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'Top Chef: Texas' episode 5 recap

In which we award the 5 Chicago chefs points for tall tales (Chuy, that's you) and chicken cigars

November 30, 2011|By Lisa Arnett

Though "Top Chef: Texas" did away with one of the six Chicagoans last week, we're still representing strong with more chefs than any other city in the remaining cast. And so we continue our point-based post-show competition.

Quickfire challenge: The chefs travel to Dallas, where they're stopped by a roadblock and meet guest judge John Besh, who oddly enough, owns restaurants not in Dallas, but in San Antonio (where the chefs just came from) and New Orleans. In 30 minutes, they must cook a dish with a car survival kit of packaged dry foods on the side of the road.

Elimination challenge: Cook an appetizer, entree or dessert for a progressive dinner hosted by three couples with mansions in the chi chi Highland Park subdivision. Sarah and Chris are on the appetizer team; Chuy, Beverly and Heather are tasked with main dishes, and no Chicagoans land in the dessert group.  

BEVERLY
-Dallas makes her think of country singers. "Who's the one with the like, really ... (long pause in which all viewers presume she's going to say either 'big hair' or 'big boobs') ... Dolly Parton? Isn't she from Dallas?" Sorry, Bev: Her birthplace (and Dollywood) are in Tennessee. -1 point.
-Both Heather and Nyesha call her out for taking up too much kitchen space during their elimination challenge. -1 point.
-One of the elimination challenge hostesses said she'd ask Beverly back to make her scallops with polenta and white truffle. +1 point.
TOTAL: -1 point.

SARAH
-In the elimination challenge, she's the only chef we see using the grill outside. Grill it, Sarah! +1 point.
-Her artichoke dish was one of the judges' four favorites, though teammate Paul ends up taking the win. +2 points.  
TOTAL: 3 points

HEATHER
-She drives the cast in one of three Toyota Siennas (by now you have surely realized that the company is a sponsor), even though her past road trip experiences usually include getting thrown up on by her carsick-prone brother. +1 point.  
-In the elimination challenge, her lamb is overcooked, and the answer to Tom's question, "Do you like your lamb overcooked in Texas?" is definitely, definitely no. -1.
TOTAL: 0 points.

CHRIS
-In response to Chuy calling Chris Crary "Beautiful Chris," Chris Jones jokingly dubbed himself "Ugly Chris." Gotta love a man with self-deprecating humor. +1 point.
-When everyone else runs to their cars to get the survival kits in the quickfire, he runs toward the cornfield, hoping for fresh corn. It turns out to be too dry, but he uses the husk to plate his fried chicken with lemongrass noodles and hearts of palm. +1 point.
-When he sees the host has a cigar lighter during the elimination challenge, he channels Moto and makes roasted chicken with sweet corn and collard greens that looks like a cigar with cumin "ash." +1 point.
-Tom said "Close, but no cigar," John Besh called it "gimmicky," landing him in the bottom four. -1 point.
TOTAL: 2 points.

CHUY
-He calls his dirty rice dish "Chuy's dirty mouth dirty rice." If you've seen his casting video, you will know why. +1 point.
-Guest judge John Besh chooses him as one of the top three in the quickfire and admits Chuy's made him a believer in canned smoked trout. +1 point.
-He's already earned a reputation of storytelling, specifically tales about his dad's impressive skills. "He can build you a house. You just tell him where." Again, this kid is reality TV gold. +1 point.
-For the elimination challenge, his overcooked goat cheese-stuffed salmon lands him in the bottom four, and moments later, Padma (showing some seriously over-the-top cleavage) told him to pack up his knives. "It was the overcooked salmon in a dish that wasn't thought through that sent Chuy home," said Besh. -2 points.
-In the Last Chance Kitchen webisode, he beats reigning champion chef Keith in a steak challenge. If he continues to beat every other eliminated chef, he could get the chance to get back on the show. He also shows some humility after doing his fair share of bragging in past episodes. "I take back thinking that I'm good under pressure. I'm not." And he calls Tom the Puff Daddy of steak. Let's see how you fare against next week's ousted chef, Chuy! +2
TOTAL: 3 points.

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