTime him.
-And he agreed to it?

-[Karamo] He did.
-Y'all talked to him?

-I did.
-[Anh] Oh my gosh.

♪ Don't cry ♪

♪ Cry comes out again... ♪

I have a lot of trouble communicating
everything that I feel with my family.

[Karamo] Yeah. I wanna make sure
that you can say,

"You made decisions that affected
how I'm feeling still to this day."


And you have to be able to express that.

-[Karamo] I want you to feel supported.

So, that way, you can get what you need
off your chest

and that will be a big piece
of the healing.

When it comes to family,
sometimes it feels easier

not to focus on or deal with the issues
that are tearing you apart.

Anh has been holding onto this pain,

and she's using cooking as a way
of distracting herself

from really focusing
and confronting what's bothering her.

For Anh to move forward,

she has to confront the relationship
that she's been hiding from.

Her father.

[line ringing]

[Anh] Oh gosh.

[man] Hello?

[Anh] Hello, Bố.


Long time no see, bin.

[Anh] You look healthy.

You want me to talk for you a little bit?
To get started?

-Yeah, sure.

I'm with my friend here.

[Tac] Hi.

[Karamo] How are you?
She said she was daddy's girl.

-You know that, and she misses her father.

And this is an opportunity
for you two to talk.

Does that still sound good to you?

Yeah. That's good.

Okay, great.

Okay. Um...

I still don't understand
why you lied to me about getting married.

No, I didn't lie to you.

And this is...

I mean, you not inviting me or telling me
about the wedding before it happened

was lying,

and I... I felt like you forgot about mom...
or us.

I felt like you were leaving us.

[tender music playing]

And I don't know why you did that.

Why did you do that?

Hey, I'm here just to support both of you
in having a good conversation.

Do you feel sad for the fact
that your daughter feels this way?

[Tac] What do you want me to help you?

[Anh] I just want you
to tell me the truth.

You told us you were going to New Orleans.
Remember that?

And then you went to go marry this woman.

You had a party,
and there were pictures of it on Facebook.

It was embarrassing.

It was... It made me feel

like you didn't even want me to be there.

[crying] Why does she matter more than me?

[Tac] In Vietnamese culture,
the kid talk to a parent like this...

[Anh] It's disrespectful.

I don't... I don't know.

This... this is always
what happens when we talk.

You can't just say,

"I'm sorry, and I love you,
and I'm your dad, and I'm really sorry."

And that's all I need to hear.
I don't need any excuse, and I don't need...

[Tac] If I told you
that I'm married to her,

you'd be angry with me that time.

And that's why you lied because you were
afraid that I was gonna be mad?

That's why I had to keep secret.

She takes care of me good.

And she a good woman.

Try to understand this.

I was so very lonely,

and I can't live there anymore.

I don't want to see anything from your mom

because it would make me feel, like...

Sad, depressed, I know.

If you would've told us
that you wanted to be with this woman

and you needed her to take care of you,

of course we would've been okay.

[Tac] I'm really sorry we don't talk.

I made a mistake.

I'm sorry I didn't say anything sooner.

I really am, because I just miss you,

and I just wanna be able
to feel comfortable around you,

and I couldn't do that
without talking about it.

[Tac] I apologize for that.

Thank you.

I accept it.

[Tac] I want to bring her to everybody,

meet everybody in our family.

Well, I think enough time has passed
that we can try to make that happen.

I love you, bin.

I love you too, Bố.

All right, sir.
We'll talk to you later, okay?

-[Tac] Thank you.
-[Karamo] Have a good one.

[Anh] Bye.

How do you feel?

-You just got a lot off your chest.
-I know. I really did.

We'll just take a deep breath. [chuckles]

Whoo! Stretch it out. You just did
some emotional growth and healing there.

You did a good job.


-He's still grieving.

The unfortunate part
is your father ran away from the grief.

He didn't have the emotional language
and tools to be able to support you,

but what's the most important
is you got to say your truth.

-You have to feel empowered right now.
-I do. I really do.

But now it's up to me, right? That's...

To go on my forgiveness journey.

Don't feel like you ever have to go
into this place where you cannot talk

or you cannot share
what you're feeling.

You just stay firm like how you did here.

I feel a lot better.

-Yeah, I do.

Thank you.

[upbeat music playing]

Anh has such a bubbly personality,

but her house was kind of devoid
of anything that really says,

"This is Anh's house."
Although it is a more narrow space,

I put wallpaper on the ceiling
'cause it draws your eye up,

and it made the space feel
even larger than it did before.

It feels so cool,
and I cannot wait for Anh to see it.

