Top Chef Texas – Fire and Ice – And Then There Were Two

Top Chef Texas - Fire and Ice - And Then There Were TwoBack to Whistler this week.  Down to three chefs.  The chefs arrive in Vancouver and get their coats on.  They’re in Chinatown.  Greeted by Emeril and Padma (in a wacky leather top) the chefs are about to get their Quickfire on.

Three Top Chef Masters pop out of the back of the restaurant.  Each chef draws a knife to pair up with a Master.  It’s a tag team Quickfire with your Master Chef and 20 grand up for grabs.  You don’t get to communicate with your Master Chef, you just get to tag off every 10 minutes.  Scary.  You can see why the Top Chef Masters are indeed Masters.  Totally relaxed, totally together.  40 minutes seems to go by in a flash.Top Chef Texas - Fire and Ice - And Then There Were Two

Lindsay and Anita made a dish with scallops three ways.  It seems as though the judges really like it.  Sarah and Floyd made a cod and crab curry dish.  They seem to be on the same page.  No clue what the judges thought.  Paul and Takashi had geoduck.  Paul thought he might have overdone it with Thai chili seeds.  He was right.  Padma, who likes hot food, thought it was it bit much.  Methinks Sarah and Floyd have won it.  And they did.  Sarah walks off 20 grand – she’s won 30 grand since getting to Canada.

Elimination Challenge.  The three contestants are throwing a fire and ice party.  One dish, one cocktail.  Incorporate fire and ice in the dishes (whatever that happens to mean to you), serving 150 culinary elite.Top Chef Texas - Fire and Ice - And Then There Were Two

The chefs run off in their van to Whole Foods and crash through the store, as usual. Chefs get into the kitchen and start ripping into their food.  Paul is hacking up live lobsters.  Sarah is making fresh pasta for 150 people.  Lindsay is revisiting Halibut (the dish that got royally screwed up during restaurant wars.)  There’s a lot of focusing on Fiji water bottles.  That’s too bad, given they’re an awful corporation.  Horrible.  Heartless.

The judges show up wearing winter coats.  Clearly they’re taking the fire and ice thing literally.  Paul serves a King crab dish with lemon snow and a rum Thai chili drink.  Sarah plates up a Five Greens Filled Pasta, and a rum drink.  Her foam on the drink is a rock.  The cocktail and the dish don’t pair too well.  Lindsay is last up.  She pops out a Halibut with Fiery Celery Root.  Her drink is an Escondido.  Each chef has some ups and downs.  Judges seem a bit on the fence on who’s doing what.Top Chef Texas - Fire and Ice - And Then There Were Two

Ever elegant Padma walks in and calls them to judges table, walking through the snow to get there.  Paul’s dish was a bit mild on heat, his arugula seemed like an afterthought, but otherwise seemed like it went over well with the judges.  Sarah’s mousse was just too frozen.  Brave dish, somewhat poor execution on some aspects.  The judges also liked Lindsay’s dish.  The fish was overpowered by the tomato a bit, the cocktail overpowered things a bit, but the pairing made the judges happy.  All good dishes, none flawless, however.  Back to the stew room/train-car, through the snow.

Tough call then.  No one looks particularly comfortable making the call.  One imagines they were left in the stew room for quite a while.  Padma makes one of those let’s toss things up and call the “runner-up” first.  Sarah is moving on to the finale.  So it’s between Lindsay and Paul.  Who’s going home.  Lindsay is heading home.  She just turns and walks out, clearly not wanting to talk to anyone.  I’m pretty sure I’d have the same reaction.  I was fairly certain Sarah would go home for having a frozen black of ice atop some pasta.  That seemed fairly glaring.  It was like a piece of solid carbon on the plate.  Who the hell wants to eat that.  I’m not a big Lindsay or Sarah fan.  I just think Sarah deserved to go home more than Lindsay and I’m afraid Sarah could go home with the whole thing.  That would be annoying, to say the least.Top Chef Texas - Fire and Ice - And Then There Were Two

Paul moves on.  He’s actually the winner, so he gets to go on vacation as well.  Nice.  Lindsay looks devastated.  Poor girl.  Sarah knew all along it would be her versus Paul.  She should buy a lottery ticket then.

One show left.  One competition.  And then we get to end this thing and see who’s Top Chef.  Who the hell is it going to be?  Here’s hoping it’s Paul but we’ll have to wait till next week to find out.

