Top Chef: Texas, episode 7 recap: The Supervillain
On last week’s episode of Top Chef: Texas, we finally got the one thing we need to take the series beyond merely satisfying and into sinfully enjoyable: We got our villain. She arrived in the hostile, bullying person of Heather Terhune, executive chef of Sable Kitchen & Bar. Heather blasted fellow Chicagoan Beverly Kim (chef de cuisine at Aria) for taking “two days” (well, really a few hours over the course of two days) to clean and cook 400 shrimp. And then she blasted her again. And again. But, oh my, we didn’t fully realize just what a villain we were getting. Until last night. Wowsa. All the villains of all the Top Chefs combined have nothing on Heather.
At the top, Nyesha states the obvious about the shrimp debacle: “I couldn’t believe how harsh Heather was on Beverly.” How sweetly satisfying, then, that Heather ends up on the bottom of the Quickfire Challenge, which tasked the chefs with devising dishes pairing with a tequila. And even more satisfying that guest judge Tim Love dismissed Heather’s stab at a mango avocado salad with rock shrimp as “a new special at a new chain restaurant.” Ty-Lor takes the Quickfire win and $5K—but not immunity—for his steamed clams with Don Julio 1942.
The Elimination Challenge divides the 12 chefs into teams of two, each chef paired up with the person standing next to them. They’ve got three hours to cook game: quail, squab, duck, etc. The added twist: Not just one contestant but both members of a team will be going home. And the chefs get to weigh in on each other’s dishes. Just coincidence that Heather gets paired with Bev? Or are the TV gods looking down at Top Chef and gifting it with the best (and by best I mean worst) chef pairing imaginable? Heather wastes no time laying into Bev with cutting, needless, what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-this-person remarks. Bev “doesn’t think like a chef,” Heather sniffs.
Heather is the playground bully, and Beverly is the delicate, sensitive kid whom bullies can smell across the sandbox. Solidifying that impression, Beverly recalls being in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship with a guy and having to escape while he was at work. To sum up: Heather is Bev’s abuser redux. With great understatement, Beverly says, “Heather’s definitely bossy” and, at another moment, “Heather’s been very abrasive and controlling today.” What? “Bossy”? “Controlling”? Let Edward tell it: “Heather’s being a complete bitch,” he says. But Bev will never be so direct with Heather. And the bully knows it.
The winner of $10K: Ed and Ty for their quail. The bottom three pairs: Nyesha/Dakota, Chris J./Grayson and, of course, Heather/Kim. Heather’s thought on why she’s been voted among the worst? “Maybe because I was on the top of the last challenge.” She emits arrogance like cheap perfume. After the Judges’ Table, Heather shifts from pompous and mean to full-on crazy mode, blaming Bev for everything wrong with their dish, telling Bev she doesn’t have a say in their dish, and throwing her weight around the kitchen like a mad, rabid ox.
The losers packing their knives: Dakota and Nyesha for their undercooked venison. No way in hell would the Top Chef producers send Heather home. They’re no fools. They may just have found the best TC villain ever. Next week: Heather skins 101 Dalmatians and feeds on their tender puppy flesh.