'Top Chef: Texas': Taking it down to two
February 23rd, 2012
01:48 PM ET

'Top Chef: Texas': Taking it down to two

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.

Of course, the producers couldn’t just leave it at that. They’d cook blind tag-team style, so the Masters cooked for ten minutes unobserved, then the contestants jumped in. Repeat twice.

The Masters got a few clams shucked and a few measly eggs cracked before tagging out (Top Chef Masters? More like Top Chef Mosey Around-ers!). Paul’s partner, Takashi Yagihashi, started off with geoduck, and there are few things grosser-looking than geoduck. It’s like something out of H.R. Giger’s nightmares.

Anyway, Takashi felt mushrooms would go perfectly with the mollusk, and what do you know, Paul beelined for the mushrooms. Sorry Sarah and Lindsay, but this guy’s on another level.

Paul and Takashi finished with geoduck sashimi with fried white fish and chiles. Team Lindsay made scallops with bok choy and fried roe with Chinese sausage. Team Sarah made cod with coconut curry and crab salad.

Paul’s dish was too spicy even for well-known asbestos mouths Padma and Emeril, so Sarah won the $20,000 Quickfire.

The Elimination Challenge theme was “fire and ice.” A taste of vintage “Top Chef,” it called for a cocktail paired with one dish, and the dish had to have a hot and a cold element. The winner would get a trip to Costa Rica.

Lindsay chose to cook halibut to prove that it really was Bev who screwed up the halibut during Restaurant Wars eons ago. Because, again, the women on this show are strangely obsessed with Bev.

Also, presented without comment: at one point, Sarah told Lindsay, “I love that technique.” That is all.

Dishin’ time! Paul’s cocktail of rum, kaffir lime and Thai chiles was called the Pan Am (like the show, it was on the BUBBLE. Zing!). He paired that with king crab with lobster broth and lemon snow. The dish showcased an impressive depth of flavor, highlighted by the broth. But Tom just could not get over the leaf of arugula on top, ranting like it was some affront to the senses.

It’s also worth noting that after going too spicy in the Quickfire, Paul reined in the Scoville units, only to be told this dish wasn’t spicy enough.

As for Sarah, she made an Agrumi with gin, kumquat and mango. She also served pasta stuffed with five greens, with frozen sformato on top. Hers was the best drink of the night and her dish was the most creative, but the frozen custard was too hard.

Lindsay made what she called an Encendido (but what we all know was just a fancy Bloody Mary) with vodka, tomato and horseradish. She paired it with her redemption halibut with fiery celery root. Though the Encendido wasn’t the best cocktail of the night, it was the best pairing. Very nuanced metrics we’re exploring here, people.

The halibut was cooked perfectly (take that, Bev!) and the tomato remoulade had a nice roasted flavor, but it overpowered the fish. Like Paul, Lindsay - *gasp* - threw in some extraneous greens.

Conceptually, Sarah’s dish was the boldest, while Paul’s was the most cohesive. Lindsay’s vision was the flimsiest; throw in a couple mistakes with her flavors, and that was enough to send Lindsay home. So much for showing Bev who’s hali-best.

Not surprisingly, the Costa Rica prize went to Paul. Did you really think he would lose because of a stray leaf? Get real, Tom.

So it’s Paul vs. Sarah in the final challenge next week. And I think we all know who Top Chef Nation is pulling for.

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Filed under: television • Top Chef • TV recaps

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Grover Stanaland

    Celery is a long-season crop that can be tricky to grow, some might say, the trickiest of all. It likes fertile soil, cool temperatures, and constant moisture. It will not tolerate heat and can be hard to transplant. Summer crops in the north and winter crops in the south make celery a year-round producer. All the work is worth it when you harvest crunchy, green stalks..,'`

    All the best http://www.calaguas.org/index.php

    June 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nana

    I agree that Sarah is beyond mean. I was blown away by how cloyingly sweet she was to Beverly while being so mean to her! Beverly was a better cook and a better person, her time will come. Please, if there is a food god, no not let Sarah win.

    February 28, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. guayanillensa

    guys who ever wins they deserve it you guys imagine as bad as it is to be on TV they must be a nervous reck imagine cooking for the best chefs in the world- i would get a little grauchy too ... imagine the nervous system is very unpredictable I am pretty sure that they are great people !

    February 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marny

    I lost interest in my fav show – this season was boring and way commercial.

