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Top Chef Texas Recap-BBQ Pit Wars

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Alright people, the holidays are over, it’s been two weeks since I’ve seen any of these chefs and it’s going to be touch-and-go for a few minutes before I remember who everyone is.  Bear with me.

The chefs receive a delivery of a set of books called “Modernist Cuisine,” and receive a PadmaMail that tells them to study up for the challenge tomorrow.  Apparently these books are a comprehensive encyclopedia of cooking techniques and the chefs are awed to look through them.  Okay, not knowing what they are I’ll have to go along with the reactions of those who do.  Awe-inspiring!  At the Quickfire, the chefs are greeted by guest judge Nathan Myhrvold who wrote “Modernist Cuisine.”  Myhrvold explains that modernist cuisine is about creativity and Padma informs them that the chef who creates a dish that best illustrates the modernist movement will win immunity and a copy of “Modernist Cuisine,” which is apparently a hotly sought after item.  I’ve also just realized that this episode is super-sized with an extra 15 minutes at the end, so I can hope that this will be drama-filled.  The chefs attack this challenge with varying degrees of comfort, Chris J feeling strongest and Grayson the weakest.  Beverly then proceeds to accidentally spray her curry foam on the judges, knock over her clams and inspire general “I give up” head shakes amongst her competitors who appear to genuinely like her but not know what to make of her.  Ultimately, Chris J winds up in the top but is beat out by He-Cat…I may not remember everyone on this show, but of course I remember him.  He’s totally been on a run these past few weeks, I think he might be a real contender, even when I’m not looking through my rose-colored glasses because I’m in lust with him.

Elimination time, and Padma tells them they’re moving from modern to traditional; they’ll be barbecuing for their next challenge in teams of three.  They sort themselves into Ed, Sarah & He-Cat, Chris J, Malibu & Beverly and Lindsay, Grayson & Paul.  Wait…three teams of three means there’s nine people left…which means after today there will be eight…which means next week is Restaurant Wars!  Yyyyyyeah!  Sorry, a little sidetracked there.  The chefs are given all night to cook a dish that consists of chicken, beef brisket and pork spare ribs as well two sides for 300 people.  The chefs all crap their pants at the same time, and must realize that now that Heather’s gone the producers need a villain and have decided to deprive them of sleep in hopes of inspiring some kind of mass meltdown.  The chefs eventually wind up in a <type of vehicle redacted to avoid further blatant product placement> and head down to the barbecue pits.

The chefs start cooking at 10:15 at night which I assume means someone’s going to wind up face-down in the barbecue by midnight.  Kudos to the editor who smash-cut Malibu warning Beverly not to reduce bourbon inside to Beverly gazing dumbfounded at a flaming sauce-pan of liquor.   Paul’s team has decided to go for an Asian-style barbecue, which concerns He-Cat since, as he astutely points out, they’re in Texas.  Chris J has decided to cook beer-can chicken, which seems to consist of sodomizing the entire bird with a beer can and cooking it.  Haven’t these hens suffered enough?  Tom does his usual round of psyching out the contestants and then tells them that the winning team gets $15,000.  Then Sarah winds up in an ambulance, probably from heat exhaustion, and is forced to leave He-Cat and Ed to finish the dish alone.  Ed thinks she should have pushed through it as he would have in her place; He-Cat thinks it’s the real deal and understands that it was out of her control.

The judges arrive, and happy holidays, it’s a Gail week!  The wander over to Paul, Lindsay and Grayson first to sample their Asian barbecue.  They seem to get generally good reviews, though their brussel sprouts are under-cooked.  Next up is Beverly, Chris J and Malibu and they do considerably worse.  The chicken is good, but not smokey.  The beans are crunchy.  The pork is salty.  The brisket is chewy.  The cole slaw is the only thing that gets good reviews.  Things are not looking good.  Sarah returns, and He-Cat asks how she is while Ed immediately wishes that she had just stayed away and not interfered.  I would note at this point that He-Cat’s equilibrium may be slightly influenced by the fact that he has immunity.  In any case, the judges like their food just fine which means that Beverly and the Chrises are in trouble.

Judge’s Table time, and Padma calls Paul, Lindsay & Grayson in as the obvious winners for this one.  Side note, still no Judge’s Table set has been built.  That seriously needs to happen, although at least now they have the orientation correct.  Another side note, Paul has now won $35,000 on this season.  Go Paul!  The reviews for He-Cat, Sarah and Ed are much harsher now than they were at the table, which makes me think the judges are just trying to make this interesting.  The judges lay into the Chrises and Beverly at about the level I would have expected…I still think they’re the ones who are winding up on the bottom.  Ultimately, I’m proven right and Malibu is sent packing for over-salting the pork.  I hate when someone over-salts the pork.

And some final thoughts:

-That shirt that Chris J was wearing in the opening…deep-vee or woman’s tee?

-Malibu’s nude paintings…just so douche-y I can’t handle it.  Next he’s going to invite a girl up to look at his etchings.

-“Raviolis don’t grow on trees!”  Oh, but if only they did…

-Let us never speak of Tito & Taranchola again.  Or Stoney LaRue. I really don’t know what that was.

-“You know what would make this drink better?  Gin.”  Gail, one day we’ll be together.

-Last Chance Kitchen Update: Nyesha makes it three in row!  She’s on a roll!