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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #4 - 11/23/11 (Spoilers)

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(Just a reminder - no reveals or spoilers about Last Chance Kitchen that will be online after tonight's episode. Thanks!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"There's no crying in cooking!" Are we going to need Tom Hanks as the coach of one of these teams?

Back at the house, Nyesha is seeing people be cutthroat when the losing team talks about how everyone acted at Judges Table.

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are the Two Hot Tamales - and they are the guest judges for the Quickfire! The cheftestants are to use chili peppers on the table - mild to incendiary on the Scoville scale. Create a dish highlighting one chili pepper. Each chili pepper has a money value assigned to it that they can win - Susan reminds the cheftestants that they have to try 15 of these dishes - so they need to be careful in how spicy they go!

Paul chooses the ghost pepper - 1,000,000 Scoville units! And Beverly chooses the Anaheim - the lowest on the Scoville scale. I know I'm a wimp when it comes to heat in food - I couldn't even *try* some of these dishes - but damn, they look good! Padma, Mary Sue and Susan tried them all - some were wimpy, and some took it on and made a strong statement.

Bottom group - Beverly, Richie, and Chuy. Susan didn't like the canned tomato overpowering any use of chili in Chuy's dish.

Top group - Heather (thai chili for $10,000), Grayson (habanero chili for $12,500), and Paul (ghost chilI for $20,000)

And the winner? It's Paul, who chose the hottest pepper. He gets that $20K plus immunity.

Now on to the Elimination Challenge - a Chili Cookoff. Heather seems confident about making chili, as she does it all the time. They pull pots from under their stations - each pot has a red, white, blue green, or black apron to form teams.

Red - Dakota, Whitney and Chris Jones
White - Grayson, Lindsay and Ty-Lor
Blue - Heather, Edward, and Paul
Green - Chris Crary, Sarah, and Chuy
Black - Nyesha, Beverly and Richie (and Nyesha hopes she doesn't have to carry her team!)

For this challenge, there is no time clock - they are cooking at the Top Chef house, and have to be ready to go by 7pm tomorrow at the Tejas Rodeo. Sarah's father was a bullrider, and she knows to make sure there's a lot of meat in the chili. Over 200 cowboys and rodeo regulars will be eating their chili, and THEY will be deciding who the winner is. It's a madhouse at the meat counter at Whole Foods, and Dakota gets dissed at the meat counter by the butchers despite being the first to ask for what she wanted. She has to switch from brisket to short ribs. Chris Crary is NOT happy with how Sarah is acting towards his team already.

Back at the house, Nyesha's team had a set plan as to who was going to get what...and they grab all the beer in the house! Chris Jones goes for the grill fireplace, and Grayson is trying to negotiate some space in the fireplace by offering up a sheet pan in exchange for space in the grilling fireplace. Everyone's got their space snagged throughout the outside and inside the house.

And Tom shows up at the house taking everyone by surprise - but it's his usual walk through the TC kitchen to see what everyone is doing.

The Green Team is making a chili con carne using beef chuck with a roasted corn salsa

The Red Team is doing a braised brisket short rib chili

The Black Team is doing a mole chili with cornbread - very different!

The Blue Team is doing a smoked brisket and short ribs chili with pickled peaches (and of course Sarah is second guessing herself when Tom asks about the peaches)

The White Team is doing a smoked brisket and short ribs chili (and they won't reveal their secret ingredient to Tom)

It's the middle of the night, and they're all beginning to get punchy - Edward opens a wine bottle by smacking the base of the bottle several times against a post outside, Nyesha jumps into the pool, Chris Jones has a headlamp and is looking for a cave in the inside kitchen, and Chuy is drinking lots of beer. Chris Crary said that Chuy tells about 20 stoires a day - and he's dubbed him The Most Interesting Man In The World. :-)

The Black Team ends around 3:00 a.m., but the White Team says they'll stay up all night. Some are napping outside, some are napping in the hallway. But regardless if they got any sleep, they're ALL yawning and sleepy.

They get to the Rodeo, get into their team's area, and they have 1 hour to prep for service and reheat the chili. Everyone is trying to be careful to not scorch their reheated chili. Edward happens to say out loud how he's reheating a small batch and the transfer it to a larger pot, and then Ty-Lor yells out "thanks for your hint, Edward!" They're all tasting their chili and adding whatever "secret ingredients" they have in their bag of tricks.

The cowboys and cowgirls all walk up and start tasting. Sarah is charming the guys being from Texas, Chris is charming the girls, and Chuy is telling everyone that their "chili was made with a lot of love, and a lot of beer in us and in the chili!"

