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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #9 - 01/04/12 (Spoilers)

LindaWhit | Jan 4, 201207:30 PM

NOTE: This is a 76 minute episode tonight!

Well, we're back. Not feeling all that great, but I'll muddle through. So, what do we have going on tonight? Looks like molecular gastronomy and a BBQ Pit War.

They're back at the Driskell and the chefs are saying they couldn't believe Heather went home; that she fought really hard for it. Beverly dryly said "Oh yeah, she fought for it." Edward noted that Heather had won two competitions on his recipe; Sara thought that he should have had the balls to say it to Heather when she was there.

Next thing we know, there's a knock on the door. A room service guy comes up with a table full of "Modernist Cuisine" by Nathan Myhrvold....an encyclopedic set of books on how to approach all cuisine with a modern mindset, per Edward. There is a note from Padma telling them this is their homework for the evening and that they should study up. They start thumbing through the books wondering what should be studied. Chris Jones said it's not all about molecular gastronomy, but a lot of it is classic techniques. Beverly seems to be the only one who stayed up extra-late going through them.

They arrive at Le Cordon Bleu and see Padma and Nathan Myhrvold as their judges. He explains that the modernist movement is learning new techniques to delight the people who eat the chef's food, and that MG is only a small subset. But it's really about creativity.

The winner of the QF who best illustrates modernist cuisine will get immunity AND a set of Modernist Cuisine. They have 45 minutes to cook. Chris Jones is hoping he pulls this one out. Everyone's looking at his work space which is surrounded in mist, per Ty-Lor, and he's got a lot of nitro going on. When they're done cooking, he's pleading to the camera to at least be in the top group.

Oops! Beverly spurts curry cream on Padma and Nathan, who says "that's a very modernist thing, but we're not used to having food served on us!" She then steps on a pile of dirty dishes and is half-laughing/giggling throughout her cleanup. Double-Oops! Edward says he respects her as a chef and a person, but she *is* a bit of an oddball. :-) Nathan ends up telling her how to use the foamer.

Oh LORD Sarah's Breakfast Raviolo, Pancetta, & Egg Yolk dish looks heavenly! Chris Crary's dish seemed to be well received by Padma and Nathan. Chris Jones goes into an explanation of "miracle berry" and how it changes your palate, and Nathan interjects that he grows it in his basement. Chris said "I would love to visit your basement!" But he didn't really DO anything - he just fed them a miracle berry before they ate.

Bottom group - Paul, Beverly, and Grayson
Top group - Ty-Lor, Sarah, and Chris Jones

The winner is? Ty-Lor! (I'm kind of glad Chris Jones *didn't* win, since he didn't really do anything for it!)

For the Elimination Challenge, they're moving from modern to traditional - BBQ! And Padma notes that Nathan took first place in the World BBQ Championships in Memphis, TN. Wow! They're asked to split themselves into 3 teams of three. The teams are:

1. RED TEAM - Sarah, Edward, and Ty-Lor
2. BLUE TEAM - Lindsay, Paul, and Grayson
3. WHITE TEAM - Beverly, Chris Jones, and Chris Crary

The last team of Beverly and the two Chris's just seem to be formed by default, as the other two teams seemed to shy away from Beverly.

They will be serving BBQ for 300 guests at the Salt Lick. For this challenge, they'll have all night to cook - chicken, beef brisket, and pork spareribs, and two sides have to be on the plates for service. Each team will have $1000 at Whole Foods and $1000 at Restaurant Depot. That's a LOT of protein they're buying at Restaurant Depot!

They show up at Salt Lick, and Ty-Lor said you can smell the BBQ getting out of the cars. The owner, Scott Roberts, shows them around the pits, tells them a lot about how they do the cooking. They then get a chance to try Salt Lick's BBQ out.

