Top Chef: Texas Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 8, 2012
In Moto Chris's absence, we wouldn't have expected anyone to break out the liquid nitrogen, but perhaps in memory of his fallen comrade, Paul goes for it. Grayson's pancake is shaped like Minnie Mouse, and is a ricotta buttermilk pancake with peach compote, blackberry and basil. Pee-Wee says it is probably the best pancake he has ever had.
Sarah's pancakes, which have turned out to be a little pink, are confetti with blackberry sauce, cocoa nibs and vanilla whipped cream. Pee-Wee says that he got some of the confetti stuck between his teeth; nonetheless, it is the best pancake he has ever had.
Padma and Pee-Wee move on to Paul, who has made a rolled pancake with berries, black pepper and champagne dippin' dots (we call this brilliant!). It looks delicious even though it's Paul's first time making pancakes. Pee-Wee certainly thinks they're swell, since he says...are you detecting a pattern here?...that they are the best ones he's ever had.
Lindsay has another ricotta pancake, with whipped creme fraiche, marcona almond and anise cookies. It looks a little bit sloppy, but Pee-Wee still believes it's the best pancake he's ever had.
Our last contestant is Edward, who says that he is celebrating the crazy little bits that fall off the edges of the pancake because they're so tasty (he's right). His dish is pancake bits, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bacon and bruleed marshmallow. It looks amazing - his dishes are custom made for Instagram photos. Pee-Wee tells him the dish stinks. No, no. He says it's the best pancake he's ever had.
There are no bottom contestants in this round, possibly because Pee-Wee is too positive of a person to say anything negative. He says that he has to go with "the best pancake he's ever had," and in fact, his favorite is Edward's - so perhaps all of those pancakes truly were "the best he'd ever had."
Remember how I mentioned the Alamo before in relation to Pee-Wee? The Elimination Challenge involves the landmark, which is where the 29 Top Chef contestants began their journey. Each of the five remaining chefs will get a bicycle just like Pee-Wee's, which they will have to use to ride around town to buy their supplies at some local markets and then find a restaurant that will let them cook a family-style dinner. Once finished, they will have to deliver Mr. Herman's dishes to the Alamo, where the feast will take place. All of this must be accomplished in three hours, no easy task.
When the chefs quiz Pee-Wee about what he likes, he pretty much confounds them by just describing a variety of stuff, from chicken to egg salad to spicy food. He also claims to like healthy food, and though he doesn't think he has any allergies, he doesn't know for sure. This could be exciting.
Grayson and Paul both stop at a market to get some chicken, while Sarah also winds up with chicken. Lindsay gets some beef cheeks, while Edward looks for shrimp but can't locate any. He figures that whatever restaurant he winds up at will have some proteins, so he's going to take a chance.