[curious music playing]

♪ La, la, la, la ♪

♪ Getting the best, best... ♪

[Jonathan] Ah, yes.

-Here we are at Salon Society.
-[Anh] All right.

-[Jonathan] Yes.
-Thank you.

Ha! Okay.

Take a seat here.

You want coffee? You want water?
You want tea? How about an Arnold Palmer?

I'm okay. [laughs]

Okay, she said, "Hair!"

[chuckles] And lots of it.

-Look at your gorgeous hair, lady.
-Thank you.

How do you stand looking at yourself,
being so attractive day in and day out?

Are you tired?

I don't look at myself
in the mirror a lot.

Like, low self-esteemitis?

-[Jonathan] I got the antidote.

We have to look at the low self-esteemitis
and then say,

"Ka-ka! Ka-ka!"

[Anh laughs] Exactly.

-"Look at me." You know what I'm saying?

So you're minding your own business,
and you got a haircut last... when?

Um, probably around this time last year.

I don't get anything too crazy when I go,

but I have been known
to have bangs in the past.

You have been known
to have bangs in the past.


-[Anh] Dyed it blond before.

And I have, like,
shaved the back of my head.

She's done undercut.

If we did like
a little shattery long frontal fringe.

A little length off is pretty.

And then, like,
let's really, like, layer it out.

And also, a little bit of a lighter brown
to open up the face a little.

-It'll be super low maintenance.
-All right.

-[Jonathan] Okay.

♪ To explode... ♪

I can tell that Anh is not feeling
as gorgeous as she could,

inside or outside.

[Anh] Ah!

[Jonathan] ♪ Release your job
Release your vibe, release your... ♪

-[both laugh]
-[Anh] Here it goes.

[Jonathan] She doesn't really like
to nurture herself,

so we got to drum up the gorge-ocity.

So we gotta do a dance break.

♪ Say you feel it ♪

♪ Oh, na, na, na, na, na... ♪

[Jonathan] Just because we experience
loss, sorrow, grief, heartbreak,

that doesn't mean that we're not allowed
to still enjoy life.


♪ I want you, yeah ♪

-[Jonathan] You okay?

-I'm just... reflecting.

Oh. On what, honey?

-[Anh] The conversation with my dad today.
-[Jonathan] What happened there?

We apologized to each other

for a lot of stuff
that was... unspoken for a long time.

Whenever we try to talk,

he tries to explain away the things
that are actually happening,

but it was good.

I felt like we were finally
on the same page

of wanting to move past
all the crazy trauma.

I mean, what you guys went through
is, like, so...

Ugh. There's just... There's no...

Like, there's no road map
for that kind of sudden traumatic loss.

A lot of people experience loss
and then never talk to each other again.

Exactly. My parents were older
when they had me,

so he's not very young.

He's about to be 80.

I did have a big fear
that if we didn't make up before he died,

I would've regretted it, you know.

My grandma used to say,
"Never let the sun set on your anger."

You know, I was reading this thing,

and it was talking about how, like,

once we know the story
of our trauma and pain,

then part of it
is just, like, letting it go,

'cause you don't have to keep going back
to, like, kick that tire.

It's important to you
'cause it makes you who you are, but...

-You don't have to carry the hurt.
-You don't have to keep hurting.

"That's an old story
that I'm not gonna tell myself anymore."

It's true.

-We are moving some mountains today.
-I'm so done!

Are you, like... We are giving, like,
Whitney and Mariah, Prince of Egypt.

I also love this color.
It's gonna be so slutty.

[Anh] Yeah.

-♪ Uh-huh ♪
-♪ And the rent's due, honey... ♪

[Jonathan] Give us the brow, honey.

♪ A retail junky ♪

♪ So pay me my money... ♪

Anh is hot.

♪ Pay me my money... ♪

Summer in August in New Orleans, honey.
That's how hot Anh is.

Oh my God.

[Anh] I love that.

[Jonathan] I feel like
sometimes we struggle

with, like, I-don't-realize-

but not only physically,
but also, like, inside, you know?

-[Jonathan] You're a great person.

You're a hard on yourself sometimes.

I feel it, I see it, and what my biggest
hope in my q*eer heart of hearts is,

is that you walk out of this experience
speaking kindly to yourself

because you're a good person,
you work so hard,

you're an incredible daughter, and you're
enough just as you are, you know?

Thank you.

-Are you ready?
-[Anh] I'm ready.

[Jonathan] Oh my God.
Three, two, one. Here you are.

Oh my God. [chuckles]

And you can, like, go like this
and, like, go like this.

I like that.

All right! Oh my gosh.
I love it. The makeup is perfect.