The owner climbs into his Toyota Tundra that's filled with logs, and everyone heads over in their Toyota Siennas to the BBQ pits (figured I'd help the marekting people along by mentioning the Toyota brands!). He tells them the pits are exact recreations of what they saw in Salt Lick's cooking area. They get to work around 10:15pm.

Ty-Lor pastes a handwritten sign on the RV "If this RV is a-rockin', don't come a-knockin." :-) While Ty-Lor knows he's got immunity, he wants to redeem himself from the steak episode. He wants to put that behind him. Sarah tells Edward how she wants to onions grilled, and Edward walks away grumbling "don't tell me how to effin' cook!" And Crary's wearing a wife-beater....he says it doesn't match his shoes, and thanks Lindsay for pointing it out.

Beverly heads inside and tells Chris Crary the bourbon's almost reduced. Chris C. tells her to be careful with reducing bourbon - sure enough, she walks in and it's flaming HIGH. Meanwhile, no one seems to know what's going on...but she leaves the fire going and she eventually sets off the fire alarm. She carries the pot outside still flaming. (Why wouldn't she just have put a lid on it inside?) She eventually puts a saucepan on top to put out the flames.

Paul's being the leader of the Blue Team; at 3:00am, Chris Jones comes over to say that someone's brisket in foil is "on the ground" in the smoker - that seems to be the Blue Team's brisket, and the weight wasn't distributed evenly. They were wrapped well, but they lost hours of cook time.

Chris Jones is making Beer Can Chicken starting around 6:30am. And later he's talking to the chickens on the grill after they've been working all night. The sun starts to come up, and they're all getting REALLY hot. And here comes Tom Colicchio to talk with the teams.

He starts with the White Team - they've got the beer can chicken, and a Dr. Pepper and coffee glaze for the ribs. Then off to the Red Team - and Ty-Lor notes that they've got Texas, Memphis and Kansas City all represented on their team. The chicken has Sarah's sweeter TX-style sauce, Ty-Lor's got the ribs dry-rubbed with a spicy rub, and then sauced KC-style, and Edward has the Memphis-style vinegary brisket. He then heads over to the Blue Team, they brined the chicken and ribs with orange and fish sauce, and Paul notes that they're going more Asian with a rub that has yellow curry. Grayson is wicked tired and tells Tom C. it's going to be like sex in the mouth. Tom looks a bit embarrassed, and says "Oh. OK. Cool." :-) He also tells them that the winning team will get $15,000.

Did Chris Jones just say "Winner Winner Chicken dinner"????? GAH. ::::hoorrrrrrrkkkkk:::::: STOP THAT! No Food Network crap here!

Sarah heads inside and says she needs a medic. She's VERY flushed and says to the medic that she has hot and cold chills, and she's on oxygen. The medic is saying "call it" meaning the ambulance is coming to take her away. She's really upset, realizing she might be going home, but Ty-Lor said she needs to make sure she's OK.

Tom shows up at the pit area and wants to talk with Ty-Lor and Edward. He tells them that Sarah is pretty much out of it, that the heat got to her, and they're taking her to the hospital and said they're on their own. Edward said that they first think "is she OK, is she dead?" But also said if it were him, he would have pushed through it. Ty-Lor and Edward realize they can't cut their meat to order, so they're busy chopping the meat and getting them in hotel pans, but they still have their beans to do. Edward cooks into "Oh my Eff" mode, and hates that they're putting the cut meat into the steamer trays.

Service begins and Grayson said it is a bum rush - Ty-Lor notes that there are 300 people to serve, with 7 items on their team's plate, 2100 plate strokes to make, and only 4 hands to do it all.

The judges come in and Padma immediate says "Let's go to the bar and get some drinks!"

They then head over to the Blue Team's service area. They serve up an Asian Spare Rib, Chicken & Brisket, Charred Brussels Sprouts and Okra, and Watermelon Salad. The judges seem to *really* like everything, except the Brussels Sprouts weren't done.