The judges show up and all get Shiner Bock beer, and Padma ends up having to open Gail Simpson's, as Tom can't do it! They head over to the Green Team to try the first chili, and the judges seem to like it - it grows on Tom, Mary Sue likes the depth of flavor, but Gail says it was too thin - something was needed to soak it up - Mary Sue suggested tortilla or chips.

They head over to the Red Team - kids don't seem to like the "spicy stuff" but the judges like the flavor and heat and smokiness, but Mary Sue says the texture is stringy.

Then comes the Blue Team - others seem to love the pork rinds, the spiciness, and the flavor of the meat, and Gail LOVES the pickled peaches, but Tom's not wild about the chili.

Black Team is next - Susan likes the cornbread - unfortunately for them, it's not a cornbread challenge. Mary Sue said there isn't a focus on what they were going after in the chili, but Padma said it supposed to be a chili that reminded everyone of mole, and that it did.

The White Team is last - and they make a Three-Bean and Beef Chili with Poblano cornbread. Rut-roh - they used beans! One of the cowboys said "Number 5 is the worst!" Gail doesn't like the pickled vegetables in the chili, but Susan liked it. Mary Sue noted that each chili tasted different. Tom thinks the Black Team was one of the weaker ones. He also didn't like the shredded meat in the Red Team's chili. But Susan' liked the Red Team's flavor, whereas the White Team's flavor was flat.

However, it's still up to the diners to choose the winner. But everyone heads over to the rodeo first - including the cheftestants. They get a round of applause for their chili, and get to watch barrel racing, calf roping, and bucking steers. Beverly is crying wishing her husband was there to watch with her. Nyesha said she's used to hardcore chefs, and there's no crying in cooking, and you shouldn't let your emotions show because the other chefs then consider you weak.

Padma comes out on a horse to introduce the 2011 Tejas Rodeo Chili Cookoff. Chris Crary says it was like looking at Fabio on the cover of one of his romance novels....GAH. Chris. Back off!

And the winning team is? THE GREEN TEAM!

And the Black Team had the least favorite chili, and one of them will be going home. BUT...they have one last chance to prove they belong here, according to Padma. They have to transform their losing chili into a different winning dish - in 30 minutes. Beverly, Nyesha and Richie all race back to the kitchen to fix it - each on their OWN. Everyone is doing their own fix to their losing chili.

Beverly made a seared tuna with habanero creamed corn (although she called it a habanero-pineapple salsa)

Nyesha made a Frito-crusted black tiger shrimp with a salsa of roasted corn and reduction of mole sauce

Richie made Frito-crusted pork tenderloin with a potato hash and a ricotta chili puree

Susan was disappointed in Richie's dish, but Padma said he did a lot in 30 minutes. Gail said she wanted more sauce on Nyesha's dish. Beverly used the mole chili in a sauce in the most imaginative way, per Susan and Mary Sue.

The in-between shows some Judges Table sillies.

Back at Judges Table, the three members of the Black Team are standing there. Beverly's was the winning dish, so she is safe. So it's Richie and Nyesha on the chopping block. And Padma tells Richie to PYKAG. Chris Jones will be sad, and he is. Meanwhile, Richie has NO idea that LCK is coming up!

Next week - they head to Dallas - and it shows Chris Crary saying "Wow - John Besh is handsome man!" when they are stopped in a field in the middle of Texas. Sheesh, Chris - really? Please tone it down!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK - off to watch LCK...Richie heads back to the cast house, and he goes up to pack - and finds his letter from Tom. He heads to the TC kitchen and sees he's up against Keith. The challenge is to make something new and exciting from Thanksgiving leftovers, using at least three of the ingredients provided. Keith doesn't cook with leftovers at home; Richie oversalts his dish and tries to compensate. WAY different dishes!

And Final Edit - Thank GOD I finally joined the real world in the 21st century and got a DVR so I can back up the show and catch details I missed first time around. :-) Granted, that also means the final post isn't until after 11pm, but at least it has more detail.

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  1. I was happy to see Paul take the risk and win the quick fire. For some reason I have trouble putting my finger on, I like him. He's not cocky, he's quiet, but he's confident, and out to show people that he CAN cook his ass off. :) I would have rather seen Beverly go home.... her crying is annoying, and her dish at the quick fire was.... severely underwhelming. Richie seemed kinda like a brotherly character, and you could tell he really loves what he does, and personally invests himself in his food.

    1. Oh, and I thought it was hilarious when Mary Sue winked at Chris C. when he mentioned that his quick fire dish was vegetarian!!

      1. great detail catching LW!

        i love the Two Hot Tamales. Cool that Paul took the risk with those ghosts! i have a small jarful right now in my fridge - bought them months ago, used a little of one once, then put the rest in vinegar to save. now i'm thinking i want to make something with them....

