The first order of business this week? A change of location. And from the way the cheftestants cheered when they were told that the next station was Austin, you would think the holy grail was located there.
But from what the show let on, it merely seemed like a vaguely generic Texas town. In their product-placed cars some banter was heard, but it wasn’t as interesting as seeing all the tattoo-covered people in the same car like last time. But we learned that shy Paul used to sell marijuana. What a bad boy!
During the quickfire challenge, the chefs have to cook after instructions given to them over Twitter by fans of the show. A pretty neat concept! But the first order of business is rather boring: they have 45 minutes to cook something with bacon. So Chris J. fires up some scallops, Grayson opts for shrimp and Beverly gets some pork belly going in the pressure cooker, which is always a crap shoot.
But there is more! Another tweet forces them to incorporate a hash in their dish — which throws off some of the chefs, but not as much as the last set of instructions. Every chef needs to pick an ingredient and give it to another chef to use in their dish. Fun.
Bacon and Blackberries
Grayson’s shrimp puff don’t impress the judges and they send her to the bottom, along with Chris J, who oversalted his potatoes, and Ed, who burned his hash. Beverly’s pressure-cooked pork belly, on the other hand, was a success, just as Sarah’s dish and Paul-the-weed-dealer’s bacon three ways.
Having the home advantage (he mentioned early on that he is from Austin), Paul won the challenge, pocketing $10,000 and the knowledge that he represented his town well.
Then Patty LaBelle randomly sings for the contestants in a bar and they have to act excited. At least Sarah seems to be a genuine fan. In the elimination challenge, the chefs have to cook a tribute dinner to whoever inspired them to become a chef. And as you expect in such a scenario, it’s rather emotional.
Strangely, most cheftestants seemed to have been led to cooking by their grandmothers (Chris J even calls her Mommy 2). With regards to food, Beverly uses the pressure cooker for the second time in the same episode and Ed is the only one to cook vegetarian. Because he’s that awesome.
There are a lot of interesting dishes concocted based on family tradition, like Paul’s quail adobo inspired by his grandmother, Sarah’s pork sausage with stuffed cabbage, Lindsay’s trout dish and Ty’s fried chicken tenders inspired by the way his nanny used to cook. But in the end, only three could be at the top.
This week, it was Sarah, Ed and Beverly, who really lucked out with her pressure cooker usage. Sarah won in the end and it was definitely deserved because her dish looked delicious and she was very emotional about dedicating the dish to her grandmother.
The bottom three this week were Grayson, who served an oversized and unimaginative ribeye with grilled vegetables, Chris C, who ruined his salmon on the sear, and Heather, whose beef Stroganoff prompted guest judge Patty LaBelle to joke that she was eating big foot meat.
In the end, big foot did Heather in and she went home. Which is good for the lone fact that it cuts short the boiling drama with Beverly. Top Chef is about awesome food, not cat fights. And it should stay that way.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)