Friday, November 25, 2011
Top Chef Texas Episode 4 Recap
On to the recap.
This week we had both Battle Chile-with-an-E and Battle Chili-with-an-I. For the Quickfire, the cheftestants had to chose a variety of chile pepper and create a dish around it. For their convenience, there was a tote board listing the heat factor of each variety available, presented in Scoville units, along with the potential monetary value--if the chef used that particular chile in a winning dish--presented in dollars. Sensibly, the hotter the chile, the more money a chef could win.
Paul is the only chef who's daring enough to choose to work with the Ghost chile, which at a hundred bazillion Scoville units, is the hottest chile in existence. Or at least it was last week. If he's successful - and doesn't rub his eyes - he'll be seeing $20,000 in his future.
The guest judges this week are the Too Hot Tamales, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, both of whom competed on Top Chef Masters and did quite well but somehow didn't manage to win. Along with Padma, they go around the room and taste all fifteen chile-packed dishes and seem to finish quite admirably without sweating, begging for a glass of milk, or running to the bathroom, butt cheeks clenched. Take that, Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking!
For the second challenge du jour, the cheftestants are put into five teams of three and told that they will be entering a chili cook-off. They have no time limit for the challenge, as long as their dishes are ready by 7pm the following evening. The catch is...they have to cook in the Top Chef Mansion, which doesn't have a kitchen big enough to accommodate fifteen cooks.
Before they get a chance to figure this out, the cheftestants go shopping. Chefs immediately storm the meat counter demanding 30 lbs of brisket, which of course the store does not have times five. The chefs who don't get brisket end up with other cuts of meat and hope for the best. (Personally, I like chuck. Brisket gets too stringy.)
Once back at the house, the teams fight over space. Some go outside to take advantage of the grills, smokers, and giant outdoor fireplace, while one smart team stays inside the kitchen with the air conditioning.
The next day, the chefs are weary but have to suit up and pack their chilis to take to the Tejas Rodeo. After setting up their pots, the chefs hand out samples to 200 or so rodeo attendees. These tasters are also judges for this particular contest, and will choose the overall winning team. The regular band of Judges - this week including Gail Simmons - get to pick the loser.
As the calves are roped and clown cowboys get stomped, Beverly starts crying. Just when I start to think that she's crying about the unnecessarily cruel treatment of animals just for sport, she starts babbling about missing her husband and wishing he were there. In episode FOUR, with ninety-umpteen episodes to go. Gack. Maybe she'll go home this week.
And then the announcer says it's time to declare the winner of the Tejas Chili Cook-off. Padma comes out on a horse and Handsome Chris starts creaming his jeans over her. It's really kind of sickening.
The three go racing into a nearby kitchen and get to work, and when 30 minutes is up they serve their dishes to the judges, while the other cheftestants sit nearby and doze off. Squinty Chris is distraught that his little buddy Richie is on the chopping block. He wants them to go all the way to the finale together, but alas that's not going to happen.
Beverly did the best job of repurposing the chili, using it as a sauce for seared tuna. Drat. And Nyesha's Frito-crusted shrimp came in second, which leaves Richie's one-dimensional pork tenderloin (also with Fritos) on the bottom.
He and Squinty Chris share a tearful embrace. After hearing them say "I love you" to each other, it's clear that this particular bromance has gone on for quite a long time. Kind of touching, actually.
Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.