-[Jonathan] Get all up in it.

[Jonathan] I went in with the layers,
so it can give this when she's working.

Okay, yeah.

[Jonathan] She can give this,
and then just put in a little clip.

Yeah! Oh my gosh, I miss having bangs.

-[Jonathan] You missed it?
-I missed it.

I do. I love it a lot.

-[Jonathan] Sexy.
-[Anh] Slut!

-[Jonathan] Sexy. Yes!
-[Anh] Slut!

♪ I'm on the loose, loose, loose ♪

♪ Somebody stop me ♪

♪ Before I start making
The news, news, news ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪

♪ Give in to the atmoshere ♪

♪ Now let it swallow all the fear ♪

♪ Just take me as a souvenir
And watch the rest just disappear ♪

-♪ Oh my God... ♪
-[horn honks]

-[guys] Yay!
-[Bobby] There they are.

-[Karamo] Oh, look!
-[Antoni] You look gorgeous.

Oh my God. The fringe is so good.

-[Karamo] Ready to come in?
-[Anh] Yes!

[Bobby] Okay, are we ready?

-[Jonathan] Surprise.

Oh my God. Oh my God!

-This is so beautiful.
-[Jonathan] Yes.

[Anh] What?!

Hashtag wallpaper ceilings...

-Oh my gosh.
-...are the coolest thing ever.

-[Bobby] Makes the room feel even taller.
-Yes, it really does.

-Oh, Sam's gonna love this.
-[Karamo] Look at that couch.

-[Anh] This couch is so fabulous.
-[Bobby] You love it?

I feel like I'm in a trendy restaurant.

[Bobby] Hey!

Lots of texture,
lots of natural materials.

The altar is still there
with the same little incense thing.

[Bobby] Oranges. I wanted to make a really
special place to remember your mom.

-[Anh] Oh my gosh!
-[Bobby] So every time you come... Right?

This is what my mom used
to plug the incense in

for the ancestor shrines in our home.

She would love this.

It's so classy.

I want you to remember
how proud of you she is.

[Anh] Mm-hmm.

-Thank you so much.
-[Bobby] Of course.

-Are you ready to see more?
-[Anh] Yes!

-[Bobby] Yeah? Okay.

This is so beautiful.

-Look at these plates!
-[Jonathan] Oh my God, a banquette table!

The dining room in here,
and you have the living room in here.

-I wanted to mix that up.
-[Anh] Okay.

[Bobby] I wanted to give you
a space to entertain,

and this being the closest to the kitchen,
it makes more sense when you're cooking.

-Functional and pretty.

[laughs] Oh my gosh!

I love it.

♪ Let's take a journey to your kitchen ♪

Oh my gosh!

[Bobby] ♪ To your kitchen ♪

Oh, it's so light in here.

I love it. Oh my gosh.

New refrigerator.

-[Jonathan] Cute!
-New dishwasher.

[Bobby] All these
great new Smeg appliances.

Ah! Knife magnets!

[Bobby] A whole wall for pots and pans.
Not just that one little peg.

-[Anh] Love!

-You've got more counter space.
-[Anh gasps] Oh my gosh!

[Antoni] Obsessed!

-You can take a deep breath in here now.

With all the colors before,
it felt a little collegey.

-[Anh] Yeah.
-This feels a lot more sophisticated.

This is your test kitchen
for your summer dinners.

[Anh] Yes!

-[Tan laughs]
-[Anh laughs]

Guys, this is so perfect.


-[Bobby] I love those type of reactions.
-Oh my God!

The ceiling is amazing.

Honey, this room says, "Sensual!"

-[Karamo] Oh my gosh!
-Oh my God!

-[Jonathan] It's giving erotica!
-[Anh] I could never imagine the bed here.

Flow-wise, putting the bed opposite
of the door is always better

because the energy flows
in and out of the room.

-[Antoni] This a big old bed.
-[Anh] I love it. Yeah.

Do you know what I'm obsessed with?

The detailing on the doorway.

[Anh laughs]

[Bobby] They broke that.


Which leads me to my lesson,
which is we're going to get on the bed.

-We're gonna learn our choreography.

-[Bobby] ♪ Don't you mess up the bed ♪
-It goes...

One, two, three, four, five.

-It's pretty, right?
-[Anh] Yeah.


What we're really going to talk about is,
like, "Queen, how do I do my face stuff?"

-[Anh] Yeah.
-This is gonna be our lesson.


[Jonathan] You're gonna take
some tissue paper,

and you're going to pat
all the excess mascara off.

-You don't need that much mascara.

I'm really just trying
to aim towards your tips.

Not the whole thing?

