The Road Goes On Forever, But Top Chef: Texas Definitely Does End
|Photo courtesy of Bravo|
|Fun fact: Padma is the monster under your children's beds at night.|
The elimination challenge: cook a four-course meal and create the restaurant of their dreams at two of Vancouver's best restaurants. But, of course, there's a twist: Paul and Sarah each get four sous chefs. Sous chefs from a pool of their former competitors, James Beard-award winning chefs or one of the handful of losers who got cut from the first 29 and didn't even make it into the top 16 of the season.
All 12 of these chefs have to prepare a dish that will hopefully earn them a sous chef spot on either Paul or Sarah's teams. They waste no time in getting the dishes out - or at least the show wastes no time editing it all together snickety-snack. Paul and Sarah then taste the dishes blind, and choose their sous chefs based on only the dish itself.
|THIS fucking guy.|
Paul fares much better, nabbing himself one of the Beard award winners - Barbara Lynch - as well as Keith, Crazy But Hot Chris and Ty-Lor. Oh, how I've missed you, Ty-Lor!
In the kitchens of the Vancouver restaurants, the teams get straight to work after a quick trip to the market. Sarah shows some actual growth compared to the rest of the season, by being determined to cook outside of her comfort zone and choosing unusual ingredients like persimmons with veal cheeks and sweetbreads. She also shows why Lindsey would have fallen apart in this round had she continued on from last week: Sarah is capable of giving up control of every single moving part in the kitchen and leading her team.
Also fully capable of leading a team is Paul, who is almost zen-like in his ability to delegate tasks and let his crew do their work uninterrupted. His kitchen already seems calmer, a sense that's further enhanced by the presence of Lynch and the absence of Crazy Tyler Stone. Who, by the way, has shown up to the kitchen in dress pants and dress shoes. Dress shoes. I hope to God that he slips and falls on his dumb ass.
|The dumbest thing I read today. People and baby animals, man...|
I have to focus on the show again now for my brain to clear. Paul has made a beautiful chawanmushi. Let's admire his egg custard for a while instead. Deep breaths.
Both he and Sarah have used spot prawns in their opening dishes, although Sarah has really stretched outside of her normal range here and made an Asian-inspired appetizer with dashi. Meanwhile, back at Paul's restaurant, the show surprises him with a table full of his favorite people: his parents and his girlfriend. If you guessed that Paul started bawling, you'd be correct. But so did his dad, which just made the cute in this scene exponentially cuter. I'm feeling better now.
At the end of the meal at Sarah's restaurant, her first service is done. The first panel of judges - which includes Padma and Emeril - say that there are "strokes of genius" in her food and that most of the menu was "spot on." Over at Paul's, Colicchio and crew are equally impressed, especially with his very Phillip Speer-like dessert, which has shades of Uchi in a spicy foam on the side.