They then head over to the White Team - they did Beer Can Chicken, Brisket, dry rubbed with a spicy BBQ sauce, and Dr. Pepper Glazed Pork Ribs. Their sides are coleslaw and beans. Nathan notes it's a roast chicken, not really a BBQ chicken, and Tom notes it has flavor and it's moist, but very little smoke. Gail notes that their beans aren't cooked, and Tom also said their entire plate is salty. The brisket was a bit chewy, but they liked the coleslaw and Watermelon Fresca.

Sarah shows back up to help Ty-Lor and Edward notes that Sarah's only concerned about her chicken, and he won't let her change the service locations for her chicken. They served Texas-style Chicken (low and slow on the grill and then basted with a tomatoey sauce with a bit of spice, KC-Style Pork Ribs, Smoked Brisket, Poppy Seed Coleslaw and Pinto Beans. Sarah said she started to get more overheated after the judges are served, and leaves service. Ty-Lor tells Edward it's just them again. Sarah said she has no guilty feelings about leaving service. Edward wasn't happy that she only came back to serve her dish and then leaves again. The judges seemed to like the flavors of all the dishes.

Umm...Grayson? Next time, don't do the Little Green Bullfrog song for the confessional, OK? ;-)

They're back waiting for the judges to decide, and Sarah is explaining the breakdown in their group. She thinks that there was a communication breakdown and she felt a weird vibe. Edward tells her not to get emotional.

Padma comes back in and says they'd like to see the Blue Team. And THEY are the winners! Gail said their brisket was heads-and-tails over the other teams' briskets and they were the only team that didn't go traditional. They'll split $15,000, and Paul's up to $35,000 in cash total winnings.

The other two teams are asked to go up to the Judges Table. Sarah's chicken was more like grilled chicken, not smoked, although it was moist. Parts of her chicken was a bit rubbery, so slathering on the sauce too early wasn't ever going to get the skin crisp. Ty-Lor's feeling bad about his ribs. Gail said the ribs were heavy-handed in the seasoning, and then the rib meat didn't come off the bone. Padma asks who did what on the coleslaw, and Tom said the orange-mint that was in there had started to ferment and gave it an off taste. The brisket was discussed, and Edward noted that they did the pre-slicing because they were down a person. Tom asked why they didn't just continue to do it to order? Edward said that they got spooked because they didn't want a long line of people.

The judges then reviewed the White Team's dishes. Beverly's coleslaw was more traditional, but didn't show what she was like as a chef. She also brined the chicken, but Chris Jones cooked all of the meats. Their chicken could be called "grilled chicken" or "French Grandmother's Roast Chicken", according to Nathan, and then Padma asked who else had something to do with the pork ribs. Chris Crary said he did both the rubs for the brisket and ribs, and he did both the sauces. Tom noted that the ribs were so salty that they were inedible. Beverly did the beans, and they were undercooked as well.

I have a feeling it's someone from the White Team going home. Both Chris's aren't faring well, nor is Beverly. Wow - Tom said Ty-Lor was responsible for the proteins on the Red Team, and he was responsible for a lot of the problems on that team, and Tom wishes they *could* send Ty-Lor home - he was responsible for two things wrong. Padma notes that they could easily send someone home from either team.

They're back in front of the judges. Tom reviews what was wrong with their individual dishes. And it's Chris Crary is asked to PPYKAG. The overly salty sauces and rubs were what did him in.

The previews for next week? It's RESTAURANT WARS! And it looks to be guys vs. girls.


So Chris C. heads to LCK to battle against Nyesha! And ooh! They're bringing back an old TC challenge - cook with items bought in a gas station. They have $20 to shop and a half hour to cook. They shop, and come back in and Chris C. sees the eliminated chefs sitting there, and said "why are you all here?" Nyesha's going with a crispy chicharrón with a charred bean ragu, while Chris C. is making a grilled cheese with ham and a spicy tomato soup (with foam!) They seemed to both have great dishes, but a winner is picked! :-)

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