-[Jonathan] I like the tips better.

Up. Up. Ah!

It looks so good.
So you repeat on this side.

There you go.
Love. Now curl while it's wet.

Yes, queen.
I'm living for what you're doing.

Lashes are k*lling it.

It looks so good.

Anh, whenever we get overwhelmed,

whenever we get stressed,

you have an internal wisdom
that knows how to take care of yourself,

knows how to forgive yourself.

That's your inner sexy slut,

'cause I won't always be there
as your fairy godparent. Zing!

-[Karamo] Hi, gorge.
-[Anh] Hi.

-How are you doing?
-I'm doing good.


When we first came in,

you had said to me that you had so much
that was weighing you down.


And me seeing you show up for yourself
in the way you did

by speaking up for yourself
and advocating for what you were feeling

was a very powerful moment.

I just... I... I knew
that I couldn't hold it in anymore.

It's funny that my dad brought up the fact
that I don't normally talk to him that way

because it's disrespectful,

and it was like... it just prompted me
even more to say what I wanted.


That's why our relationship
has fallen apart,

because of this construct that isn't real.

I was trying to connect with him
on a person-to-person level,

which is something that I've never felt
like I've been able to do

with my mother throughout her whole life,
and with my father now.


So I don't want that
to happen with him too.

-[Anh] I feel better about it though.

-I feel good about it.
-You're good.

[both laugh]

-You're great too. I'm just sayin'.
-You're good.

[Karamo] You're good. You're good.

-[Tan] About tonight?
-[Anh] Yes.

-It's your first proper Summer Supper.
-[Anh] It is.

[Tan] Just because it's your first one,
I think it'd be nice if you did

wear something like a chef's coat.

Maybe just keep it a lot more simple,
but not casual-casual.

-[Tan] And we can work on that.


[overlapping chatter]

-[Antoni] Oh my God.
-[Bobby] Hi, Sam.

-[Karamo] Blown away? You can take it in.

-[Sam] Is this the right address?
-This is it! This is your home.

-[Jonathan] It's amazing.
-[Sam] I mean, oh my gosh.

[Jonathan] I can't wait till you see Anh.

Wow. This is just, like, "Wow."
I'm just gonna... [breathes deeply]

-[Tan] All right, kids. Oh, hey, Sam!
-[Sam] Hey, Tan.

-Hello, mate. How are you?
-[Sam] Good to see you. I'm great.

Wait till you see her. She's gorge.
So, Anh?

Oh, Didi! Oh my gosh!

[Karamo] Oh, sexy!

-[Sam] Hey!

-[Anh] Hi!
-Oh, I love it.

[Sam] You look great!

[Anh laughs]

-[Jonathan] Yes! Kiss her!
-[Anh] I wasn't expecting you here.

[Jonathan] Kiss her! Kiss her!

Yay for kisses!

-All right, Sam. Sit down!
-Okay, sit down.

-She looks good, doesn't she?

She looks amazing.
Babe, you look fabulous.

[Karamo] Aw.

Because you're gonna be cooking,
there's one thing missing.

-Give me two seconds.

Oh my God.

-Is it a hat?
-It's a tiara!

-You just need one final touch.

You can't be a chic executive chef

Oh, cute!

-[Antoni] Oh my goodness.
-Chef's coat!

-[Anh] Oh my God, snapping!
-[Tan] Yeah.

[Jonathan] Yes, queen.

I love it.

-This is cute!
-[Tan] Look at how professional she looks.

-[Anh] Thank you. This is so nice.
-[Tan] You're ready.

I say, "Summer," you say, "Slut."


-[Jonathan] Summer!

-[Jonathan] Yay!

[uplifting music playing]

Summer Supper Club!

This is the most exciting series
of the New Orleans social calendar, honey.

A culinary extravaganza, if you will.

[Anh] Welcome to my kitchen again.

You two pass the menus out.

Okay, I want to give a nice little zhuzh
to these sesame rice crackers

with the torch right here.

[Bobby] Yeah.

[Jonathan] We're running around,
setting up, pouring water,

doing menus, saying hello.
We got a lot of stuff to do.

I need a hot coffee for table six, stat.

[Anh laughs]

Go find a front-of-the-house person.

-Where are the crushed peanuts?
-So once that comes out...

[Tan] Anh is nervous.
She's not just cooking her food.

She has to entertain her guests.
She has to tell them what it's all about.

Like, I still have to send out
the first course, the oysters.

They're going to be baked first.

They have the butter and the scallions,

and then we're sprinkling peanuts
on top of them.

[Tan] She's going to honor her mom
in the most beautiful way,

and I know that she's gonna
make her mom so proud.

