Top Chef: Texas Recap
By David Mumpower
December 14, 2011
Previously on Top Chef, Beverly claimed an entire kitchen as her own, much to the chagrin of the (less important) other three chefs in the room. The others started calling her Sabotage, which is perfect. Also, Chris C. hit on John Besh. And Chuy. And Padma. Chris C. is a sluuuuuuut. Finally, a cigar was not a cigar and that was regrettable. Even though Moto Chris asked his customers to eat ash, which seems like an act of villainy, Chuy was eliminated and from the sound of things, the other Chris was in more jeopardy. If that cigar cannot get a player kicked off the show, Top Chef: Texas is in trouble with regards to the quality of its competitors.
The early portion of the show focuses upon the growing divide between the men and the women. No, there isn’t a battle of the sexes brewing, at least not so far. It’s more the fact that men keep being eliminated, and this is making them nervous. With men being eliminated in each of the first three challenges, the split is now eight women and five dudes. You could almost hear the gentlemen’s testicles shriveling in fear.
The Quickfire Challenge for today is a home field advantage situation for Paul. He went to cooking school in the same building where the competition is being held and has cooked in this kitchen previously. This seems vaguely cheat-y. The guest judge for the round, someone I grow to despise within moments of his introduction, is Dean Fearing, who is as snide and condescending as the human condition allows. I quickly determine that I want him to die screaming. Seriously, I cannot say enough terrible things about him. Some people are not meant to be on television.
Today’s competition is a demonstration of saucier skills. The chefs draw knives under the categories of Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomate, Béchamel and Velouté. These are the five mother sauces, bases for other sauces. The chefs are instructed to create a new sauce from their assigned mother sauce. Given how much mother sauce has fallen out of favor in modern cuisine, this strikes me as an extremely difficult challenge.
Bitchy McIWantHimtoSuffer picks on several of the chefs, particularly those with Espagnole/Tomate. Even though there was no instruction for roux, he belittles anyone who failed to use a roux in their dish. Paul humorously ponders whether he should have simply lied and said he used a roux. Whitney goes a step further and indicates that not only did she not use a roux, she never would. Doesn’t anyone see that this roux debate is tearing us apart?
Not satisfied with the seeds of discontent sewn thus far, Judge Jerkface also picks on anyone whose butter is not clarified. This entire Quickfire feels like meal preparation for Melvin Udall and nobody looks like Helen Hunt enough to settle him down. Eventually, Dean “I take my last name seriously” Fearing determines that the worst dishes are prepared by Dakota (lacking flavor profile), Nyesha (too many flavors made the dish confusing) and Beverly (too saucy…in a sauce dish. HATE HIM!).
The best of the best are Grayson, Chris. C and Paul…yes, the same Paul he attacked for failure to utilize a roux. Dear Top Chef: never have this man on your program again. I beg of you. Anyway, Grayson is chosen the winner. Praise from Caesar.
The elimination challenge in this episode is a dream come true for me. It’s all steak all the time, which happens to mirror my personal diet. My cholesterol calculations are done at MIT. But I digress. The Cattle Barons Ball is the event they will cater by creating a four course meal. All the cheftestants will be on the same team for this. Well, all of them but Beverly, who is always on her own team.