        Padma on a horse... what's next, wet t-shirt contest?

        Chris seems to be attracted to anything that walks. He thinks Sarah's annoying but he bugs me way more.

        So... they had the 3 chefs on the black team cook off against each other because they wouldn't have been able to tell which on the losing team should go home, right? then why have these team contests every time?

        and yeah... crying girl needs to stop with the waterworks!

        buh-bye Vato....

        5 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen

          I was really annoyed with Chris when he complained about Sarah being bitchy as the checkstand. She clearly said the items she had were for cornbread *if they had enough* to pay for them, and then when he was nasty about it, she reiterated and pushed the items even farther to one side. But somehow she was the one who was bitchy? And apparently they could have used the cornbread, since the only criticism the judges had was that it needed something to soak it up.

          Despite all the drooling over Padma, he's gay, right? Because honestly what straight man even knows what the cover of a romance with Fabio on it looks like, or if he did, would admit it and then compare a beautiful woman to Fabio?

          Whitney actually got a few minutes of screen time -- not much, but enough to remember that she's actually on this show. I wonder what her quickfire dish was? She was standing with the habanero group, so at least she's tougher than she looks.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Regarding Chris C – the thought crossed my mind. Or bisexual. Or polysexual. Or just aware of sexuality in all sorts of iconic stuff. It *was* interesting that he used the Fabio comparison.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Didn't he also remark about how handsome John Besh was in the preview for the next episode?

              1. re: JAB

                Yet at the same time...

                I think there are women who admire this or that attribute of men, physical or not; do the same with other women, including physical beauty; yet look to have sex only with men.

                Similarly I think there are men who do the same, who can admire physical desirability of other men, but who might normally have sex only with women.

                Speaking in a general sense (and not necessarily of Chris C) I think such men are more confident in their persona and do not feel threatened by others - of whichever sex - who admire them in turn. They're the sort who wouldn't beat up some gay guy who tried to hit on them but who would instead take it as a compliment. :-)

                There are also many gay guys who are quite capable of admiring physical beauty in women, but who would have no wish to bed them.

                Eh, this is getting off-topic.

                1. re: huiray

                  but i totally agree with you. Chris C. might be gay, or bi, but being able to appreciate beauty in a man, and say it out loud, on national t.v. , no less, is not a clear sign that he is, to me.

          2. Random thoughts:
            I'm suddenly inspired to make chili.

            Certainly a lot of bromance between the Moto guys. Never seen a man crush like that before on TC, have we?

            Beverly, stop crying. Please.

            Loved the interlude when the judges acknowledged that they were assholes for making those guys cook after they'd been up for 24 hours.

            Kudos to the guy who cooked with the ghost pepper - and won!

            2 Replies
            1. re: chicgail

              Re: the Moto guys – Y'know, I think it would be nice if it turned out that there was something deeper. ;-)
              Re: Beverly – yes, please try to exercise a little more control.
              Re: A**holes – It was Simmons who said that. I enjoyed the Tamales lolling at it and rolled my eyes at Colicchio's shocked, I tell ya, *shocked* stare and his "G_d bless".

              I'll pass on the chili.
              Paul deserved the QF win.

              1. re: huiray

                Re: A**holes – It was Simmons who said that.
                ~~~~~~~~~
                at the end of the clip, Tom also said "We ARE a**holes."

            2. I cringe every time I see the name "Ty-Lör". I'm guessing it wasn't his own doing, but if it was - double cringe.

              Is it me or does Grayson just seem like she's is totally unsure of herself and intimidated? I guess its better than feeling overconfident. Maybe. Kudos on the pepper, BTW.

              Chris Jones' repeated "glass on glass" crime is making it hard for me to take him seriously. No need for cheap sunglasses on your head - we know they aren't prescription lenses and you ARE indoors - at the same time you're wearing eye glasses. If this continues the fashion police will be a knockin'.

              Do you get the feeling that Chuy Valencia has a total advantage in damn near every one of these Texas themed challenges? For someone who knows the cuisine and is so sure of himself, he sure doesn't do very well.

              Paul is the silent storm. Took the ghost pepper and worked it. You just KNEW the higher Scoville takers were going to win this.

              I liked Richie. His mohawk? Not so much.

              Still digging the cast. Top to bottom, very talented.

              1. Just a few random thoughts about this episode...

                Why did the White team put beans in their chili in Texas? If anyone thought flour tortillas in enchiladas was a faux pas, beans in chili in Texas is practically a criminal offense.

