Top Chef: Texas, episode 9 recap
With villainess Heather vanquished in the last episode, Top Chef needed another rivalry to replace that of meanie Heather and her punching bag, Beverly. Ah, what’s this? Another face-off conveniently taking its place: Sarah tells the camera that Edward is now complaining about Heather’s having won two competitions based on his cake recipe, but, Sarah says, he didn't have the balls to tell Heather to her face. Let’s note: Sarah says this to the camera, not to Edward’s face. But no matter: A delicious fight is on.
For the Quickfire Challenge, the cheftestants battle for both immunity and a set of the books Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold—which I see you can get on Amazon for a whopping $449.95. I've never heard of the guy or his books, so I asked our associate food and drink editor, Julia Kramer, if he’s a big deal. Julia’s response: “He’s a medium deal.” The challenge of course involves modernist fare—which, Nathan tells us, is all about creativity. As opposed to, I guess, non-modernist fare. Anyway, the camera spends a lot of time on Moto’s Chris J.—who clearly feels this one is his to lose.
The other development: the ongoing weird-ification of Beverly, who doesn’t help her own cause by spraying foam all over Padma’s dress (Padma’s!), then giggles while causing a stack of trays to fall to the ground. “Is she an oddball?” Ed asks the camera. “Yeah.”
Thank God for Chris J.’s sake that he makes it into the top three (for using a red pill that changes your palate so that, e.g., sour tastes sweet), along with Sarah (breakfast raviolo) and Ty (watermelon and olive-oil powder). But oh, the anguish on Chris’s face when Ty wins: He looks like he’s either just crapped his pants or he’s about to slice into Ty’s neck. At least medium-deal Nathan said you had “a hell of a dish,” Chris.
For the Elimination Challenge, Top Chef: Texas at last gets to barbecue. At which point Sarah jumps up and down. It’s the challenge she’s been looking forward to, she tells us. (It’s never a good sign when a chef says that, Sarah. Never.) The nine remaining cheftestants group themselves into threes. Edward craps on Sarah for becoming more and more of a Texan as the competition wears on. They’ve got all night (what’s with the all-night challenges this season?) to prepare chicken, beef brisket and pork spare ribs, as well as two sides, for 300 guests.
What kind of sweet deal did Toyota execs arrange with Bravo? For a stretch, this week’s episode looks like a seductive car ad, with loving shots of steel and the cheftestants raving about the Toyota Tundra.
Back to the all-night cooking. When Sarah gets lightheaded from the heat, first a medic gives her an oxygen mask, then she’s carried away on a stretcher. Ed craps on Sarah once again: “If it was me,” he says, “I would’ve pushed through it.” Not only do Paul, Lindsay and Grayson win the challenge, but they get a Colicchio compliment I’ve never heard on TC: He wants the recipe for their chicken. Their win also means Paul thus far has amassed $35K, marking him as a clear frontrunner. Chris C. packs his knives for the unpardonable Top Chef offense: too much salt.