Top Chef Texas Episode 13 Recap | "I agree with Pee Wee"
"Pinch hitter" Julia Kramer here filling in for the one-and-only Novid Parsi, who had the audacity to skip last night's Top Chef to see a PLAY. What did Novid miss?
Grayson misses Chris Jones. Ed wakes up in a blazer. Everyone looks sleepy, lifeless, ready to die. Padma is surrounded by pancakes. Pee Wee Herman rides in on his bicycle. (Sidenote: Pee Wee story involving Chicago Tonight's Phil Ponce can be found here.) Okay so pretty much everything after this point stops making sense. Can anyone tell me why Pee Wee was on the show? He seemed to make everyone visibly uncomfortable: Every time he makes a "joke," the camera cuts to a contestant or judge who looks more afraid than amused. Anyway, the chefs have to cook pancakes. Pee Wee walks around "judging" the pancakes. And by judging I mean he says, "It's the best pancake I've ever had" about each one. At the end of this charade, he announces Ed the winner. This sets the tone for the rest of the episode, which, either as a result of Pee Wee's constant non-sequiters or bizarre editing choices, never really bothers to explain why any particular individual wins or loses a challenge.
"Chefs, I'm sure you all remember the Alamo," sayeth Padma, and indeed they do, since this was the start of their Top Chef journey, when they were young and impressionable and I was convinced Chuy was going to win it all. Each chef is given a map, a bike and $100 and has to prepare a meal and bring it to the Alamo to feed the judges and Pee Wee. Oh, they also have to find a restaurant to cook the meal at, although my WILD GUESS is that the five restaurants had been notified by producers beforehand. Anyway this is actually a kind of amazing and funny conceit, especially when Ed is trying to prep his meal in, like, an hour and the owner of the bougie bed-and-breakfast where he is cooking nonchalantly asks him to make two over-easy eggs for some guests. So there are a lot of shots of the chefs riding their bikes, Lindsey seems totally screwed (which means—spoiler alert—she's going to win) and somehow they all manage to get their dishes done. Although pretty much they all make chicken.
Gail is back! Which means there is someone on the show making thoughtful, articulate comments about the food! I love Gail. She, Tom, Padma and Pee Wee try the chefs' food. Pee Wee refers to the beef cheek as pork and the goat cheese as gorgonzola. It's like, What?? He also has "childhood issues" with runny yolks, for whatever that's worth. So from the judging it's totally unclear whose food is good and whose is bad, but in the end, Lindsey wins for her stuffed zucchini (?) and Paul, who at this point is starting to look like he could win a challenge with his hands tied around his back, is also safe. The other three are on the chopping block or whatever it's called on this particular show. Sarah (the lone Chicagoan remaining) didn't season her eggs. Ed maybe did or maybe didn't undercook his chicken. Grayson couldn't decide whether her dish should be summery of fall-ish. The loser is Grayson; it's called farm-to-table, girl. Learn it.