Top Chef Texas – Culinary Games

Top Chef Texas - Culinary GamesWe return this week not in Texas but in Canada – Vancouver to be exact.  That’s pretty far from Texas.  The chefs all rejoin in Canada – as always some with different hair and things going on.  People are even somewhat happy to see Bev.  Another Toyota mention.  Thanks – I had forgotten, what with all the product placement and ham fisted references.

Chef’s get a message to head up to Whistler – big mountain that.  We get plenty of time to look at the inside of Toyota’s van on the way.  Thanks.  Whistler Olympic Park is bustling – and snowy. Continue reading

Top Chef Texas – Mentors – And Then There Were Four

Top Chef Texas - Mentors - And Then There Were FourLast week we were treated to Pee Wee Herman and the cliffhanger concerning who’d be the returning cheftestant from Top Chef Last Chance Kitchen.  Still not happy about that Bravo.

So who’s coming back???  The chefs all return in the morning – and there are 5 cloches.  The returning chef is Bev.  How not happy is everyone.  Poor Bev.  Tonight the Quickfire is the goofy blindfold challenge.  30 minutes to pick your ingredients – blindfolded – and then unblindfold to cook.  The prize for the quickfire – a car or guaranteed spot in the Final.  Huh.Top Chef Texas - Mentors - And Then There Were Four

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Top Chef Texas – Block Party

Top Chef Texas - Block PartyThis week we jump right back into a little Bev bashing.  Can’t be a show without some Bev bashing.  After a quick reappearance of Charlize Theron thanking everyone for a great meal we’re into a Quickfire with Cat Cora.  I like Cat Cora, anyone who drinks Ouzo after every competition is my kinda gal.

They break into teams and it’s one of those challenges where they all need to bread down certain items and use the same ingredients.  Prep shrimp, devein and clean shrimp, and cleaning up some corn for use.

These are basic chef skills and it’s interesting to see who can get what done and who can’t.  Grayson’s pasta is a hot mess, ripping and tearing all over.  They have 45 minutes to get everything done from prep to cooking.  Whatever time they have after all the prep is all they get for cooking.  10 grand on the line but no immunity.  Sarah and Lindsey are a bit catty, unfortunate.  Paul says in the beginning he’s bad luck for Ed whenever they’re together.  They forget to put the shrimp on the plate.  So they aren’t winning. Continue reading

Top Chef Texas Episode 7 Recap – Game On (Oh and We Have A Villain….)

Top Chef Texas Episode 7 - Game On (Oh and We Have A Villain....)

Tonight there are 12 chefs remaining in the competition.  Getting down there then.

For the Quickfire Challenge guest judge was Tim Love, himself a Top Chef Master.  The challenge was tequila.  No immunity tonight, but there is a five thousand dollar prize.  Chefs were given a half hour to taste their tequila and cook.  After my best friends bachelor party a few months ago I’m not sure I could ever take a sip of tequila again.  Ruined.  Maybe I could cook with it but I’m sure I would have heaved all over the table had I needed to taste it.  I was forced to do more shots of Patron that evening than I was in my whole life before that.  Gack!Top Chef Texas Episode 7 - Game On (Oh and We Have A Villain....)

I want to know who’s responsible for setting all the timers in the kitchen to go off at once.  It sounds like the fire alarms going off in my college dorm when they all bang off at once.  That’s some synchronization.  Having to take a tasting of 12 dishes with even a sip of tequila with it, I’d imagine the two judges had quite a buzz going by the end.  Nice to see not even 5 minutes into the show Heather is giving dirty looks about people’s dishes.  Glad the cameramen are so good at catching this stuff.  Making that extra effort to be well liked I see.  Can’t tell you how happy I was to see her dish get slammed by Tim Love. Continue reading

Top Chef Texas – Episode 6 (Dallas and Steaks)

Top Chef Texas - Episode 6 RecapThis week we start off with a Quickfire Challenge which brings Chef Dean Fearing from Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas as guest judge.  The challenge is all about sauces.  More specifically the chefs pull knives with one of the five mother sauces labelled on them.  They must take their given sauce and use that as a base for a sauce in their dish.

There are 13 chefs this week, and I still struggle to keep everyone 100% straight.  I’m starting to get a bit better hold on them all, the editors are definitely doing a better job of portraying everyone now that things are thinning out to a reasonable number.  And I have a villain now, someone I can hate.  I always need someone I can really route against in this show.  There’s always so many worthy chefs, it’s nice to have someone I can openly mock and not feel the least bit bad about it. Continue reading