'Top Chef: Texas': The comeback kid
February 9th, 2012
01:48 PM ET

'Top Chef: Texas': The comeback kid

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.

Everyone did a pretty solid job picking ingredients....except Ed. What he thought was pancetta turned out to be pork casings.

As for the actual dishes, Beverly’s striped bass was undercooked. Great to see her putting that second chance to good use!

Lindsay made unspecified “fish” with bulgur wheat and marscapone, and Paul made prawns with Thai tomato salad; both were passable.

Rather impressively, Ed finished in the top two. In a clever move, he boiled the pork casings into a salty broth for his zucchini “udon.”

Rounding out the top was Sarah, who made corn soup with chili and peaches, which earned her her first Quickfire victory. For the prize, she got to choose between a new Prius and a guaranteed spot in the finals. She took the finals, because she’s a coward.

Next, each chef’s cooking mentor entered the kitchen, and everyone started bawling. You know those wonderful videos of Iraq veterans surprising their kids at school, and everyone just loses their bleep with tears of joy? That’s the level of blubbering we saw. It was uncomfortable. They know this is a GAME SHOW, right?

In between everyone else’s uncontrollable sobs, Padma informed the group they had to make a dish to impress their mentors for the Elimination Challenge. The winner would get the Prius that Sarah turned down.

And since Sarah wasn’t competing, she got to hang out with her mentor all night. “Ooohh....grrrrreaaat...” winced the mentor.

To the food: Beverly made shrimp and barbecue pork noodles. She had to cook in small batches since she was using a wok, which was the kind of risk that could launch you into the finals. Her shrimp were perfectly cooked (according to her mentor, so yeah, COLLUSION!).

The judges agreed her flavors were clear, and they were impressed she pulled off the wok tactic. So impressed, in fact, that she secured a spot in the finals. So it’ll be Sarah vs. Beverly XXXIV next week.

But the Prius went to Paul because, well, we’ve been over this before. The flavors in his chilled sunchoke and dashi soup coalesced and demonstrated a refinement that is usually found with more experienced chefs.

In other words, if Paul doesn’t win this season, it will be one of the biggest choke jobs in “Top Chef” history.

The judges said they enjoyed all the food, and that the mentors were proud, but there are rules. Someone had to go home, and on the bottom we had Lindsay and Ed.

Lindsay had the famous mentor (Michelle Bernstein), so she sort of buckled under the pressure. Her seafood stew with cous cous was good, but the emulsified cream was out of place and the dried herbs messed with the flavors.

As for Ed, he made pork belly with smoked oyster crema and pickled vegetables. The pickles were an undisputed hit, but the “slightly off” oyster sauce brought the dish down. Through clenched teeth (obvi), Ed admitted he used canned oysters because the grocery store didn’t have any freshies.

Oh boy. The judges do NOT like inflexibility. Tom was shocked Ed didn’t adapt his plan at the store, and that was a greater lapse in judgment than anything Lindsay did.

So Ed was eliminated and treated us to one of the most graceful exits in the show’s history.

Next week - why finish “Top Chef: Texas” in Texas when you can go to...British Columbia?! Also, ice smashing.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. LAS

    Maybe they didn't want three Asian chefs to make up the majority of the final four...

    Also, they should stop criticizing them for always doing "Asian flavours" — there's a great deal of diversity in Asian cuisine, and they never tell the Italian chefs to stop making Italian food...

    February 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Armand's

      I totally agree! Plus, how ignorant of people to use the blanket statement "Asian cuisine". Try telling a Greek chef that it's Turkish or a Spanish chef it's just Mexican. There are huge differences between Thai and Chinese or instance.

      February 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tracie

    You are just jealous.

    February 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peggy Smith

      Of what? People who can't spell?

      February 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • CombatTrash

      Jealous of what? Not being able to spell? Not being able to compose a proper sentence? Sorry – you have nothing that I am jealous about.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peggy Smith

    Why can't these chefs (and writers) get the names of foods straight? I am constantly seeing and hearing the word "marscarpone," when it is "mascarpone" and always mispronounced and misspelled! I would think that chefs could learn how to spell and say ingredients correctly. Another example is "expresso" instead of "espresso" - so annoying!

    February 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. =^_^=

    Ewww! What is wrong with you?!

    February 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tracie

    My husband sat on my face last night after we ate salisbury steak at Piccadilly. He farrted d like 5 times, smelled like salsa.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • CombatTrash

      Your parents and family must be very proud of you posting this trash on a public forum. You are a coward hiding in anonymity and very fortunate that CNN does not follow its own Rules of Conduct and ban you. Truly a piece of human trash.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mornon Bob

    Im with you. It really was a good episode. The special effects were incredible. Especially for a reality type show. The time portal was super realistic. Then when Joseph Smith stepped through it I was just blown away. Im sure more than just us Mormons were impressed with this. Then when he rescued the hippies. All I can say is WOW ! It was awesome television.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alexis

    still in love with Carl... I crack up all the time!

    February 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CJ

    I'm sorry but Lindsay should have gone home. She made more mistakes than Ed. I think she is the one that stayed because of who her mentor is! Of course that's my opinion. Maybe Ed's dish was really lousy.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |

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