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Top Chef: Texas – Ep 3 – Snakes On a Plate

Glasses – Green Chile, Mushroom and Oaxaca Cheese Empanadas – Tom is impressed with the seasoning and the flaky dough.

Chewie – Braised Goat Birria, Cabbage, Red Peanut Salsa and Handmade Queso Fresco – Tom likes it, but is not a big fan of the cabbage.

Beverly – Beef Short Rib Asada with Pina Kinchi – Johnny found the meat to be tender and Tom is happy they grilled the tortillas, which made all the difference with the store-bought tortillas.

Grayson – Chicken in Ancho Pepita Mole with Pickled Red Onion, Crème and Lime – Tom is not a fan because all he tastes is cinnamon. Johnny says that mole takes a skilled hand, and clearly she doesn’t have one. I just think that chicken-flavored Big Red sure sounds appealing to me. I mean every time I go into Cinnabon I say, boy, this sure needs some bird.

Heather – The Leaning Tower of Tres Leches Cake – It is falling apart and looks like “an Easter Egg basket gone wrong.” But even mediocre tres leches cake is delicious. And it is the best cake of the night, but the competition wasn’t really that strong.

Green wins. They rejoice.

Pink loses. They lament.

The Bottom Four turns out to be RickRoss, Lindsay of the Corn, Sarah and The Destroyer. Vampira’s immunity saves her from being down at the bottom – and possibly from elimination. Sarah and RickRoss get into it a bit about the shrimp and the tortillas, with Sarah seemingly pushing the blame to him. Bus throwing is brought up again. I am telling you, I am all for the retirement of that term. The Destroyer made a bad fritter, the ladies showed poor judgment and made mediocre food. This is especially bad for Lindsay since she lived in Mexico. But it was the overall bad burrito that sent RickRoss packing.

At RILCK, RickRoss faced off against Andrew for the right to stick around for another week. It is clear the chefs all have no idea about this twist, as RickRoss got a secret message in his luggage to go to the kitchen. Of course, this will be the only season with this dynamic, but still, kind of fun.

Tom gives them a display of six ingredients and instructs them to prep them in 10 minutes, and then to cook with the ones that were successfully prepped. The final dish must have all six.

Andrew – Clams with Grilled Radicchio and Peperonata – He went with cooking the clams in a Mediterranean style.

RickRoss – Clam Ceviche with Lemon Zest and Steamed Claws with Pancetta – He steamed them in champagne butter and gave Tom a champagne glass to wash it down.

Tom liked Andrew’s use of bitterness and sweetness and RickRoss’ subtlety and perfectly steamed Eastern clams. RickRoss wins and sends Andrew packing for good. Andrew hands over the Top Chef jacket to RickRoss, and I think they may need to resize it.

Quickfire Hits
• Bev sure likes the handwritten or dot matrix printed pearls of wisdom, no? You just know her office is cluttered with tiny Post-it notes of self-help reminders.
• I wonder if Chewie is going to talk about slaughtering animals every week. At least he’s not pulling the limbs off of droids when he loses.
• I loved how Bev took over the entire Whole Foods because she needed a lot of food.
• How soon before Glasses and Richie turn on each other? For now, they help each other plate.
• How cute was that moment where Blanca passed a teenage boy with a plate of food and flirted just ever-so-slightly? Oh, to be 15 again. Of course, I was a gangly D&D playing 15-year-old, so maybe not a good idea.
• Some other random moments of fun – The Destroyer twirling an umbrella. Tom excited for cake. Grayson singing her apologies for the tortillas. Padma wearing the sexy dress and the giant flower. Glasses gets his name especially since not only was he wearing cool glasses, but he also had another pair on his head. Why? I don’t know – unless he was channeling my aunt as she makes her way to Bingo.
• Bev is going to be THAT contestant this season – the one who just cries non-stop. Of course, hearing her say that she’s just trying to prove to her dad that she’s just as good as a son is really heartbreaking to hear.
• The Destroyer upon return to the Stew Room – “Nothing was good, everything sucked.” How awesomely succinct.
• Mono was a good judge this week. The Destroyer should have had a much better repertoire of quick dishes than a lame hush puppy. RickRoss doesn’t have sense enough to avoid cooked shrimp and flour tortillas. Good stuff.

Next week – All-night chili cook off and Padma rides a horse.

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