                Why did they serve chili in the paper boats? Is that how it's done in Texas? We always serve chili in bowls (or on hotdogs, or in a bag of Fritos, but not a paper boat).

                What was Beverly thinking with the Quickfire? I heard her response but it still did not make any sense to slice a raw Anaheim and put it on a plate and expect anything other than the comments she received.

                The bromance with the Moto guys did not include kissing like the Fabio-Stefan relationship did.

                In the previews for the next episode we see that John Besh is the guest judge. What, do they not have enough celebrity chefs in Texas to do an entire season of Top Chef and they have to go next door to Louisiana to get talent? (And I'm not even including Emeril Lagasse since he's a season-long judge).

                33 Replies
                1. re: John E.

                  I thought the exact same thing re: the beans in the white teams chili. What surprised me, even more than the fact that they used the beans, was the fact that NOBODY commented on that fact!! They made a point of showing people asking the other teams about beans, but the team that used three beans, yeah they just left that out!!

                  1. re: kubasd23

                    Well, soon after the White Team was shown serving their chili, one of the cowboys *did* state "Number 5 is the worst!" and I think that meant the White Team's chili.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      oh yeah, that guy did say that! but none of the judges though

                  2. re: John E.

                    The chili was in cups, I think the paper boats were just to hold the corn bread etc on the side.

                    Loved Chris' 'Padma on a horse is like Fabio on the cover of a romance novel - pure beauty'.

                    I was surprised more teams didn't take turns napping. It didn't seem like everyone really had to stay up all night stirring the chili.

                    1. re: John E.

                      That's why I said in the OP "Rut-roh!" on the beans in the White Team's chili! SERIOUSLY? I'm a Northeasterner (now a New Englander) and even *I* know "no beans in Texas chili!"

                      As for John Besh being there...Milliken and Feniger aren't Texan, are they? I thought they're based in California.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        You're right, but at least they're known as the 'Hot Tamales'. Somehow them being there didn't seem out of place to me, but Besh does because while he's close geographically, his cooking does not strike me as particularly 'Texan',

                        1. re: John E.

                          John Besh does have a lot of German influence in his cooking, as does food here in S. Texas. He also owns a restaurant in San Antonio, Luke, who's original location is in New Orleans.

                          1. re: saeyedoc

                            I had no idea he owned any restaurants in San Antonio.I know their next stop is onto Dallas.

                      2. re: John E.

                        "In the previews for the next episode we see that John Besh is the guest judge. What, do they not have enough celebrity chefs in Texas to do an entire season of Top Chef and they have to go next door to Louisiana to get talent?"

                        I find it odd that so many Top Chef Masters are involved this season in general. Maybe trying to pump people up for the next round of that, which I assume is on after this batch ends?

                        If Beverly just did have a kid, I'll cut her slack. Otherwise, she's getting annoying. And I was surprised how much Richie was crying, would have thought he'd not take it so hard.

                        I did pay much attention to the first half and can't think of who Paul is for the life of me, will have to find a picture. I don't see an update for Ep 4 on Eater yet. Does it exist?

                        1. re: Joanie

                          I don't often go to the Eater website, usually only when someone here provides a link.

                          If Beverly just had a baby (I wonder how recent) then maybe she should not be leaving the baby for 6 weeks to compete on Top Chef.

                          I think the Moto guy might just be an emotional guy and I also think his reaction was because he felt he disappointed his boss, the other Moto contestant.

                          When I wrote the post about John Besh I did not realize he had a restaurant in San Antonio. I still think of him as a New Orleans chef. We ate at one of his New Orleans restaurants in October. It was the same night the Saints beat the Colts 62-7. The restaurant was almost deserted. The food was great.

                          1. re: John E.

                            Seriously? If she just had a baby she should give up the chance of a lifetime?

                            1. re: julietg

                              Who says it's the chance of lifetime? A lot of things happen in life. If she's is so unhappy and on edge emotionally because she left her newborn child, then yes, she should have stayed home.

                              1. re: John E.

                                Um, I have to return to work on thursday after giving birth three moths ago. I will most certainly be emotional. Life isnt as simple as you can only have one thing or another. Moreover, to get the full benefit from breastfeeding you need to do it for two to three years. Wish I could put my career on hold for that long, but like I said life ain't so simple.

                                1. re: julietg

                                  Are you actually leaving your baby for 6 weeks on Thursday? Did you see the point I made when I wondered how long ago she had the baby? You seem to be judging a statement I made without understanding the context of the point in which it was made.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    Would you say the same thing if it was a man? Just how long do you require a woman to be tethered to a baby? You can be emotional about the choice you make and still have it be the right choice.

