Top Chef Recap: Don’t Restaurant Wars With SEXAS


It’s Top Chef Texas Episode 10, “Restaurant Wars,” the most not really different from any other week anticipated challenge of the year! And this year, it’s a Battle Of The Sexes!!! The restaurants are gonna be so different! Girl Restaurant’s gonna be all like “Wahhhhh I like shopping for pink things I’m a restaurant” and Guy Restaurant is gonna be like “UGGHHH I’m tryna’ watch the RESTAURANT GAME, Restaurant Wife!” These restaurants are married and soo different (but they’re really two peas in a pod).

It’s at this point I should note that I’ve been extremely feverish the last three days and my memory of this episode is more than a little hazy, as is my current state of mind. No Quickfire this week, so let’s get to the ‘cappin!

And wouldn’t you know it, just seconds after the Guy Restaurant (Paul, Ty-Lor, Ed, Chris J) gets going, we have our first “what the hell is anything anyone ever does in Restaurant Wars?” decor shot of the episode:

Shockingly, though, the Guys group picks an actually decent name for their restaurant:

Wow, Canteen? A real word that’s concise and actually meaningful? Are you sure you don’t want to take a more standard Restaurant Wars approach and call it, like, CanToon? C@nTEAM? Eatarooni? Fartplate? Etch?

The guys instantly ruin their decent restaurant name with an odd choice for front of house:

Nah, it’s Ed, not that topical SNL reference. The teams each must prepare three courses with two choices for each course, serving 300 customers. Canteen seems to get everything conceived and cooked without much of a problem, other than some issues with expediting which require Ed, Paul, and Ty to each take turns sneaking into the dining room, which is a little tacky, but so’s everything everyone’s doing and seeing so who really cares?

Padma sees the server-desperation and says to Emeril, “What’s going through your head at this point on opening night?” Emeril’s like, “When my 400th Emeril’s ‘Another Nosh’ Bagel Snack Bar opened in the Tucson airport last year, I was really worried that one of the 7 layers of management between that place and me would call me at my house, but it didn’t happen. So I know what they’re going through. It can be very not-bam.”

The men serve their dishes and the judges are very receptive. I transcribed the following two lines exactly – remember them, cause we’ll come back to them at the very end of this Recap:

Padma: What did you guys think of the meal overall?

Tom: I thought for an opening night it was great, they just need to work on some of the dishes.

Emeril: I thought the desserts were clever, and executed well.

Sounds pretty good, huh? I can’t imagine why it would be different 20 minutes from now, so good job guys! You’re fine!

Oh also, this year, the diners can vote using their Top Chef Judges Table Apps:

Outta the way, guys, it’s LAAAADIES NIGHT! (Cue Bravo stock royalty-free “Ladies Night” knockoff). The ladies (Beverly, Lindsay, Sarah, Grayson) unveil their restaurant, Half Bushel, which was soooo close to also being a normal name (not just Bushel?) but they added “Half” just to make it half weird. Ah well, at least one gender is familiar with how these dumb high-minded restaurant challenge things work.

The ladies start cooking, and instantly they’re all yelling at front-of-house Lindsay. Lindsay is yelling back at them and ignoring the people pouring in, and as happens every Restaurant Wars, Tom has to sit there by himself waiting for the hostess:

I was really amused by the shots of disgruntled guests waiting to be seated – I don’t even get angry when I have to wait in an actual restaurant, but these people are visibly upset that they’re not getting immediately served in a fake, free restaurant that was built with a staple gun in like nine minutes?

Among the happier clientele? Almost Ed Begley Jr:

Don’t get sucked in, Grayson – Sitwell just wants you for his softball team! (FYI, When we saw that guy, my roommate joked “It’s Food Eatley Jr!” and we laughed for three minutes and weren’t high – just figured I needed to disclose that, as you are apparently counting on those same comic sensibilities to entertain you in these Recaps. Thanks for continuing to read!)

What are we even talking about at this point? Ah – the ladies’ food, despite the behind the scene fights, is wildly praised by the judges, particularly Beverly’s shortrib dish. Will Lindsay’s front-of-house problems make her the fiftieth straight person to go home on Restaurant Wars because of bad service, or will the ladies’ food pull them ahead of the guys’ slightly slicker operation?

We’ll head to Judges’ Table right after a word from this car:

The Judges call in the Ladies first, and Padma totally does a “Just when I thought your service couldn’t get any worse, you go ahead and do something like this… and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!!!!” and announces Half Bushel as the winners. More specifically, Beverly wins for her tasty Braised Short Rib over Thai Basil Potato Puree, Appleslaw:

She also wins a 2-night trip to the Terlato wine vineyards and a 3-liter bottle of Terlato’s “Episode Wine” (The Phantom Menace). OBVSCRY:

Team Canteen are the losers. Ty-Lor is obviously going home. But before that, the judges suddenly RIP into everyone’s dish and keep getting angrier and angrier, and right before the elimination announcement, Tom makes this statement:

Tom: Right now, all of you could go home for this mess that was called Canteen.

Uh, what? Let’s travel back in time to their original opinion of Canteen, through the magic of remembering a thing that just happened:

Padma: What did you guys think of the meal overall?

Tom: I thought for an opening night it was great, they just need to work on some of the dishes.

Emeril: I thought the desserts were clever, and executed well.


Clearly, the Judges gave a diplomatic praise to the guys’ restaurant so they could wait and see how the girls’ team did, then once they decided on a loser, they just completely inflated how badly that team actually did in order to make it look like even Paul might get sent home! (Sure.) Or did Bravo really intentionally edit the guys’ part to set the women up to look like they were failing when they got into the fights, then switched it up– whatever, this paragraph’s boring.

Ty-Lor, you lost. Pack your d*ck and go.

Restaurant Wars episode thoughts? Favorite / least favorite parts? Stuff we missed? Any ideas for how we can name Paul the winner and move on to the next Season? Leave ‘em all in the comments.

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