Top Chef Texas Recap: Evil Fed II

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It’s Top Chef Texas Episode 11, entitled “Fit For An Evil Queen”, which means it’s time to bring in the evilest queen of them all – no, not Paula Deen, though that would be hilarious timing if she were the guest judge – it’s evil incarnate Charlize Theron:

She’s not actually evil incarnate, even though I’ll bet 40% of my female friends hate her because she’s any actress. So what’s she doing here for Top Chef EvilCon 2012?

You’d think she’d be on the show to promote Young Adult, but nope – she’s promoting Snow White And The Huntsman, which comes out in June of 2012, even though this Top Chef episode was shot in like October 1993 so none of the movie filming has actually been done and she clearly doesn’t know what the movie is about other than it probably isn’t an arty Jon Huntsman documentary. She plays the Evil Queen in the movie, so, you know, get ready for some BOO-berry compote and foie GROSS and EEEEEEEEEVIL bread.

First things first, let’s bring the Quickfire around on a weird conveyor thingie:

For the Quickfire, the chefs have to prepare a sophisticated dish using a minimum of three ingredients that pass by on that conveyor belt. The longer they wait, the better the ingredients will become, but then they’ll have less time to cook, so it’s basically a perfect simulation of a real-life restaurant.

Some chefs cop-out early, like Paul, who grabs “bitter melon,” explains that bitter melon is extremely bitter, then ends up making a dish that’s too bitter. Another rare Paul mishap – he should’ve held out for the “sh*tty cantaloupe”.

Chris J. holds out for the later ingredients, and sees a bucket of lobsters go by, but can’t rush over in time to grab them. He waits for them to come back around but they don’t, so he starts cooking, then the lobsters go by again and he misses them a second time. He finally grabs them on their third time around, though by then, he’s basically out of time; it was very amusing to picture the group of PAs pulling the lobsters off the conveyor and laughing their asses off at Chris on the other side of the wall.

Chris does the best he can in his ten seconds of cooking time:

This week’s Guest Chef is world-renowned seafoodist and everyone’s favorite smiley raptor, Eric Ripert! Weird smiles for all:

Beverly ends up not getting her curried Rice Krispies onto her dish in time, so she’s disqualified, but Ripert asks to try her dish with the rice just for good measure. You KNOW he and Padma are going to say that she would’ve won the competition if she’d gotten the rice on there in time, and of course, that’s exactly what happens, with Padma adding “You would’ve won this Quickfire by a mile.” Really? A mile? They never say that about anyone’s dish ever unless it’s to make them feel bad for messing up a technicality. It sure would suck if Beverly’s non-Immunity ends up costing her, wouldn’t it? (FORESHADOWING!)

Anyway, Lindsay wins for her Bouillabaisse in Fennel-Pernod Broth (that kind of looks like “Period Broth,” but that would’ve been for the Elimination Challenge). If Tom had been judging, I guarantee he would’ve nitpicked some reason why the dish wasn’t technically a bouillabaisse and ignored its goodness, but Ripert is all kinds of chill and doesn’t mind. Congrats, Lindsay! You are totally still on this show.

We move along to the EVIL Elimination Challenge, where the chefs will have to prepare a wicked, evil meal of twisted treachery with a side of hellish malevolence covered in repulsively villainous vile-sauce on plates of heinous depravity. But first, a wife-call:

The chefs conceive and pre-justify their “evil” dishes with long, evil explanations. Meanwhile, Padma, Tom, Eric, and Emeril ask Charlize Theron about Snow White And The Huntsman, and they’re really all trying their best to promote the film, but even Charlize doesn’t know anything about it because it comes out 37 years after they are filming this episode. The promotion should work, though – in six months, we’re all gonna be like “Hey, remember when Charlize Theron was on that season of Top Chef we all kept complaining about? Let’s go see Snow White And The Huntsman, I think there are evil food hearts in it.”

