This week the contestants are headed to Dallas. As Ed puts it: “We just got used to this beautiful house and now they’re kicking us out.” So everyone embarks on their product-placed vehicles and tells one another about their personal lives. Until they get pulled over by a cop who they somehow mistake for being real trouble.
But of course Padma awaits them with their next quickfire challenge: stand on a dry field and create a dish with the ingredients found in a survivor kit — which is mostly dry food in cans. They have no real utensils, no cutting board and the wind is killing them. Fun all around!
John Besh, aka the most luscious-haired and white-toothed man south of Kansas, is guest judge this week. Okay, that was a bad pun but he did look good on that field in the middle of nowhere.
Whitney with her beer-and-peach-glazed chicken was in the bottom, as was Dakota’s noodles and corn and Chris’s under-seasoned tofu and crab meat. Chewy, with his “dirty mouth dirty rice,” however, cooked his way to the top 3, as did Ed with fancy crabcakes in Thai peanut sauce and Lindsay with her play on Vienna sausages that her dad used to eat out of a can. And with that heartwarming story she wins the quickfire.
For the elimination challenge, we move from a dirt field to million-dollar homes. The cheftestants have to provide the dishes for a progressive dinner. Which means that three neighbors who live next to each other start in one house where they enjoy an appetizer, move to the second house where they have an entrÃ©e, and finally end up in the third house to finish with dessert.
It boggles the mind that Bravo hasn’t based a reality show on this yet. Can you imagine the bitch-slapping potential when rich people compete by showing off their homes and their cooks and can’t agree on who is the best? I smell a million-dollar idea right there …
So Chris with glasses shapes up to be the doofus of the season, right? For his appetizer dish he concocts an edible cigar complete with ashes comprised of some kind of seed. Horrible to look at, ill-advised, and difficult to eat, his cigar dish wasn’t a hit and he promptly ended up in the bottom three.
Beverly, the annoying one if you recall, aggravates the other contestants by basically taking over the entire kitchen. Her scallop dish, however, is a success. Ed, on dessert duty and appalled by the host’s announcement that he likes gummy bears, tries to blow their minds with a fine dining dessert. “But I don’t know if I’m gonna blow their palates,” he says. Fancy pants!
The other Chris does a cupcake dish, Chewy way overcooks his salmon — all bets are off at this point.
Top Chef editing has always been a source of much debate and this time they definitely led us astray concerning predictions of who the winner is. Paul with his brussels sprouts dish wins, practically unseen before during the episode except during a confessional where he wisely tells us that during an event like this progressive dinner, what matters is to impress the hosts, not oneself. And that he did.
Chewy bites the dust because of his overcooked salmon dish that led Tom to blurt out, “Why is this a good dish?” Doofus Chris would have been a better choice for elimination in my book, simply because Chewy has been a craftier and more resourceful cook so far but he might have a way back into the show through those webisodes hosted by Tom. When will that figure into the series anyway?
(Image courtesy of Bravo)