Top Chef: Texas Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 8, 2012
The judges enjoy Sarah's dish, but comment that there is no salt. At this stage in the game, incorrectly using seasoning can be a game breaker. This has been a problem for Sarah a few times. Pee-Wee loves Lindsay's dish, partially because it looks likes it's in a boat. The gorgonzola is delicious to him, but Padma and Gail find it soggy. The fresh corn in Ed's dish is well appreciated, as is the sauce; however, the texture of the chicken is called "weird." His decision to undercook it may have come back to bite him.
When Pee-Wee sees the yolk stuffed in Grayson's chicken, he claims that "he has a little prize." The dish is well liked, but Tom comments that the dish doesn't come together that well, with the salad portion veering in a strange direction. And to close it out, they taste Paul's dish. They say it's good. Surprise! Pee-Wee does notice that everyone ate more of Paul's dish than anyone else's. We're starting to think Paul has a future in this business.
The judges ask the entire group to come to Judges Table, which is in keeping with the positive spirt that seems to be surrounding Pee-Wee. All chefs receive a lot of compliments, with Pee-Wee loving the option of having skin or no skin on Paul's dish, and he also liked the summer squash - something he'd never enjoyed before. Ed is told that his chicken has a weird texture, and realizes his mistake at undercooking it a bit. Grayson's dish, as mentioned, didn't really come together. Squash and tomatoes just don't go together, and this bothered all the judges. Pee-Wee also comments on how large the dish was, which is again a problem she has. Where Grayson comes from, you make big meals, and she's not used to the smaller portions that more refined diners enjoy. Sarah's dish, as noted during the dinner, was good but under-seasoned. Obviously, Tom likes Lindsay's dish because it reminds him of childhood. Gail thinks the dish had too much salad dressing, but this seems a mild complaint overall.
When Pee-Wee names the winner, we see that Lindsay is continuing to show some signs of strength. Paul is also informed that he is safe. Thus, Edward, Grayson and Sarah are our bottom three for the week. None of them seem to have made huge mistakes but Tom's agitation at the way Grayson's dish came together would indicate that she's probably the one who will be eliminated this evening. He's been catching her in some elementary mistakes over the last few weeks, and tonight's dish appears to be another example of this same type of issue.
Ed's error is pretty egregious, too. He does comment that he probably made the biggest technical error, but at the same time he seems to be in a good place about it.
Our instincts are correct, though, because Padma sends Grayson on her way...
but wait! All season long, unbeknownst to the chefs still remaining in the competition, there has been a "last chance" competition a la Survivor's Redemption Island taking place with the eliminated chefs. Each week, the newly eliminated chef competes with the person who is still standing from the group of chefs who are theoretically no longer in the game. So, Grayson will now be battling Beverly to see which of the two of them will re-enter the game. Annoyingly, even though Bravo shows the episodes of Last Chance Kitchen online, tonight's "show" does not reveal the person who will join the other chefs as a contestant once again. Instead, we'll learn their identity in the next episode of Top Chef. Hint to Bravo: that's probably not the best way to reward people who are taking the time to seek out your extra content.