The chefs present their dishes, and most of the food is surprisingly cool-looking. Paul makes an awesome Foie Gras with Bacon, Pumpernickel, Pickled Cherries, and Beets plate with a ‘bloody handprint’ in the center, and Chris J wows everyone with a bloody heart worthy of the villain from Temple Of Doom:

It’s perhaps no surprise that Chris can cook an excellent bloody heart, given that he so resembles Goro from Mortal Kombat. (I believe a commenter also pointed this out? Feel free to credit yourself in the comments this week – it is just a true observation).

Grayson offers the grossest-looking dish, a Black Chicken with Beets, Quail Egg, and Foie Gras plate that she explains is designed to “Look like a chicken was slaughtered on the plate, and the egg represents the baby it lost. Also, the baby was a result of this chicken being raped by its drunken rooster father, who, upon learning of the pregnancy, shot his wife then hung himself in the bathroom with a suicide note carved into his own flesh that simply said ‘SINNER’. Enjoy!”

Charlize is loving the evilness, though her appearance on the show starts seeming more and more like a deliberate attempt by the producers to hot-up a season of not exactly the hottest chefs. No offense, chefs! It’s just, Charlize Theron is still gorgeous when laughing overly-politely so the camera people can get a third take for coverage:

The chefs love absolutely everyone’s dish, praising them all so superlatively and so unanimously, we’re positive that this will end up being the season’s token “Nobody Goes Home!” episode. Still, they seemed determined to play by the rules, and return to judges’ table to try to drum up some nitpicky reasons to send someone home. That seems unfair, given how often like 4 people have deserved to go home in some past weeks, but I guess them’s the Top Chef breaks.

But who to send home? No idea. What do you think, Dentastix ad?

That was great but unhelpful, Dentastix ad.

The Judges call everyone to Judges’ Table. Probably to tell them no one’s going home, right? First things first, Paul is named the winner. Of the season? Nope, still just the episode. Ok. We’ll play out the next five weeks for that to officially happen. Paul wins a pair of tickets to the world premiere of Snow White And The Huntsman, though fortunately, he’s already won enough money this season to pay someone to go to that for him.

Chris, Ed, and Lindsay are deemed safe and allowed to exit. So they’re really sending someone home? The judges struggle to find faults in the chef’s overwhelmingly praised dishes. “Sarah, your risotto had a little too much cheese in it.” WHAT? No one has ever complained about anything on this earth having too much cheese in it, ever, including lactose intolerant vegans who’ve specifically requested a cheese-free dish (they’d still be like “this is not what I wanted at all but it’s AWESOME”). Whatever, if you’re gonna send someone home, just pick someone and get it over with.

Beverly is asked to pack her knives and go. Even though she cried at Judges’ Table for the 4,000th consecutive week, she actually DOESN’T cry when she’s eliminated.

So it appears that sending someone home on Evil weeek…was THE EVILEST THING OF ALL! Dun dun DUNNNNNNN!!!!! [CASTLE THUNDER]

Seriously though, that was kind of weird, right? “You all did perfectly. What a dilemma! Guess we have to send someone home.” [Waiting for Tom's decision to let everyone stay] “Nah, seeya Beverly, I guess.” I received a text from my mom right after this happened saying “This is hands down my least favorite season of Top Chef,” just days after her Golden Globes text “Give me a break The Descendants best picture please”. Can’t say I strongly disagree with either one (though I like the challenges this season a lot, just the group of chefs aren’t very interesting and Paul is clearly going to win and should).

All in all, I’m not even sure why we’re WHOA IT’S ANGELO BARTENDING ON WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE:

Ahh, Angelo – our good pal on tv and in real life. What were we talking about? Paul was just named the winner and we don’t have to stay up late Wednesday nights taking reality show screengrabs? Cool.

EVIL episode thoughts? Reactions to the controversial elimination? Thoughts on the season as a whole? Any scenarios in which Paul doesn’t win? More EVIL food puns? Leave ‘em all in the comments.