Paul Qui torched the competition all season long on “Top Chef: Texas,” and on Wednesday the Austin native defeated Sarah Grueneberg for the coveted title of Top Chef.
And, sure, a title is nice, but he also got the $125,000 grand prize that comes with it (not to mention the imminent endorsement deals).
Our trusty “Top Chef” recapper chatted with Paul over the phone shortly after the finale to get the dish (get it?) on everything from the Beverly drama to the cast’s party habits. Even after racking up six figures and an express ticket to food fame, Paul sounded as cool as cucumber kimchee. And that’s exactly why we love him.
After 29 chefs (and what felt like 29 episodes), “Top Chef: Texas” crowned a winner.
In the end, Paul got the Food and Wine magazine feature and added $125,000 to his already sizable stack of winnings. And it was never really in doubt.
OK, that last part is a lie. This was one of the tightest finales in the show’s nine seasons, with Tom saying it was the best food they’ve eaten.
We've got one more week after this to go, because Bravo’s squeezing every last drop out of “Top Chef: Texas,” Daniel Plainview-style.
Though three chefs remained, Sarah mentioned departed fourth chef Beverly 16 times, give or take, before the Quickfire. She’s like a scorned guy who insists he’s over Brenda by constantly bringing up how over Brenda he is.
Once Padma and Emeril greeted our cheftestants in Vancouver, they laid out the Quickfire: pair up with an Asian Top Chef Master to cook an Asian-influenced dish.
This week on “Top Chef: Texas,” the final four met atop Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, where they were faced with the most outlandish cooking challenges yet. (Hard to believe, I know.)
The cheftestants learned they’d go through a three-event gauntlet at the 2010 Olympics site. The winner of each event secured a spot in the final and skipped the remaining tests, with one chef eliminated after the third challenge.
But first, we were treated to Lindsay and Sarah complaining yet again about Beverly. Somehow, they still weren’t over this whole “personality clash” thing. Um, WHO CARES if your personalities clash with Bev’s? So you aren’t compatible, big deal - you’re not dating.
The first order of business on this week’s episode of “Top Chef: Texas” was to unveil the winner of “Last Chance Kitchen.” Beverly beat Grayson, meaning (at least) another week of Bev whimpering and Sarah sighing.
For the Quickfire, the chefs had to pick ingredients while blindfolded - something about having to know everything about your ingredients. Which makes sense.
Unless, of course, they’re forced to Mr. Magoo their way around vacuum-packed meats and canned goods, which prevents them from smelling or feeling or otherwise identifying foods.
The five remaining chefs on “Top Chef: Texas” entered the kitchen in last night’s episode to a comical number of yard-high pancake stacks - and the Incredible Aging Pee-wee Herman riding his bike.
It was all part of the "pancakes for Pee-wee" (sounds like a youth football fundraiser) Quickfire. Three of the chefs cooked fairly straightforward flapjacks, but Paul and Ed’s were notable.
Paul made rolled pancakes with black pepper and champagne dippin’ dots (the bubbly of the future?). Meanwhile, Ed made crispy pancake bits with bacon and berries, which Pee-wee decreed worthy of the $5,000 prize.
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