    February 25, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rick

    plus i just noticed all of your posts happened at like 0650 am so maybe you should get a life

    February 24, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rick

    yo amy chill this is a tv show and you werent there to say whos food was good or not. plus if bev was so much better than sarah then why is she at home? just saying

    February 24, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sally Mae

    have they had a cooking match with roadkill yet? a little mystery meat makes a fine casserole. we specialize in that in the holler. dats some good eatin!

    February 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • noliah

      Your not very good at this satire thing. Go practice somewhere.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Gissella

    Should be Beverly and Paul aty the finale. Sarah always complaining that Bev only cook ansian food!! what about her! Sarah only cook italian food!! she is a nasty person.. ugly soul

    February 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • noliah

      Yes, exactly....ugly soul.....nothing beautiful to reflect in her food.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gissella

    Should be Beverly and Paul aty the finale. Sarah always complaining that Bev only cook ansian food!! what about her! Sarah only cook italian food!! she is a nasty petrson.. ugly soul

    February 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cindy

    Sarah is not a nice person,,,,Bev should be where she is!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bobby John

    Due they mak possum stew on dis hear show? Momma maks it good!

    February 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shannon

    Sarah is not nice, but she has consistently been one of the best chefs. I think the judges got it right deciding on Paul and Sarah in the finale. GO PAUL!

    February 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I don't think Sarah has consistently been one of the best chefs. I think she's been lucky several times. Yes, she does have some talent, but Beverly did better than her quite a few times. I think Beverly has made food that made me want to jump through the television far more often than Sarah or Lindsay, and Sarah's dish with the frozen rectangle on top looked ridiculous. I can't believe she didn't go home after serving something that stupid. She's been very lucky. Some talent, yes. But not enough to have come this far.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jude

    It should have been Paul and Beverly!!! Sarah is not nice and she did not win much challenges...Bev was way better and they treated her horrible

    February 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kim

    Top Chef is GREAT, as usual. All three were wonderful. Good luck Sarah and Paul!!
    You haters need a life!!

    February 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      You're defending two people (Sarah and Lindsay) who treated another human being horribly for absolutely no reason whatsoever and WE need to get a life? PUH-LEAZE!! Sounds like you're one of the "mean girls" and you're just defending your sisters. YUCK!

      February 24, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Esperanza

    I am glad Lindsey is out, now I hope Paul kicks Sarah's ass. They are both horrible people, but at least Sarah is openly mean, the other one, you have to watch your back. I would never go to a restaurant that would hire this two.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  16. San Jose

    This is by FAR the worst season. It's the only one that I stopped watching, and that was back on week 6. The only updates I see are from the commercials. Sarah is an awful person, it would be equally awful so see someone like her win such a great prize.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phoenix Justice

      It has been a lame season and it all with their two-part "whittling" process. I also think that the producers went overboard on the Beverly/Sarah drama and saved Sarah one too many times.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Zephyr

    Has anybody else noticed that Paul has won the most elimination challenges in Top Chef history? My boy is a beast.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I hadn't noticed that, but I wouldn't doubt that one bit. He's a really great chef. He's made this season interesting without being mean like some of the other chef-testants.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  18. sue

    The worst Top Chef ever! If Sarah wins I will never watch it again. Stupid challenges, what does skiing and shooting food have to do with being a chef.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol

      Is your hand on your hip and stomping a foot while sayin that?

      February 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      I so agree do not like her at all!!!!

      February 23, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I agree! I can't STAND Sarah!

      She just constantly whines and complains about Beverly, who could cook her way around Sarah with one hand tied behind her back, a blindfold, and hopping on one foot!

      I am glad Lindsay went home, but I am really irritated that Sarah is in the finale after the way she treated Beverly. So she didn't like the way Beverly worked or the fact that she cooked Asian food a lot. BIG DEAL! All chefs specialize, and there's nothing wrong with that. And treating her that way because she doesn't like the way she works is just pathetic. Sarah is just not a nice person at all.

      I've noticed that no one says, "She ONLY cooks Italian food, or he ONLY cooks French food." It's almost always Asian food people rag on. What's up with that?

      Come on, Paul! You can kick her butt with one hand a single burner! I'm rooting for you!!

      February 24, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Viveka

      I'm with you. Worst season ever. And if that bad-tempered, obnoxious Sarah wins, the judges are crazy.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |

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