Top Chef: Texas Recap
By David Mumpower
January 18, 2012
Beverly’s only solo dish of the evening is another braised short rib. This one has a Thai basil potato puree, apple slaw & kimchi. She also plates Lindsay’s dish, which is grilled halibut with Spanish chorizo, fennel & sherry salad. Nobody in the back seemed happy with the way Lindsay’s dish was going and the judges quickly confirm these concerns. The dish is dry in the center and this almost assuredly happened because of the style of cooking she insisted that Beverly perform. Meanwhile, Beverly’s dish proves quite popular. Hugh states it’s the best thing he has had in two days of cooking.
Dessert includes a schaum torte with vanilla meringue & champagne berries from Grayson and hazelnut cream Italian doughnuts with banana sugar glaze. Sarah’s dish is “leaden” but otherwise acceptable. Grayson’s torte, on the other hand, puts a song in Padma’s heart and Tom concurs. Even Moto Chris celebrates it, blithely stating “This is the nicest dinner I’ve had since I got here.” His teammates immediately hammer him for a comment that indicates one of them is going home, but the point remains.
The women appear to have pulled out the victory here despite lacking the harmony of the men. In fact, Lindsay immediately attacks Beverly the instant the cooking is done by stating that the fish is overcooked. She clearly wants to create a gang up on Beverly but instead discovers that Grayson is squarely on Beverly’s side. “Let me tell you she did not mean to. It was probably the wrong cooking procedure to tell you the truth.” Ouch.
“Lindsay’s tone is frankly bitchy. I’m starting to feel maybe she wasn’t the right choice for front of the house.” – Grayson, summarizing the entire evening of conflict in one catty but probably honest sentence
The judges end the evening by stating that the food was clearly better at Half-Bushel and since this is a cooking competition, this means that the women have won. Judges Table confirms this assessment and leads to a hysterical moment wherein Beverly is chosen the winner of the evening. Even Grayson is a bit surprised by this news, but she quickly covers it by warmly hugging her compadre. Lindsay and Sarah are less graceful, even in victory. While Lindsay should be happy to know that she will not be eliminated tonight in spite of offering the worst overall performance, Sarah makes sure to state loudly that in her estimation Lindsay deserved the most praise of anyone. This is comically inaccurate as well as downright bitchy. Learn to win and lose with grace, Sarah.
When the men reach Judges Table, the situation is uncomfortable. As is oftentimes the case with Restaurant Wars, the weakest remaining player has not delivered the worst performance of the group. The judges try to talk themselves into voting out Moto Chris by reciting how little he did relative to his teammates. In the end, however, they realize that he is the least deserving of his group to be sent home or, at worst, second least deserving behind Edward. Paul is closer to going home than Moto Chris, which speaks to the frustrating nature of Restaurant Wars. In the end, however, everyone agrees that the worst dishes of the losing team were provided by Ty, which means he is eliminated from the competition just as it seemed he was beginning to find his footing as a Top Chef participant. If only Lindsay could have been eliminated for having the worst performance of the evening instead. This is what drives us nuts about Restaurant Wars.