Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Texas Episode 5

Jordan Baker on new digs: "Padma tells them to check into their hotel and then go to the clients’ house to plan. The chefs arrive at a product placement boutique hotel, which Edward approves of 'it feels like Dallas. It’s big, it’s opulent, great views.' After spinning him in some sort of giant basket chair that’s been mounted on a Lazy Susan, they head off to Highland Park."

Minxeats on a change in venues: "This episode begins with scenes from last week's post-chili-cookoff aftermath, while Squinty Chris is still wiping tears from his face with Richie's molé-stained bandanna. Padma tells the tired cheftestants to go home and get a good night sleep because tomorrow they will be packing all of their shit into three ugly Toyota minivans and driving five hours to Dallas!"

My Monkey Could Do That on getting to know you: "Are they driving themselves? Guess so. The car ride involves getting to know each other. Ed talks about his wife, and Ty-Lor talks about his boyfriend. He has a 70’s mustache and matching sunglasses. Beverly has a ton of ink all up her arm. Weird. I would not have thought she would have tattoos. Chris has lost 70 pounds. I don’t think he looked that bad before, but apparently everyone gave him shit when he was in a magazine, so he was shamed into losing the weight."

Cliffieland offers up a gut-wrenching side-note: "Side note #2: It has been established that your gentle blogger is likely world's worst cook, having once hospitalized himself for a week with food poisoning for not knowing certain basic basics about food preparation. But did you know that in grade school his specialty was the culinary creation of a peanut butter and jelly, ketchup, raisin and Vienna sausage sandwich on white bread? (The raisins made the peanut butter taste 'crunchy,' but the Vienna sausages kept rolling around between the bread slices.) Who knew I could actually win a food competition for something like that?"

David Dust on the Elimination Challenge: "After the Quickfire, Padma announced the Elimination Challenge. The cheftestants will be going to a fancy Dallas neighborhood to cater a 'progressive party'. No, not a party of Keith Olbermann viewers, but a party that takes place in three different houses: Appetizer House, Entrée House and Dessert House."

Max the Girl on the Housewives wannabe: "First thing you have to know about Mrs. Whitman: She is a lifestyle and entertaining expert. She has written books on the subject. Cut to a series of coffee table books spread out on the kitchen island—as one does—that give the vaguest whiff of 'Self-published coffee table books of the rich and famous' (Amiright?)."

A Just Recompense on Edward's dessert: "Edward, speaking of bad backs, was doing fine until ChrisC asked him how his back was feeling, at which point it started to bother him again. Yeah, I know how that is. Edward’s making panna cotta. Oh no! Panna Cotta is right up there with risotto in the Bad News category. He figures, in spite of what the idiot clients told him about cupcakes and gummi bears, what if everyone’s expecting an elegant dessert and he goes out with a bowl of fudge? First, if your fudge is in a bowl, you’ve made it wrong. He serves cardamom scented panna cotta with cantaloupe consomme. One of the ship of fools says it looks jiggly. I guess she doesn’t know it should quiver like the inner thigh of a seventeenth century courtesan (™ Nigella Lawson). Seriously, where did they get these people? Was the object to make fun of the Dallas rich? Because they’re doing a great job of that. Better watch out, Bravo, you’re going to find yourselves running out of gas on a lonely highway somewhere."

Eater sums up the party hosts' preferences: "Each couple lays out their food preferences. Let me summarize. 'I don't like spice, cilantro, colors besides pink, adventure, surprises, using my hands, messes, Catholics, new flavors, brown and/or disabled people, the middle class, gun control, bell peppers or social responsibility. I love gummy bears, bananas and beef.' The Entree Husband (I refuse to learn their names) says his favorite type of beef is "filet." I bet it is. These people reek of ass."

Entertainment Weekly on progressive dinners: "The chefs had to split off into three groups, although it wasn't another team challenge, thank goodness. They had to cook for three couples who were having a progressive dinner party in the wealthy Dallas neighborhood Highland Park. What's a progressive dinner party? No, it's not where they serve a lot of chicken noodle soup, or have over that new foreign family from across the street. It's where they have each course -- appetizer, entree, and dessert -- at a different home. What a delightfully bourgeois custom!"

Gail Simmons for PopWatch on Chris Jones' dish: "Yes, it was a nice inspiration and a clever idea on paper but in practice it didn’t look appetizing. I don’t want to eat a cigar, that’s not something that I think is beautiful to look at. He made this ash out of cumin and herbs and spices, which again, nice idea but it ended up looking black and brown on the plate. And I don’t want to eat ash. It wasn’t delicious and it was difficult to eat at the dinner party. It was kind of stringy. The greens that he wrapped around the cigar were hard to eat because they were fibrous. It was a big portion. It wasn’t slender and easy so it felt sort of clumsy and then it was also sort of dry with that ash, on it. It needed a sauce or something. It wasn’t inedible, it just wasn’t better than what the inspiration was. So all of those things add up to him getting into his own head and not into the head of his client. Which is what we asked them to do."

CultureMob on the couples: "Team Appetizer consists of Ugly Chris, Whitney, Paul, Lindsay and Sarah. Their hosts are the kind of people that shouldn’t be allowed on TV, ie the kind of people that Bravo trades in. They don’t like bell peppers. They were thinking of having all the food pink. They think it should be easy to eat. They are not adventurous. Basically, they’re auditioning for the Real Housewives of Dallas. Team Entree consists of He-Cat, Chuy, Heather, Beverly and Nyesha, and their hosts are slightly better than the first team in that at least the husband displays a marginally likable personality. The wife should be punched in the neck. Team Dessert is Beautiful Chris, Ed, Grayson and Dakota and they definitely got the hosts with the most personality. Unfortunately, that personality is being displayed with statements like 'I’m obsessed with bananas' and 'My wedding cake was a giant gummi bear.' I can’t waste time hating on the chefs when these people are around. They’re awful. I’m having acid flashbacks to Lisa Vanderpump’s episode of Just Desserts last season."

And finally...Top Chef Refire's podcast!

Posted on AllTopChef.com

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