                                    I find all posters being judgmental about the crying to be a lot more annoying than the crying. She's not asking for any special privileges or making excuses, so why are people so down on her for expressing a few emotions? Some people, especially women, cry as a way of releasing tension, and Top Chef certainly creates a lot of tension! Better crying than some of the other ways Top Chef contestants have released their tension.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      Ruth, right now I love you. Thanks for saying what you did and saying it so well.

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        I totally agree. Good job putting in words what I was thinking. :)

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          Joanie speculated that Beverly 'just did have a kid' and my response was to wonder how recent it was that she had a baby. There has been much written here about her emotional state and her frequent weeping. I suggested that MAYBE she should not have left her child for 6 weeks. How can a speculative, innocent statement like that get me into trouble? As long as I'm in troible, here goes. When I wrote that statement I did so under the assumption that if Beverly had recently given birth before competing on TC 9 the said speculative baby was less than 8 weeks old. That's a 'recent' baby in my mind. If Beverly were a man (there have been a few men named Beverly, I met one once) and the baby were less than 8 weeks old then I woild say he too should consider not leaving his wife and new baby for six weeks. Believe it or not, men and women, especially when it comes to having a newborn baby, are different. Please don't turn my innecent comment into something bigger than it was or was intended.

                                        2. re: John E.

                                          Chefs at that level don't make a lot of money and Beverly has said she is the financial support in her family. If there were an opportunity to make sure the family is secure, even if it is just about getting exposure, a lot of people would jump at the chance. Being a chef is also about chatter and people wanting to go to your restaurant--what better opportunity, even if you don't win? Her baby isn't a newborn but still breastfeeding age, at least, from the picture showed. It's not like she cried in front of the judges or when she was competing--she pulled it together to make a great dish. But, when there are cameras on you 24/7, they're going to catch your emotional moments. That doesn't mean she's on the edge emotionally or is so unhappy. They all have their moments. Who could be on camera for months on end and not show some vulnerability? That said, I'm more turned off by Beverly pushing herself to the front of the line and demanding to be served first than the rest. I don't care if you're in a contest, wait your turn.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            All of my recent comments about Beverly were predicated upon the assumption that her baby was 'recent' which to me means that the child is a couple of months old at most. I stand by my comments. I also agree that her crying is a better emotional reactionzthan the 'in your face' comments made by Marcel in other seasons although I find Beverly's weeping annoying and I found watching other contestants' reactions to Marcel quite entertaining. (Remember after Marcel broke Frank's sunglasses and Frank threatened to beat Marcel so bad his own mother would not recognize him?)

                                            1. re: chowser

                                              Who could be on camera for months on end and not show some vulnerability? That said, I'm more turned off by Beverly pushing herself to the front of the line and demanding to be served first than the rest. I don't care if you're in a contest, wait your turn.
                                              ***
                                              Bryan Voltaggio showed nothing while he was ont he show. And yes, I agree that Beverly is even more annoying with her aggresssive behavior.

                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                Or there was nothing shown. I'd guess there were moments of anger, frustration, esp between the brothers. I'm not saying all contestants show the same level but I'm sure there is far more drama than we see.

                                          2. re: julietg

                                            I agree with John E., I'd have serious doubts about leaving my newborn child for 6 weeks even for the career opportunity of a lifetime. A huge amount of bonding takes place during those early months; it's one thing to be gone at work during the day or to be out of town for a few days, but to be completely absent for a month and a half would be hard to justify (for me). Each person makes their own decision, but I agree with John that it's questionable, given her situation and her apparent reaction to it, whether Beverly made the right choice.

                                            And I too find constant crying annoying. She's entitled to do it if she wants, but it's not helping her chances in the competition or her audience appeal (which is certainly a major factor in parlaying a TC appearance into a major career boost).

                                            1. re: monopod

                                              My father left my mom when she was pregnant and also had a toddler to come to the US. It's not an uncommon immigrant experience. I don't know how old her baby is but it's unfair to sit back in a comfortable life and judge when we have no idea what's going on.

                                              1. re: chowser

                                                my wife had the same familial situation, with her father leaving the family to work in a different country for many years, returning only once every 4 - 6 months. it was tremendously difficult, but it ultimately changed the course of their lives as the money my FIL earned allowed my wife to get a college education and paid my BIL's way through medical school.

                                                while the choice to leave may or may not be the right one for each person, i don't think you can say that her apparent reaction indicates she made the wrong choice. leaving her child couldn't have been an easy decision and i assume it was a very emotional, painful choice and probably causes her to second guess / regret throughout the show. that being said, as long as she has the conviction that this is the right choice for her family in the long run and she is willing to suck up the short term pain, hard for me to question her choice.

