Tim Love and Tequila Take Over Top Chef: Texas
Seven episodes in, and I'm sorry to report that none of the challenges thus far have involved the contestants being forced to shoot their own horses and grill them over a fire of cactus paddles. What is this, Bravo? Amateur hour? THAT'S RATINGS GOLD.
Also known as the episode in which Padma goes full Pocahontas, complete with faux Indian choker I once bought during a family vacation to Tucson in 1993.
On a more positive note, the show has continued the positive trend set by last week's episode with guest judge Dean Fearing. Another pre-eminent Texas chef is featured tonight: Tim Love, of Fort Worth's Lonesome Dove. Eater Dallas predicted earlier today that "his Top Chef Texas appearance will effectively erase the embarrassment experienced by the metroplex thanks to the Highland Park progressive dinner episode."
All I know is that I love the batshit crazy show that comes on before Top Chef, because every time I tune in to Bravo and catch the last few minutes of it, some "artist" (?) with crazy eyes is literally weeping and rending the clothes they stole from unattended dressing rooms on the set of Glee -- even the judges! Why can't Padma display this level of emotion? Or anything even approaching it? It's almost the level of crazy I want to see from Top Chef, although I know a show with OCD-level plugs for the Toyota! Sienna! probably has to maintain some sort of Thorazine-drugged affect in order better align itself with the Sienna's core customer base.
Starting right where the last episode left off, the contestants -- nicknaming themselves the Dirty Dozen at this point -- get drunk back at the house, although Fernet is still suspiciously absent from all of these gatherings so far. Not looking even remotely hungover the next day, they walk into the kitchen and see Tim Love amidst a sea of tequila bottles. There's a joke in there somewhere, but Padma's dull gaze has lulled me into complacency.
Colicchio's men are on a spree!
The Quickfire challenge involves cooking a dish to pair with one of the Don Julio tequilas (which I don't have a problem hawking here too, since it ain't bad stuff). None of these humorless motherfuckers are making any tacky tequila shot jokes, though, and are being all professional about the stuff, talking about it as "a vehicle for all these different flavors." And suddenly I'm disappointed in myself for being bored by someone's professionalism.
Oh, gee. Beverly makes something Asian again. Unsurprisingly, she wins nothing. Tylor does, on the other hand, neatly bookending his earlier interview -- just, like, 10 minutes earlier in the episode; this isn't Tolkien -- in which he complained of always being in the bottom three. Welp, that ties that up neatly!
And then - BAM. Just like that Bravo pulls out the big guns: An arsenal of big-name chefs as judges, including Houston's very own Bryan Caswell and two dudes from
Animal House Animal in Los Angeles. Bravo ups the ante even more by making the contestants themselves judges, tasked with eliminating each other at the end. With their balls sufficiently sucked up into their body cavities, the contestants hit the grocery store to pick up their ingredients for the wild game feast ahead.