Top Chef: Texas Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

February 8, 2012

So what happened at Last Chance Kitchen? Up yours, Bravo.

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Last week, Moto Chris finally had to pack his knives and go home. It was a matter of time, really. His stuff was way too far out there and even though everyone likes him, his ambition never matched his ability - at least on the show. Give him time to develop, and he might turn into something really special, though. He was the anti Carla Hall. He didn't focus on flavor and instead tried to dazzle with technique. Ultimately, it's just about making good food and we can't even say it was close but no cigar for him.

Here's how the remaining contestants stack up:

1) Paul Qui - In order for Paul to lose this competition, Buster Douglas would have to knock him out.

2) Grayson Schmitz - Has had some strong performances of late, with the exception of being in the low group with a spectacular dish during the Evil Queen challenge featuring Charlize Theron. She jumps up just a bit because she's showing some fight.

3) Edward Lee - He's obviously a talented chef, but he's had some misfires recently that have us concerned he just might not make it for the long haul. Based on ability alone, it should probably come down to him and Paul; however, he just keeps doing poorly enough to get in the bottom group without being eliminated.

4) Lindsay Autry - You could argue that her placement should be higher, because she's had the best run of being in the "winning" group. However, she was the worst performer in some of those instances, most especially Restaurant Wars, where it probably should have been her eliminated that day. Still, she's showing some creativity and spark late in the game.

5) Sarah Grueneberg - She's not the worst chef in the world, and in fact, all of the competitors remaining in the game could win on any given day. She just seems to be showing the least ability under pressure this late in the game. Small mistakes are her undoing, and it seems like she could be due for a big one at any time.




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At the Top Chef house, Edward rolls out of bed and he's wearing a suit jacket and shorts. We think he fell asleep in (some of) his clothes from the previous night.

When the chefs arrive for their Quickfire, they are presented with stacks and stacks of pancakes, which are apparently the favorite of today's guest judge. Grayson guesses it's a child, and she's sort of right. In fact, it's Pee-Wee Herman, who comes riding in on the famous bike that was lost to him in the Tim Burton film Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. The reason Pee-Wee has a connection to the Texas version of Top Chef, of course, is because when he was questing to find that bike in the film, it was supposedly in the basement of the Alamo.

The cheftestants have 20 minutes to make pancakes. Padma tells them to let their imaginations run wild, and Pee-Wee tells them how much he loves them...though not enough to marry them (ha-ha!). Some of the chefs talk about how they liked to watch Pee-Wee's Playhouse as a child. Winner gets $5,000.


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