Top Chef: Texas Recap

By David Mumpower

November 30, 2011

He could win the hell out of Top Tattoo, though...unless Michael Voltaggio was in the competition.

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Previously on Top Chef: Texas, everyone but Keith agreed to make Keith the fall guy even before his team started cooking. I have since read Tom Colicchio’s blog post in which he details the ways that caused Keith to make the most mistakes of any chef there. I still feel that Keith was demonized by his peers in a way that the video details was not only unfair but also hypocritical. In point of fact, the video production staff took it upon themselves to use every second of film possible to ensure that the viewer knew that Keith got railroaded. Alas, what is done is done so we will move on, no matter how unfair/disappointing the result was.

I will not be doing power rankings for at least one more episode if not two because, unlike last season with Top Chef All Stars, I do not have enough of a handle on the competitors to gauge their prospects quite yet. It doesn’t help any that the first episode with the official group of sixteen did not declare a winning player, only a team. As the situation currently stands, Dakota is the only individual winner yet her second dish of the evening would have put her on the bottom. Championing her would be a mixed bag at the moment. What we do know is that Ty delivered the worst dish out of the remaining players, Sarah fundamentally failed as a leader and Lindsay was guilt ridden by the end. These three are the worst performers thus far out of the 15 remaining contestants.


As the group sits by the pool at the start of the episode, Lindsay and Sarah enable one another by describing to the others how well behaved they were at Judges Table. This…is not true. The laugh out loud moment from the discussion, however, comes from Ty. Without irony, he states, “Either have something good to put on the plate or shut the *bleep* up.” Ty, you should not have been talking given your own guidelines. Nyesha notes that the true colors of the competitors are on display, noting that the completion is “not so fun anymore”.

The Quickfire Challenge is next up on the docket for this episode. Today’s focus is the Scoville Scale, something I heard about for the first time last month. I was Christmas shopping at a world foods market and one of the “vicious chili” flavors there bragged about its 300,000 score on the Scoville Scale, which is apparently a lot. Personally, I cannot eat spices that have any positive integer on the Scoville Scale, so this had never come up before. I gleefully purchased the item only to discover later that the expected recipient of said gift had gallstones that desperately needed removal. Sending him a chili sauce with a 300,000 Scoville Scale score (trying saying that five times fast) would have been mean, so it was gifted to another fan of bold flavors instead. The point is that the Scoville Scale is for daring foodies who enjoy housing an active volcano in their mouth.

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