                                                1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                  Well said. I think most people have made decisions that have some negative emotions. That doesn't mean you regret the decision, just acknowledge there are tough sacrifices. Being in a military family, I see separation often and while emotional, not a decision you regret.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Right on. I thought of military mothers, especially. Because of the numerous, frequently deployments in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there must have been mothers in the same situation as Beverly, only without the ability to send home breastmilk, I imagine!

                                              2. re: monopod

                                                First, all this talk about her leaving her baby not to mention the baby's age is just speculation -- people are talking about it as if it were a fact, which it's not.

                                                Second, "constant" crying? Really?

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                  Only thing I could find-
                                                  http://www.avclub.com/articles/red-ho...

                                                  quoted from blogger "Irony or Mayo"
                                                  EDIT: From an anonymous commenter (so take it for what it's worth) at The AV Club's recap of this episode:

                                                  I spoke to Beverly's sister, who happens to run the San Diego Asian Film Foundation. She says that Beverly had a new baby, still in the breast-feeding phase, when she got the call from Top Chef to get on a plane within 24 hours. Apparently this batch of chefs weren't allowed to contact their families during the filming, so she was an emotional wreck.

                                                  1. re: julietg

                                                    So she did leave 2 kids? I think speculation is called for given the circumstantial evidence.

                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                      aaaand it's alive again.

                                        3. re: Joanie

                                          > can't think of who Paul is for the life of me, will have to find a picture

                                          I find Dom's power rankings at Skillet Doux (http://skilletdoux.typepad.com/topchef/) to be useful in keeping the chefs straight, especially when they don't get much air time -- he always includes pics.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            I don't see an update for Ep 4 on Eater yet. Does it exist?
                                            ~~~~~~~~~
                                            not as far as i can tell. Max Silvestri must still be in a food coma from Thanksgiving dinner...

                                        4. Did someone say, "nobody take my breast milk," when they were claiming space at the house, or was it, "nobody take my brisket?" It was when Nyesha was taking the beer.

                                          15 Replies
                                          1. re: julietg

                                            Sounded like "breast milk" to me. I had to back up the TiVo to make sure I heard it right. Sounds like a great Quickfire.

                                            1. re: acgold7

                                              sounded like that to me!!

                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                that's what I heard too!!

                                                1. re: kubasd23

                                                  I go back to work and have to start saving milk at the office next week. I feel better about doing this if someone can do it while being on TC. Which one is it?

                                                  1. re: julietg

                                                    ha, I just noticed my double post.... I thought the first one didn't get posted.... whoops!! I don't know if that's what someone actually said, but it sure as heck sounded like it!

                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                      I'm pretty sure it was Beverly.

                                                      1. re: VintageMolly

                                                        Ick. I think it was too. Now we have to give her a break for crying. If that baby is new, being away from him or her gives Beverly a full-on lizard brain evolutionary excuse.

                                                2. re: julietg

                                                  TIME OUT EVERYONE!!!!

                                                  From this simple mis-hearing that maybe Beverly said maybe "breast milk," we've gone to bashing Beverly for leaving a newborn behind to do Top Chef. I googled her: in an April 2011 article she mentions that her son is14 months old. So unless they filmed Top Chef in the summer of 2010, she did not have a young baby! Please, let's not let speculation run rampantly out of control!

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    So if it is that (relatively) long ago why is she still crying about it, as the, uh, "discussion" above circles around and around about?

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      There's no evidence that she's crying about it. Once people started speculating that she'd left a newborn behind then they started attributing the crying to that. And so it went!

                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      this is a joke, right? without rampant speculation, 90 percent of these comments vanish into the ether.
                                                      on the other hand...

                                                      1. re: linus

                                                        There's speculation, and then there's out-and-out falsehood.

                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                          out and out falsehood...oh, you mean drawing conclusions about people from a heavily edited gameshow and zero actual live experience of them or their food?
                                                          just another main course 'round here. no big whup.

                                                          1. re: linus

                                                            Kind of like the difference between the Big Bang Theory and people who believe that man walked the earth w/ dinosaurs.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              The difference? One is a TV show and the other aredelusional people. Actually, they are quite similar.

                                                  2. Second week in a row with a team challenge and no EC winner. I guess they'll have to wait for an individual challenge before someone earns bragging rights. And so far, the two QFs have both come with cash prizes. Wonder if that'll persist. For all the EC-win goodies they've lavished in recent seasons, the QF cash has been only occasional until now.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      I'm not sure how they would have come up with a definitive EC winner since they all basically made just one dish and collaborated on it. It's not like it sometimes is where each person was responsible for some component of a meal that would stand alone. Just my thoughts...

