January 5th, 2012
12:07 PM ET
“Top Chef: Texas” took a week off over the holidays so we could snipe and bicker with our relatives uninterrupted.
So on Wednesday night, it was good to be back alone, watching cheftestants snipe and bicker because zomg IT’S
But before slathering themselves in the age-old Texas tradition, the chefs had an avant-garde Quickfire. Using modern food techniques, they created dishes for Nathan Myhrvold, who just collaborated on the cooking encyclopedia "Modernist Cuisine." So yeah, he’s not impressed by your faux caviar.
As Top Chef Kitchen became a frenzied lab, we learned Pretty Chris paints female nudes in his spare time (ostensibly we were told this to illustrate some crap about finding beauty in everything and food is his canvas and who cares).
During service, clumsy Beverly sprayed the judges with curry foam and knocked over a bunch of plates, blaming such social awkwardness on the fact that she wasn’t allowed to go to sleepovers as a child. So that means I’m a well-adjusted adult thanks to all those nights spent playing Earthworm Jim till dawn while chugging Surge and scarfing Shock Tarts?
Also notable during service was The Pebbles Experience. First, you were to consume miracle berry (seriously, that’s its name), which makes sour foods taste sweet. Next, he illustrated the effect by serving a lemon wedge. Then, his main course was deconstructed cheesecake with shattered blackberries, followed by lime sparkling water which tasted like soda.
The fanfare didn’t really pay off, as Ty-Lor won immunity with his watermelon with honey, pepper and olive oil powder.
For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs split into three teams of three and would cook barbecue for 300 guests. Each team had to make chicken, beef brisket, pork ribs and two sides, and the winning team would get $15,000.
The Blue Team, made up of Grayson, Lindsay and Paul settled on Asian-style BBQ. The White Team consisted of the two Chrises and Bev, who nearly burned down the RV while flambeing some bourbon.
Of course, that could’ve been avoided had she gone to a few slumber parties. I didn’t notice until this episode that Bev’s a real-life version of the klutz from that “Story of Everest” sketch on “Mr. Show.”
Now, for the bickering. The Red Team’s Sarah and Ed butted heads throughout the cooking phase while Ty-Lor stayed out of the fray. Once Sarah was carted off in an ambulance for heat exhaustion, Ed’s passive-aggressive fury was unleashed as he snidely wondered if she were dead.
Shorthanded, Ty and Ed went into panic mode and hacked up all the meats instead of waiting to carve them to order (their sweat-to-barbecue sauce ratio must’ve been off the charts). Ed’s belief that Sarah was milking her sickness only strengthened after she showed up just in time to plate her chicken for the judges.
This drama carried us right to Judges’ Table. Every dish looked better than any barbecue I’ve had, so they’re all winners in my book. But in reality (TV), there can only be one winner, and that was the Blue Team.
Paul, Lindsay and Grayson were the only ones to showcase originality, so the Asian gambit worked. Their chicken was so good Tom wanted the recipe, the ribs – cooked with orange and fish sauce – were tangy and smoky, and the brisket was apparently leagues ahead of its competition (even though Padma earlier said the Red Team’s brisket tasted the best).
On the bottom was everyone else. Without immunity, Ty-Lor may very well have gone home for his over-seasoned, tough ribs and for being one half of the off-putting orange mint summer slaw. Sarah’s chicken was rubbery but inoffensive. And while Ed’s brisket may have tasted great, he signed its death warrant when he pre-carved it.
On the White Team, Beverly made KFC-caliber cole slaw and beans that were so undercooked they were nearly inedible. As grillmaster, Pebbles didn’t have much to do with the team’s lackluster flavors, but the judges found his beer can chicken to be homely. Pretty Chris was responsible for the Dr. Pepper-centric rubs for the brisket and pork, the latter of which was so salty it was inedible.
Alas, bad barbecue sauce trumps bad sides, so Pretty Chris went home instead of Bev. Back to the nude paintings, Leonardo (da Vinci or DiCaprio, either one works here).
Get ready for next week, because zomg IT’S RESTAURANT WARS!!
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