-[Bobby] How are you feeling?
-[Anh] I'm feeling good.

A little nervous, but good. Excited.

-[Bobby] You got this.
-I got this. So ready.

-So ready.
-[Anh] Totally.

And we're also stopping
by delegation station

so you don't stay back here too long
so that you can mingle with the people.

-Because you are what?
-Boss bitch, sexy slut, Anh Luu. Yes.


Go on, you sexy slut. Say hi!

[ethereal music playing]

Fringe trick. Fringe trick.

Here. Thank you.
Yeah, there you go. All fixed.

Hello, everybody.


Thank you for coming
to this very special dinner of mine.

I wanna share with you
a little bit of how I dined

on a daily basis
growing up in a Vietnamese home.

I've had an incredible week
with my new friends right here.


And I've grown closer to myself
and to my mother who has passed,

and this dinner is a tribute to her.

And I feel like
I really channeled my mother

while I was cooking this food.

We're gonna eat
a little bit with our hands,

a little bit with our chopsticks,
a little bit with our spoons.

We're all family here tonight, okay?
I'll be out here with y'all.

-[Tan] Yeah!
-[Anh] Y'all enjoy.

-We love you!
-[Jonathan] Love you, Anh!

Anh is in control of this evening.

She is in her element,

and I just could not be
any prouder of her.

Oh my God! Ooh!

-Do you like these oysters? Great.
-[woman] Delicious.

Thank you so much. Enjoy.

I want y'all to get your hands dirty
and shit, you know?


[Antoni] It's nice to kind of look back
and look at the food that shaped you,

look at the rituals
you had with your family.

And that's what Chef Anh does,
and she's gonna continue doing it.

She gets to share that with the world,

and what a wonderful gift she's providing
anyone who's lucky enough to try her food.

I love you guys.
I'm glad you got to come to this.

What do y'all think
of the Beyond Meat dish?

-[woman] I'm on my third bowl.
-[Anh] Wow.

-[man] It's great food!
-Thank you so much.

So good.

[Tan] Anh, when we first met her,
was kind of in a dark place.

She was still grieving the loss of her mom

and didn't know
quite how to process those feelings.

But this week,
I think she got the closure she needed,

and there's nothing holding her back now.

We should do this, right?
We should do this all the time.

-[Nahum] Right.

She's empowered,
and she knows that her voice matters.

And she's not gonna let anybody
treat her like it doesn't.

-[Tan] My love, thank you for everything.
-We love you, Anh.

[Anh] Bye!

I really thought I was gonna be stuck
in my mindset that I was in before this

for a long time.

And it feels really good
to know how to cope

and have the courage
to accommodate myself.

I feel like a new person.

-I love you.
-I love you too.

My gosh. Thank you so much.

We supported Anh. My belly is full.

But now it's time
for Anh to do this on her own.

She's got this.

-Bye, everyone!
-[Anh] See you next time!

Nice to meet you. That way?

-[Tan] Bye.
-[Bobby] Bye!

-[guests] Bye!
-[Karamo] Bye!

[Anh] Shot o'clock!

[jazz music playing]

Sage advice on some of my favorite herbs,

starting with cilantro,
the most commonly used herb in the world

and also the most polarizing.

Rosemary. This is a hard herb
that needs a bit of cook time

to really release that flavor
and soften up nicely.

Mint. So much more than just a garnish
on a crème brûlée

with a single little strawberry.

Dill. Found in literally every jar
of anything that's ever been pickled.

Parsley. Chop it up real nice and fine,
and it wakes up any single dish.

And if your breath ain't so good,
have a leaf.

I'd love to tell you more,
but, unfortunately, I'm out of "thyme."

Wait, I'm not.

["All Things [Just Keep Getting Better]"

♪ Hey, yeah ♪

♪ All right ♪

♪ Mmm ♪

♪ Ah ♪

♪ Whoo ♪

♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

♪ All right ♪

♪ All things just keep getting better ♪

♪ Huh ♪

♪ You came into my life now ♪

♪ You came into my life now ♪

♪ The world never looked so bright now ♪

♪ The world never looked so bright now ♪

♪ And things just keep getting better ♪

♪ Things just keep getting better ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ All things just keep getitng better ♪

♪ Things just keep getting better ♪

♪ Things just keep getting better ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

♪ All right, yeah ♪

♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

♪ Eh ♪

♪ Things just keep getting better
Down in New Orleans ♪

[man] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Jonathan] I say, "Sexy," you say, "Slut."

-[Anh] Slut!

-[Jonathan] Sexy!
-[Anh] Slut!
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