Wild game and mind games on 'Top Chef: Texas'
December 15th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Wild game and mind games on 'Top Chef: Texas'

This week on “Cold Case: Emeril Lagasse,” the 12 remaining cheftestants took on booze and boars.

But the biggest hurdle was Heather The Steamroller, who has gleefully embraced the path of villainy like some sort of comfort-food-cooking Harvey Dent.

We began with the booze. For the Quickfire, chefs had to pair their dishes with tequila. But not just any tequila! Tequila Don Julio, “the original ultra-premium tequila.” Because mere regular-premium tequila just wouldn't be good enough.

On the bottom, we had Sarah’s undercooked fennel risotto, some overcooked lime chicken courtesy of Chris J. (a.k.a. Pebbles), and Heather, whose dish was maligned with the “chain restaurant” comparison.

On top, Ty-Lor’s steamed clams with Thai caramel sauce beat out Pretty Chris’ raw oysters and Lindsay’s salmon.

For the elimination challenge, the chefs were divided into six pairs, with each team cooking one game meat. But there was a twist: The cheftestants would choose which three teams to put on the chopping block, and the judges would then send home both members of the losing team.

In a stroke of luck production genius, The Steamroller was paired with Beverly, her favorite victim. On the path to their five-spice duck breast with polenta, we found out that Heather is strangely, vehemently opposed to cooking Asian food. Like, to the point where she mentioned it so forcefully so many times to her Asian teammate that you sorta kinda suspected she wasn’t just talking about Asian FOOD.

This led to the Heather Slam of the Week brought to you by the Glad Family of Products. Last week the honor was bestowed upon Dakota, and this week it was Ed who said, “Honestly, Heather’s being a complete b-–h.”

As for the other teams, Lindsay and Pretty Chris had boar and were a total bore. Sarah and Paul’s squab two-ways was in the middle of the pack, despite Sarah’s best efforts to land them on the bottom. In a bit of classic “Top Chef” foreshadowing, Sarah declared she makes sausage “every day,” and proceeded to royally screw up the sausage. As in, the meat converged into a hulking spheroid in the middle of the casing, like a giant meatball inside a snakeskin.

On Team Elk we had Grayson and Pebbles. Pebbles decided to make a sweet potato chain link fence thing that he’d done “a hundred times” and - oh, you can see where this is going - he ruined the potatoes.

Rounding out the dishes we had Ed and Ty-Lor’s quail with pickled cherries, and Nyesha and Dakota on venison duty. Dakota claimed to have cooked venison “millions of times” and yet shockingly, crazily, UNBELIEVABLY...she severely undercooked it. Three “I do this all the time” jinxes in one episode.

The judges liked Ed and Ty’s quail the best, citing its earthiness, so it was an episode sweep for Ty, back from last week’s abyss.

The chefs then had to choose the bottom three pairs, and after some bickering, they were trotted out to Judges’ Table. Though the judges enjoyed Nyesha and Dakota’s beet gratin and squash, and even the flavor of the venison, the meat was simply too rare.

Grayson and Pebbles found themselves on the bottom for their juniper roasted elk with mushy sweet potato hoops. But they were safe since there was no way two people were going home for good elk and one subpar element.

And then we had the duck disaster duo, whose dish was too big, rubbery, and jumbled. Heather steamrolled Beverly, and Beverly cried, which is like saying Beverly was awake. In the stew room, Heather complained she had no say in the dish. Um, she had the ONLY say!

The whole night Heather bellowed about not adapting her cooking style, and got annoyed when Beverly asked for input. And after declaring to the judges she’d serve the dish to her customers, Heather had the gall, the GALL I tell you, to claim Beverly overrode her. Nonsense! Pish posh! Poppycock!

After all that, it seemed pretty clear Heather and Beverly were goners.

Once again, I was wrong. The judges cruelly sent Dakota and Nyesha packing. So...Ty-Lor totally botched the steak-cooking in a steak challenge, and survived. Dakota alone botches the venison-cooking in a game challenge, and she AND Nyesha go home? Nonsense! Pish posh! Poppycock!

Now I’ll have to root for Nyesha to right this wrong on “Last Chance Kitchen.”

What did you guys think?

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Filed under: television • Top Chef • TV recaps

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. JohnnyBKK

    I think the author meant to say: Without a Trace: Emeril Lagasse. Tom called it right in that Heather and Beverly made two dishes on the plate. Heather is leading all Cheftestants for winning anger management therapy. It will be interesting to see how she fares in Restaurant Wars working as a big team player! I did agree completely with the judges decision. I'm guessing that is why Heather felt confident enough to run over (and then slap it in reverse and back over Beverly again) at Judge's Table since she assumed they were safe from elimination.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. mjenks

    Heather is awesome. THE BEST.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Julia's Child

    Heather is a loud-mouthed bully and her use of the word "Asian" over and over again leads this viewer to believe her problem with Asian isn't that style of cooking but an Asian that WAS cookking.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. @IHATETEXAS

    Do you know why birds fly upside down over Texas? 'Cause there ain't nothin' there worth crapping on!

    December 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mmark

    That Heather is just sooooo awesome. She is tallented, cute, funny, and classy. I hope she wins.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Top Chef FAIL

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmv2Rqm5poE&w=640&h=390]

    December 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sad, but not into it.

    I hate to say this because Top Chef is typically my favorite show, but I'm just not into it this season. I'm finding it very difficult to enjoy.

    And for the record – Heather is absolutely THE most obnoxious contestant on this show. Ever. What a big, fat, bully.

    December 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |

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