Top Chef Texas - Too rich for my blood


Here's the problem: this was a pretty cruddy episode. Added to that is the fact that I've been pretty busy this last week, and you've got a late recap for events that I can barely force myself to remember. How awful were those "dinner party" scenes? How much did you empathize with Tom Colicchio? And how nasty does a cheese-stuffed salmon fillet sound? Come on, Chuy!

I don't watch the Real Housewives shows, not even ironically. They're horrendous, made worse knowing that even when the cameras and production trappings and sweeps schedules are stripped away, these people are probably still not very good people. Certainly not a crowd I'd willingly lower myself into. So this episode, with its vapid caricatures of Texas power couples, just made my brain shut down a little.

The juxtaposition of an Elimination round that catered (literally) to the Texas upper class with a Quickfire that had the chefs cooking with the meager fare and hardware of a survival pack could have been handled with some winking social commentary. Could have. It wasn't. Instead, we got the ewwws and yukks and "boy I ain't never seen this" of a Saltine/tuna/sardine sandwich standing in a pool of french onion soup with Vienna sausage chunks--like a stack of boxes you want to stay dry in a flooded basement. Congratulations (or something), Lindsay.

John Besh as a guest judge is okay, I guess. He strikes me as a slightly more down-to-earth, though no less toothy version of Bobby Flay: a golem of a chef, brought to shambling life solely for food television's sake.

The Chrisses got off really lucky this week. Chris Jones proved that not just any chef can throw MOTO technique and aesthetic out there and succeed; his "cigars" proved that really no one should ever make anything described as a cigar on Top Chef. (...Howie.) Meanwhile, Horny Chris Crary, when not cooing over the handsome John Besh, served up a ridiculous melange of various sweet things around a sweaty-looking cupcake. 

My boy Paul Qui took home the win for fried Brussels sprouts with prosciutto; it's his second time at the top. Dakota served, with zero confidence, a tasty-looking and crowd-pleasing banana bread pudding; her dessert chops will either typecast her with the other chefs (her fear), or keep her around longer into the competition.

Look for Ty-Lör (RULER OF OMICRON PERSEI 8!) to either shape up or ship out; he's been scraping the bottom since the start of the real competition. The two Chrisses won't be far behind. Or ahead. And...if you've been keeping up with "Last Chance Kitchen", you know that big Keith finally ran out of steam and lost the secret chef's coat to newly-dismissed Chuy.

So, yeah. That was the rich folks episode. Coming up tonight, more blood, more big Texan meat, and from the looks of it, more beating up on Beverly. Stay tuned!