Top Chef: Texas Power Rankings
By David Mumpower
December 7, 2011
We finally have enough of a handle on this season to launch our initial power rankings. The usual rules apply here. Since we cannot taste the dishes, we are left to parse through the comments made by judges and other tasters. Individual results matter more than group ones. And in one instance, we are even going off the board by including her performance on a different cable network cooking show. Is going maverick retro yet? We’ve always wanted to be maverick.
1. Paul - As was mentioned in the prior recap, Paul is the first chef to win multiple challenges. His bravado with the million point spice was also impressive. He is taking pride in being a Texas chef cooking on the Texas season and it has shown to date. Note that there is very little separation at the top of the board thus far.
2. Dakota - She makes a mean Beer-Battered Tempura Rattlesnake and she has overcome being stuck with a dessert not once but twice. In the first instance, there were some issues with the cake but it was a hit at the party. In the second instance, she came within an eyelash of winning. Dakota clearly puts a lot of thought into her dishes (watch her focus the next time she has a camera close-up after a challenge is announced) and she is performing well under pressure.
3. Lindsay - The only other player to earn individual immunity thus far, Lindsay made an early misstep when she aligned with Sarah. The two of them were a bit cruel to Keith, but by the end of the episode, Lindsay had grown to regret the behavior. We do not believe the same is true of Sarah. To her credit, Lindsay avoided making the same mistake when placed in the same group with Sarah once again. Also, her Vienna sausage dish was a touching tribute to her father. that clearly deserved to be rewarded.
4. Edward - This may be overselling Edward a bit, particularly since he barely saved himself to survive the bubble round. We have him ranked this high for a few reasons. The first is that he kept cooking despite an injury that would have made All-Star Jamie take her ball and go home. The second is that he excelled on a dessert dish last week on the heels of cooking the best looking improvisational dish in the Quickfire challenge. Edward needs to learn some diplomacy, but his dishes look like they are clipped pictures from a fine dining brochure.
5. Grayson - Like Dakota, she has also performed well on a dessert. The primary difference between the two chefs thus far (other than the immunity challenge win) is that Grayson needed to survive the final cut when she was on the bubble. Otherwise, she would have failed to make the sweet sixteen of Top Chef. Since she has been on the show, she has cried too much (but not as much as Beverly). Other than not distancing herself enough emotionally, Grayson has been an impressive performer thus far. The early misstep may have motivated her more in the early stages.