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Top Chef: Texas – Ep 8 – You’ll Have To Deal With Pressure…Cookers

Padma psyches them out by bringing in Grayson, Darth Heather and Pretty Boy first – it’s the first appearance this year of the Bottom First strategy. Grayson thinks her flavors were there, and she purposely made it to be Flinstones-like because that is how it is done in the W.I. Emeril thinks she didn’t trim it properly, Padma said it was sincere, but also spongy. Tom wondered about why no modern alteration to it, and Grayson took it literally. And as I said, it was not part of the challenge to modernize it.

Tom said that Pretty Boy seared it too hard and produced an unappetizing white layer of albumin. Emeril thought the giant pieces of dill overpowered it, but Patti loved his potatoes. Tom said Heather’s went awry, and Padma said the meat was dry, chewy and overcooked. Patti found it to be gristly and couldn’t cut it.

The winners were Beverly, Sarah and Edward. Patti said Edward’s was amazing, and the shrooms were like meat. Tom said that everything on Beverly’s plate made sense. Emeril thought that Sarah’s dish had a whole lot of technique on display and it all worked. And she gets the win, and is really excited.

So it comes down to Darth Heather’s overcooked and gristly meat, Grayson’s giant, unimaginative plate and Pretty Boy’s gross salmon. I was scared, but Grayson stays put, and Heather gets booted. Beverly tried hard not to gloat…but she gloated a bit. She had one of those how about ‘dem apples moments.

RILCK – Nyesha was pretty pleased to see Darth Heather because she’s undermined the others, and has been rather condescending. The funniest part is that Heather laughs nervously as Tom sets things up and this sets off Nyesha, “What’s so funny? Wipe that smile off your face.”

The challenge is to use three techniques – frying, injecting and foaming – with no limitation to use of ingredients. Heather chooses to make some giant shrimp, but is worried because she has no foam experience. Nyesha boldly goes for a dessert. There is some mild controversy when Heather spills some shrimp juice on some of Nyesha’s dough.

Nyesha – Brown Butter Foam and Beignet, Injected with Caramel Sauce.

Darth Heather – Fried Gulf Shrimp Injected with Smoked Paprika and Porchini Mushroom Foam

Tom was impressed with Nyesha’s boldness, but the foam was a bit heavy. He liked Heather’s mushrooms and corn and was amused that he sucked something out of something’s head on TV. He was not a big fan of the goat cheese/shrimp combo. The shrimp was also a bit overcooked and thus Nyesha earned the win to stay alive.

Quickfire Hits
• Beverly said that sometimes people misinterpret her humbleness for weakness – which, if I recall, is something I tried to say last week. So, yay me.
• The pressure on Paul must be very strong now to not get booted in his hometown.
• I am sure Darth Heather is not as mean as she appeared on the show. Her affection for John Besh was actually quite endearing. It was also a tad disappointing to me to hear her talk about not having started a family. The hours these chefs work are just so overwhelming. I wish they didn’t have to sacrifice one thing for another – it is a shame to have to choose career or family. I hope she and Besh are very happy with each other.
• Pretty Boy is called Malibu by his fellow chefs. I may have to alter his nickname as a result, because that’s much better. I love how Grayson told him that he had to be the “girl” in their little goofiness because he’s the beautiful one.
• Man, first Brandon on Survivor, then RickRoss this season, and now Paul describe having a sordid past. What is it about reality shows and cooking that seem to save troubled souls?
• Anyone know that Twitter started in Austin? I sure didn’t.
• Glasses thinks bacon should be its own food group. I agree, as should ice cream. And maybe chicken wings.
• Not sure why I laughed out loud when Grayson said, “I’m very German.” I just thought that was pretty funny.
• Lindsay of the Corn joked about Malibu giving her sriracha, and how the least he could have done was open it for her. Because that’s what men do. They open sriracha.
• Crack kills. Heh. I’m just easily amused.
• Edward has balls and he is going to show them. I’ll just let that one hang there. Oh, well, that may have been a poor choice of words.
• Edward also set out to make a veggie dish – with egg. Last time I checked, eggs can turn into birds and don’t grow on trees or in the ground.

Next week – There’s fire, a monster BBQ, Sarah has a health scare, Edward is angry and Grayson talks about something being “sex in the mouth.” Oh my. I think I need to sit down.

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