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Top Chef: Texas – Ep 5 – The Real Housewives of Dallas

Well, I learned a few things on Top Chef this week

1 – I need to stop trying to predict what is going to happen on Top Chef. I have gotten everything wrong over time, except predicting Richard Blais as the winner of All-Stars.

2 – Tom became more of a hero thanks to his eye-rolling at the terrible palates produced by what I assume will eventually be the Real Housewives of Dallas.

3 – There exists something called canned dried trout.

4 – Cracker sandwiches are not just something I do at home at 11 pm while watching Top Chef.

5 – And that when Padma brings her A game – nay, her AAA game – of massive hotness like she did this week, she elevates the hotness of all around her. She’s like a magic spell of Perpetual Hotness giving all within her aura a +2 hotness increase. And yes, whatever slim chance I may have ever had of Padma ever speaking to me just went out the window by quantifying the depths of her beauty in Dungeons and Dragons terms.

And 6 – I have to repeat #5 again. I mean, shorts and a tank top! And the low-cut cocktail dress that happened later on?!? And was it me, or did Gail never look better either? Heck, I started looking at Grayson and Lindsay of the Corn in a whole new light this week too. That’s some hard core Padma magic – even Pretty Boy started to look better! She needs to use that for good and not evil.

Anyway, I really, really digress. This week, the remaining chefs are sent on the road. They leave the luxurious mansion in San Antonio behind and head for Dallas. I have to go here, because I cannot think of arriving in Dallas without seeing Larry Hagman’s name in bold yellow letters. Along the way, they are stopped by a Highway Patrolman on a closed road, leading not to the beginning of a Matthew McConoughey legal thriller, but instead to a Quickfire Challenge.
Padma and guest chef John Besh have them make something delicious out of survival packs. I must call foul on this because you cannot create something delicious out of crap. In the end, no matter how much spices you put in there, it is still crap. So, weird challenge, but kind of a ridiculous one.

Chefs are told that the Elimination Challenge of the week divides them into teams once again. However, luckily for them it is actually an individual challenge in disguise. The team building is just to accommodate the parameters of the challenge. They go to the rich section of Dallas and cater a Progressive Party. At first, I am stunned, because wouldn’t the richest parts of Dallas, Texas feel like Conservative lands to you guys? Isn’t this the Land of George W. Bush and Rick Perry? But, alas, it is not a challenge to cook for Rachel Maddow. A Progressive Party takes place in a series of houses. The progression takes guests from one house to another to enjoy a different course. In this case, appetizers, entrees and desserts. I like the challenge, and the chefs seem to like it too. However, the food that emerges is rather sub part, based on the judge feedback.

The most stunning part to me takes us back to my first lesson learned this week. The bottom dishes included both Chrises – Glasses and Pretty Boy – and Chewie. I would have put money on the fact that these three guys were going to go deep into the season with few hitches. But unless the fourth member of the bottom tier – The Destroyer – was sent packing, it was going to be one of these guys. And after hearing the critiques, The Destroyer’s dish was clearly not the worst one.

I fully expected it to be Pretty Boy’s time after Tom described his cupcake to be like something a three-year-old would put together at a party. And that it was bad, upon bad, upon bad. But it wasn’t the end for him, or for Glasses and his really ugly, yet clever, chicken cigar. Chewie had his downfall because he overcooked his fish. What made it worse is that it seemed to have been done by design. Tom and the judges may have forgiven him if it were by accident, but the dish could seemingly only be prepared if the fish was overcooked. Padma and Tom each seemed especially stunned to learn that Chewie makes this dish in his restaurant and that he didn’t just make some simple adjustments to get the cheese cooked properly, along with the fish.

I expected Chewie to make it far, as he tended to do well in the early challenges, and he received a lot of screen time so far. He was a lot of fun, he told lots of crazy stories, and he wore a lot of crazy hats.

Quickfire – On the side of the road, Padma, her khaki shorts and John Besh have the chefs make shitty food from a survival pack. Glasses bolts for the nearby cornfield, which even I can tell is so dry he’d be lucky to get corn dust. It could also be a lot more dangerous. But it was a good idea to try and get something fresh. Edward just laments for a cutting board.

Glasses –Fried Chicken on Lemongrass Noodles. He uses some of the corn husk to make his cornfield run worthwhile. Meanwhile, Padma continues to try and kill me by making eating bad noodles sexy.

Chewie – Dirty Mouth Dirty Rice – Basmati Rice with Smoked Trout. Padma asks, “Do I want to eat that?” Heh.

Grayson – Pickled Herring with Hearts of Palm, Dates, Herring Juice. Besh laughs about the juice, which Grayson says she used for freshness. Nice try.

Lindsay of the Corn – Triple Club with Tuna and Sardines in French Onion Soup with Vienna Sausage. Besh has never had Vienna sausage in this way. As a cracker sandwich. She made it as an homage to her father.

The Destroyer – Black Pepper Chicken Stew with Garbanzo Beans and Rice. He cooked it in water, and Padma says his rice was good given the conditions.

Sarah – Dried Beef and Pineapple Rice, Applesauce and Hearts of Palm.

Pretty Boy – Spicy Garbanzo Beans with Tofu and Crab. He used lemon drink powder. Besh has never eaten Crystal Light before.

Wasp – Beer and Peach Glazed Chicken with Green Bean Casserole. She used a fruit roll up to glaze.

Edward – Thai Peanut Soup with Salmon, Tofu and Fried Hominy.

Paul – Pork and Beans with Coffee and Basmati Rice

Vampira – Sweet and Spicy Noodles with Crab Meat and Pineapple Juice. Padma says it was very sweet.

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