'Top Chef: Texas' recap: 'Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party'

The three-city tour continues to Dallas, y'all

  • Top Chef: Texas": Whitney Otawka does it outdoors.
Top Chef: Texas": Whitney Otawka does it outdoors. (Vivian Zink/Bravo )
December 01, 2011|By Anne Marie Turner

Welcome back Top Cheffers! I missed you all last week, but I was too busy baking pumpkin whoopie pies for Thanksgiving to recap "Top Chef: Texas." But two things happened last week that you need to know.

Firstly, everyone's favorite couple, Chris Jones and Richie, was forced apart when Richie was sent home after the chili challenge. And secondly, my whoopie pies were delicious. “Top Chef: Desserts," here I come!

This week’s episode was a doozy, so rev up your engines because we are going on a road trip to Dallas. This trip signifies part two of "Top Chef’s" three-city tour this season.

During their road trip, the chefs are stopped by a menacing looking police officer, who insists their whole caravan pull over. But wait — in the middle of the corn field appears Padma like a mirage standing with "Top Chef: Masters" chef John Besh.

This must mean one thing: The Quickfire will take place there and now in the middle of a field! Left with only canned food and shabby burners, the contestants must fend for themselves in the horrible cooking conditions.

Now, I understand that the chefs are upset that they have to cook with canned food in open air, but come on. They had to see this coming. Every season the chefs have to cook with packaged food at one time or another.

Remember in Season 2 when the chefs were given a Ziploc full of quarters and had to make an amuse-bouche out of ingredients from the vending machine? Chef Mikey Midgley made a Snicker-crusted Cheeto, so really the crappiest of crap had already been made. 

The cheftestants cook their low-class meal, but do their best to make the dish sound as upper crust as possible. It always fascinates me the way the chefs try so hard to make their dishes sound classy even when their main ingredients are Ramen noodles and canned pears.

Handsome Chris (which he will be referred to at all times from now on) used a Crystal Light packet for citrus and Whitney used a Fruit Roll-Up as a garnish. I think Lindsay's Vienna sausages were looking pretty good at that moment. In fact, they were so good sandwiched between two Saltines that she won the Quickfire challenge.

The Elimination Challenge seems simple enough. The cheftestants are split up into three groups and have to cook individual dishes for a progressive dinner. A progressive dinner is a neighborhood activity where friends serve a different course in each person's house. It's pretentious, but then again so are the people that take part.

House A: Appetizers.

The couple that owns the first insane mansion is Kim and Justin Whitman. Kim is an entertaining expert and seems to be auditioning for "Real Housewives of Dallas." She looks like Kim from "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" but has the eyes of Ramona from "Real Housewives of New York." Keep an eye out for her on Bravo in the future. Kim hates cilantro, bell peppers, grease and things she has never tried. Basically she is a chef's dream.

House B: Entrée 

Kari and Troy Kloewer are completely opposite in all things food, starting with the fact that Troy eats and Kari doesn't. Kari hates cilantro, meat, raspberries, spicy foods and water. I'm just guessing about the water. 

House C: Dessert

Kameron and Court Westcott seem to actually enjoy themselves. Their only directives include "Make every calorie count," "Unleash your inner fat kid," and "More is better in Texas." Kameron does not say this, but I am almost positive she hates cilantro as well.

As the Elimination challenge begins, I can't help but think the appetizer and entrée teams have an advantage because as Handsome Chris said, baking is scientific.

Whenever the chefs complain about having to make dessert I feel for them. Baking is not easy, and that is coming from someone who solely uses Dunkin Hines (suck it, Betty Crocker).  

The appetizers course begins and everyone loves life especially me because Gale is back again! I love her, and never want to let "Top Chef: Desserts" have her. She comes in and owns the cocktail party in a dress that flaunts her ladies almost as much as Padma's … almost. 

The appetizers come out and the reception is pretty favorable except for Chris Jones'. Maybe he was feeling lost without Richie or maybe it was the fact that he traded in his sunglasses-bandana look for a new Samurai Futaba ponytail vibe, but his cigar looking appetizer doesn't cut it this round. This gives Tom the opportunity to drop the ultimate dad line, "He was close, but no cigar." I think I heard his sons groaning on their couches.

The entrée course has a few more hitches than the previous course. Chuy overcooks his salmon to the point where the guests don't want to eat it. Then there's poor Ty's meal that is just a mess. He has too much going on, and the dish is sloppy and that is one thing these women will not stand for. 

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