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Top Chef: Texas/Vancouver – Ep 17 – We’re Gonna Jam Out, With Our Clams Out

As the judges shift to the other restaurant, Sarah cooks down her sauce a bit and corrects some errors from the first service. Meanwhile, RickRoss overcooks the “pudding” and Qui-Gon is forced to serve a subpar appetizer since he has no more eggs to make a new batch and the judges absolutely notice the error. Tom found Sarah’s fish to be perfectly cooked, but under-seasoned. Cat wanted some more crunch to the veal. Mono thought Qui-Gon’s second course was perfect, and Padma found it to be crispy and delicious. Bill has never tasted anything like Qui-Gon’s third course, and Cat raves about Sarah’s dessert.

Judges Table – Tom, Padma, Gail, Emeril and Monobrow make the final decision. Tom calls it the best finale ever. Of course, saying that may be in his contract.

Regarding Sarah, Gail can’t believe that tartare over pasta is not done more often, as Sarah wowed them with it. Emeril said the fish was perfect, but the beets raw. Monobrow gets her to say that she didn’t really cook the beets but rather just pickled them. Tom found the veal to have tons of flavor, especially dashi, but the sweetbreads to be dry. Emeril thought it felt like polenta, but that was before Sarah cooked down the sauce. Gail is pleased to be the second seating as she got a superior dish. Padma hates white chocolate, but thought this was the best dessert she has had in nine seasons.

Regarding Qui-Gon, Gail was blown away by the first course, as it was smooth as glass. It became the Tale of Two Servings as the others were disappointed. Monobrow felt the fish was perfect, with stellar dashi. Emeril felt the broth took the dish to the moon. Padma was impressed by his confidence in the third dish, but Gail questioned the progression. Tom doesn’t care much for sweet, so this dessert spoke to him.

Basically, Sarah won the first course, and Qui-Gon won the second. The last two are depicted to be somewhat of a toss-up, but really, was it? Both meals seemed to be outstanding, but Qui-Gon’s was almost perfect. So, he becomes the ninth Top Chef, and the eighth to have a Y chromosome. Steph continues to stand alone.

Quickfire Hits
• There’s an island under a bridge with a hidden Farmer’s Market? Is this a magical land?
• Grayson wants someone to sell her some prosciutto fat. Needless to say, I never see that on the menu at Trader Joe’s.
• Loved the montage of annoying Butcher questions. Hysterical. The more he gets mocked the more hope he has for no longer appearing to be a d-bag.
• Who else would like to go to a wine tasting with Tom and Emeril?
• Sarah on The Butcher – “He’s wearing dress pants and dress shoes, does he know he’s gonna cook?!?”
• Mangosteen? Doesn’t that sound like a Caribbean cover band for Bruce songs?
• More Grayson goodness – The column’s title – She has another entry in the t-shirt contest with the clams line, even though it stands no chance against “Sex in the mouth.”
• Grayson again – “This is not my first rodeo, Sarah Jane!”
• The Table 30 mystery from last week’s previews? Nothing. Except Qui-Gon getting surprised by his family. And his crying dad. Forget the win, just getting that was enough for Qui-Gon.
• I do not fault Sarah’s tearful reaction to the loss, but I do fault her for saying she deserved the win. Sure, she cooked well but Qui-Gon deserved the win because he cooked better. There can only be one winner – I get being sad for losing, but she really had nothing to be ashamed of, just lose with more grace.
• Extra Scene – Rum shots in red plastic cups. Hello, college party!

That’s a wrap, folks. My new rankings for Top Chef winners (not Masters or Desserts) are as follows: 1) Blais, 2) Voltaggio, 3) Harold, 4) Hung, 5) Steph, 6) Qui-Gon, 7) Hosea, 8) Kevin, 9) Ilan. I was tempted to put Qui-Gon higher, but really couldn’t think of anyone to drop below him.

No clue given by Bravo for the next installment of the franchise, so I get a rare break from Bravo Wednesday nights. See you all soon for the next Masters season (most likely).

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