                                                      1. re: Leepa

                                                        Yes, and that's why they made the losing team cook against each other - so they could determine something individual. But they also did not choose an EC winner last week, despite the fact that each person made an individual contribution the the team menus. In both cases, a change from past seasons.

                                                    2. Just a side note - I have become twin-like with Edward Lee from Episode #2 because of The 2011 Thanksgiving Knife Incident yesterday while chopping herbs for the turkey's butter rub. Like Edward (and VERY unlike and the complete opposite of Jamie Lauren from TC 5 and All-Stars!) I took off the nail on my left forefinger. But I managed to get it wrapped up in Band-Aids and paper toweling to staunch the bleeding and soldier on to get the damn bird into the oven! (Hear that Jamie??? I cut off the nail and didn't go to the hospital, you wuss!)

                                                      Details are here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8194...

                                                      But I'm happy to say I seem to be doing OK and slept without knocking the finger. Will get some nonstick Steri-Pads and a finger protector (one of those stiff metal ones like when you dislocate a finger) today at CVS when the beau comes up.

                                                      So next week's episode recap will either be a little shorter, full of typing errors, or posted a lot later so I can stop the DVR and go back to get details. :-)

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Two words: Dragon Dictation. Jeez, hope you feel ok! In the same vein (pun intended), what was Gail talking about when she mentioned a bagel accident from which she no longer has feeling in her thumb and can't open a beer??

                                                        1. re: julietg

                                                          I heard that and can only assume Gail was one of those that once cut bagels by holding it in her hand and slicing down with the knife towards her palm and crook of the thumb/finger area. Using a serrated knife, she probably severed a tendon?

                                                          I yell at coworkers when they do that with "football bagels" (winner of that week's football pool buys bagels for the rest of us) - All I can think of is dealing with the mess AND workers comp! LOL

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Gail Simmons explains:
                                                            http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                              So I was right. I like being right. ;-)

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                :) lol.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  We all do, don't we? At least you're authentic about it, Linda.

                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Yikes! Dragon's a great idea, but then, I work for Nuance ;-) I would be curious how your normal typing speed, your handicapped typing speed, and dictation compare...but mostly I hope the healing is quick and infection-free!

                                                            1. re: momjamin

                                                              LOL! That would be a great comparison, momjamin!

                                                              I've found that I'm not doing too badly with using my left middle finger in place of the left forefinger on both the desktop (where I use a natural keyboard) and the laptop (regular straight laptop keyboard). But I'm definitely slower. The "b" key is hard to reach with your middle finger. So as long as I'm not typing about borscht, broccoli, bok choy, beans, beets, bananas, brownies,bacon, baguettes, bruschetta, brie or bread, it's all good. :-)

                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Sorry to hear about the accident.

                                                              Oddly enough, I had a minor variation of that as well. Certainly not as bad as yours. Sliced into my left index finger tip, partly through the nail. Bled like crazy too. Huh, did you know that buttoning pants etc is difficult without the use of that finger?

                                                            3. Thanks Linda - great job as usual - you catch so much that I miss.

                                                              Flour tortillas in enchiladas. Beans in Texas chili. Did these chefs do ANY homework before flying out to Texas? One would have to think that there would be a tex-mex meal? Chili? Guess what folks, I’m not clairvoyant, but I’d be willing to bet there will be some BBQ cooking real soon. If you’re not prepared for BBQ, you’re just stupid and deserve to PYKAG. By the way, if you can’t do real authentic, then go the fusion route – it’s been working for Beverly.

                                                              I’m starting to like/dislike certain cheftestants for no particular cooking reasons:
                                                              I like Paul – he went for the ghost chili and he’s just pretty cool and composed.
                                                              Beverly – I like you but the crying has got to stop. It’s wearing thin.
                                                              Grayson – jury’s still out though you’re near the top of who I’d like to party with.
                                                              Chuy – probably the most fun and likable contestant but his days are numbered.
                                                              Chris Jones – can go far but the glasses. Please dude, do something about the glasses.
                                                              Sarah- she can cook but I don’t like her. I think she did blatantly throw Keith under the bus when she could have helped him AND her team. She’s good enough to go far but if she makes enemies (well on her way), it could sink her.
                                                              Nyesha - One of my favorites. She’s cool and she’s talented.
                                                              Chris Crary – Probably an odds-on favorite to go far. Even though his fawning over Padma, though understandable, is already getting old, there’s something very likable about the guy and he can cook.
                                                              The others? So far indifferent. I’m sure my opinions will adjust as the season progresses.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: bobbert

                                                                you can rely on the network that brings us merciless 'real housewives' dreck to exploit Beverly's show of emotions. context -- she was sleep deprived, she's the main income earner in her home, she probably faces the high expectations from a family that would prefer she'd either married a big earner or invested in a career with higher social prestige.

