You are here: Home>Collections>Pepper

'Top Chef' episode 4 recap

In which we award points for cheesy dancing, short shorts and other antics

November 24, 2011|By Lisa Arnett, RedEye

The competition continued last night on "Top Chef: Texas," and so we continue our own point-based competition for the six Chicago chefs in the cast.

Quickfire challenge: Border Grill's Mary Sue Millikin and Susan Feniger (remember them from "Top Chef Masters"?) guest judge a chili challenge in which they are to cook a dish with a pepper ranging in spice from the mild Anaheim pepper to the nuclear ghost pepper.

Elimination challenge: Teams of three are to cook chili and serve it at a rodeo. With no time limit, the chefs are sent back to the cast house to cook all night, leaving room for plenty of late-night antics in the backyard. There is only one team without a Chicago cheftestant on it, making the chance of one of our own landing in the bottom pretty high.

-Her dish isn't shown at all during the quickfire, meaning she's not on the top or the bottom. 0 points.
-Chris C. isn't happy to be on her team after seeing her in the hot seat on the last show. "I'm already starting to see the bitchy of her." -1 point.
1 -She grew up in Texas and her dad was a bullrider. Badass. +2 points.
TOTAL: 1 point

-She tries to one-up Padma's look from the last episode with two different faux flowers in her hair. +1 point.
-She pickles Thai chili to use in her quickfire dish and the judges' name her in the top three, but she's beat out by Paul, who went big and used the ghost pepper. +1 point.
-Her funniest quote of the night: "I'm not a mosier really. I don't mosey in my real life." +1 point.
-Judge Gail Simmons falls in love with the pickled peaches served with her team's chili. +1 point.
TOTAL: 4 points.

-The show's not even half over and he's already made two references to the apocalypse. He exclaims, "The world's gonna end!" when he can't find something in the fridge, and then shares that he has "enough cans of habanero in my apartment to last through the next nuclear fallout." It is probably not a coincidence that his restaurant Chilam Balam, is named after ancient Mayan prophecy texts. +1 point.
-Says he needs to win the quickfire because he "owes Uncle Sam some money." Uh oh. -1 point.
-Despite his background in Latin cooking, he is in the bottom three of the chili quickfire. This is embarrassing. -1 point.
-While cooking at the house overnight, he showcases some seriously short powder blue shorts, is shown busting a move on more than one occasion and helps himself to the beer that one team is cooking with. "Several times during the course of the evening, we have to remind Chuy that the beer is for cooking and not ingesting," said Chris C. For unknown reasons he also rides (and very clumsily dismounts) a toy rocking horse. Every cast house needs a life of the party. +2 points.
-While talking about his physique as a kid, he said, "I had muscles in places where I didn't even have places yet." Wha? -1 point.
TOTAL: 0 points.

-One of his first appearances on this episode involves pantomiming fire-eating. +1 point.
-He's wearing a bandana and sunglasses on his head. Which clearly are just for show because h also wears regular glasses. I'm confused, but intriged. +1 point.
-He makes a variation on a buffalo wing in the quickfire challenge. During a pre-show interview, I remember him telling me that he loves recreating comfort foods that people love. Way to stay true, man. +1 point.
-He's either delirious from lack of sleep or shared some of Chuy's beer when he's shown staring up at the sky, gushing "Look at that gigantic star!" -1 point.
-Like a good big bro, he's there for Richie with a hug and comforting words when he gets the bad news. +1 point.
TOTAL: 3 points.

RedEye Chicago Articles