Last night’s Top Chef kicked off by pointing out a rare event on this show: More dudes than ladies have headed home. It still surprises us every year when the female chefs head home first, considering they’re all at about the same level, so this news reverse-surprised us. Creeper Chris, however, does not care, so don’t talk to him unless you want to talk about winning.
The chefs met their Dallas home base: Le Cordon Bleu. They also met guest judge Dean Fearing, who along with Padma assigned the chefs the Quickfire task of being a saucier. Each chef had to do their own take on one of the five mother sauces: hollandaise, béchamel, veloute, tomate, and espagnole. Cute Chris thought the hardest part of the challenge was making a roux, which at first seemed odd to us as we make roux all the time and are not on Top Chef. However, once judging began it quickly became clear that not making a proper roux was a sin as far as Dean Fearing was concerned. Grayson got the win for her complicated (and correctly rouxed) charred-corn hollandaise with scallop and ravioli, and scored the only immunity.
The elimination challenge asked the chefs to cook as one team and make a four-course dinner for the Cattle Baron Ball (Texas!), with at least two courses involving steak (Texas!). Guest judge Dean warned that all 200 steaks needed to be delivered to the tables medium rare, no big deal. The chefs all got six hours to cook, and there was the promise of a product placement mobile for the winner. On the way to Whole Foods, they all yapped scriptedly about the stupid car, making us less likely to ever buy one. (Send us samples of the good food, Top Chef producers, and then maybe we’ll remember the name of the car.) The important takeaway from this was that Creeper Chris would be equally happy to win the car, or $2.
Prep time led to the second drippy, bloody injury of the season, though this one was so bad that Ty-lor Boring needed to go spend half the night in the ER getting stitches. Lucky for everyone, he came back in time for the second half of prep the next day, as not one person wanted to step up and take his role as steak-cooker outside in the 112-degree heat.
An alternate title for this episode really could have been “Everyone Hates Beverly,” which was understandable, as it took her more than three hours, as a professional chef, just to prep the shrimp for the first course. Thankfully for bossy Heather, Beverly finished them in time for the dish, which was a tomato-watermelon gazpacho with olive-oil-poached shrimp. Ed, Paul, and the Chrises made a seared New York steak carpaccio with mushroom “bacon” and heirloom tomato salad for the second course, while Ty-lor Boring, Whitney, and Nyesha made a grilled rib eye with potato gratin, Brussels sprouts, and compound butter. Heather, Lindsay, and Grayson brought up the rear with a Texas peach cake for dessert.
The chefs seem to be a lot more into throwing each other under the bus before judges table this season, no? Heather spent most of the pre-judges’ table time scolding Beverly for taking so long with the shrimp.
Not that Heather needed to find people to blame, as she and her cake ended up on top along with Creeper Chris’s carpaccio and Nyesha’s compound butter. She even took home the win, further proving that the judges aren’t hating on desserts as much anymore. Ty-lor Boring, Whitney, and Ed ended up in the bottom, where Tom did the parental “I’m-not-mad-I’m-disappointed” move to a T. In the end, Whitney went home for her undercooked potato gratin, which is really fine with us since we’re still not entirely convinced she was there the whole time in the first place.
Next week: More meat! A double elimination (yessssssss)! The cheftestants have to judge each other! Heather yells a lot! Tom is not excited! Sarah cries!