                                                                hope the fans of Nyesha got to see the Chef Hunter episode when she landed her position at the Wilshire. in that show she appeared to get on the job training on how to perform before the video camera and conceal her emotions. here, she was nearly eliminated for similar factors that led to Keith's exit -- an unfamiliarity with the nuances of southwest regional cooking, and relying on another style (regional Mexican) she hasn't mastered.

                                                                1. re: moto

                                                                  Oh? I didn't know they had an episode of that TV show for the Wilshire position. It would have been for the replacement for Michael Voltaggio, right? I'll have to look for the repeat of that one.

                                                                  ETA: OK, found it - next one will be Sun 11/27 @11pm EST. Hmm, it was the 1st episode of the series. Who were the other competing chefs on that episode?

                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                    sorry, Voltaggio was at Jose Andres' Bazaar a few years ago, then went to a luxury hotel in Pasadena, and is working on opening his own place in W.Hollywood at present. the Wilshire did not look like his kind of place, at all.(the exec making the hiring decision thought a baby octopus appetizer would freak out his customers).

                                                                    the two other candidates for the Wilshire spot were men, one guy a Robuchon acolyte whose style was too fancy to suit the place, and another who's worked internationally and speaks seven languages.

                                                                    1. re: moto

                                                                      Ah yes. That's right. Mentally I thought of the Langham (Dining Room) (Pasadena) as the Wilshire (LA) for some reason.

                                                                      Hasn't Michael Voltaggio's Ink. been open for a few months now?

                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                        Ink is indeed up and running.

                                                              2. I notice that next week's show snippets are up on Bravo's website. Is this normal? They have the date wrong on them or I missed two being aired this week. Anyone?

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Leepa

                                                                  They always have the next week's previews put up on the Bravo TC site within a day of an episode airing. I'm not seeing where you're seeing a date on the previews? The preview w/John Besh is what I noted at the end of the OP. It *is* for next week's episode.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    I'm sorry. I meant that it shows that the episode aired last week. On the episodes link.

                                                                    http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...
                                                                    http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/seaso...

                                                                    Probably just a typo. I've never looked at the previews before so that may be normal for them to be up already.

                                                                    1. re: Leepa

                                                                      Ahhh, yes - that's most definitely a typo. Bravo has been known to put up a recipe or two (or twenty) with missing ingredients, etc., so no surprise that next week's ep has the wrong premiere date. :-)

                                                                2. Has it been noted that Richie is the twin of Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia?

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                    ehhhh....

                                                                    1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                      Sorry, I really don't see it.

                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                        Listen to Ritchie talk. It's eerie. Give Charlie Ritchie's facial hair and it'd obvious.

                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo

                                                                          Oh I thought you meant physically. I'll have to give him another listen!

                                                                    2. I think the only difference between the 'no flour tortillas for enchiladas' and 'no beans in chili' things is that SOMEWHERE chili is traditionally made with beans. I don't believe the challenge was to do Texas-style chili, just chili-- although a thinking person might say to him or herself 'this is Texas, and Texans are judging, maybe I should make Texas-style chili'.The enchilada thing was forging a new direction in enchiladas altogether :)

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Manybears

                                                                        Problem is, the challenge was to make chili... to be judged by a hoard of Texans. And Texans are notoriously opinionated about their chili.

                                                                        So while it isn't necessarily 'wrong' to make chili with beans, it was probably a bad idea in this particular challenge.

                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                          I think you could argue either side. As in, I'm not going to try making Texas chili for Texans, since it'll never be exactly what they have in mind. Sometimes it's better to take a completely different route.

                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                            You COULD argue either side, but one side would still be wrong... :D

                                                                            I'm pretty sure that in the mind of most Texans, chili with beans IS Texas chili - it's just Texas chili done wrong. Sort of like offering a steakums cheesesteak to a Philadelphian.

                                                                            You're just not likely to get a bunch of Texans to embrace a chili with beans, by my reckoning. It's not a matter of authenticity or of taking the route less traveled. There is one inviolable rule in Texas for chili, and they broke it.

                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                              However the three bean team is not the losers.

                                                                              1. re: dondcook

                                                                                Wasn't the winner either. The winner was a fairly traditional Texas chili.

                                                                                Anyway, the judges picked the losers, not the Texan crowd.

                                                                              2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                Hey, I'm not saying it was the right thing to do, just that I can see the rationale. :) Also, I'm firmly in the pro-bean camp when it comes to chili.