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Top Chef: Texas Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

February 28, 2012

The agony of defeat...it's even worse when you lose to Sarah.

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Her excitement is short-lived, though, because Paul draws Takashi, Lindsay is paired with Anita and Sarah is set to work with Floyd. How awful – she has to work with an actual Top Chef Masters winner! The disappointment on her face is obvious.

Meanwhile, Paul notes that while he does of course have a background in Asian cooking, he doesn’t really like the expectation that he should automatically win this challenge. He’s clearly very nervous.

The Quickfire will have the Masters and the cheftestants taking turns to create an Asian-themed dish. Every ten minutes, they’ll tag in and take over, hopefully understanding what their partner was trying to accomplish (but without communicating verbally about it). The winner of the Quickfire will take home $20,000.

The Masters start us off, and Sarah notes that most likely they’re going to be preparing the station for cooking. Takashi grabs geoduck and says he wants to make sashimi. He is confident that with Paul’s background in Japanese restaurants, his partner will understand what he’s going for here.

Anita is working on a trio of scallops that would highlight three different Asian cultures. Floyd notes that he has never been very good in Quickfires (he never won one on Masters), but he’s stepping up his game so that he can help Sarah to a win. His specialty is Indian food, which we’ll note is probably a lot harder for Sarah than what her competitors are going to have to come up with.




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They flip, and Lindsay does notice that Anita has deconstructed the scallops into three separate elements. Paul sees mirugai (aka geoduck) and worries because a lot of people don’t really like it. Sarah sees that Floyd has started a curry, and as we expected, her comfort level with this sort of dish is very low. She decides to do a cold crab salad with the fish.

We switch once again, and Takashi is dismayed to see that Paul is making dashi. He adapts nicely, though. Anita is pleased with what Lindsay has done during her time, while Floyd is thrilled to see that Sarah has done exactly what he wanted her to do.

The cheftestants come to finish it out. Lindsay is feeling intimidated, though she does note that Anita has prepared well. Paul finds that Takashi has set up the plates, and he figures he ought to add some Thai chili sauce, because Padma likes her plates with some heat. Sarah is nervous, but she’s all business.

Lindsay is first to serve, and her dish is scallop two ways: bok choy & chili, and fried roe with sausage & water chestnut. Anita says that she had hoped for a scallop in three parts, but says that Lindsay got it pretty close. Padma eats every bit of it.

Sarah & Floyd have made a pan-seared cod with coconut curry and crab salad with clementine & amaranth. It is absolutely beautiful, with bright, appealing colors. When Emeril asks her what she dredged the fish in, she answers, “Rice flour.” Floyd is so excited at this point – he says, “You know, I was looking for it and couldn’t find it!” She did exactly what he wanted her to do.


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