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Top Chef Texas recap, Episode 11: Snow White and the seven chefs

Credit: Bravo

Credit: Bravo

After restaurant wars last week, Sarah and Lindsay are still stewing over Beverly’s win, despite their concerted effort to blame her for everything that did or could have gone wrong. Things were so awkward on their road trip back to San Antonio, the ladies didn’t even comment on how many cup holders are in their Toyota something-or-the-other.


Eric Ripert awaits the chefs along with Padma as they enter the kitchen. Immediately, Ed points out this week’s Quickfire gimmick: the conveyor belt of doom. As soon as the 30-minute time begins, an array of ingredients will begin rolling out from behind the curtain and the chefs must snag and use three of them in their dish. Theoretically, the longer they wait, the better the ingredients will get. The winner takes home immunity, and with only seven chefs left in the game, that is more important than ever.

Sarah decides to stand around for 15 minutes waiting on the ideal ingredient to appear, while most of the others scramble to get started while keeping one eye on the parade of pop rocks and goldfish. Nothing proves more elusive than that darn bucket of lobster, as Chris spots it, slow jogs over to it, and misses it again and again.

Between the short time limit and the constant back and forth between their stations and the belt, everyone is pressed for time. None more so than Beverly, who fails to plate her curried Rice Krispies Rice Puff cereal before time runs out. Ed thought she should have just cheated to get it done. Love that cutthroat attitude.

Chris, who had already complained about not winning an elimination challenge yet, landed in the bottom for his lobster and foie gras dish…along with Grayson, and Paul. Honestly, I’d love to tell you why Eric Ripert didn’t like the dishes, but I could only rewind my DVR so many times before I just gave up and move on.

Ironically, Sarah, Lindsay, and Beverly wind up in the top. Just to twist the knife a little more, Padma explains that had Beverly gotten her Rice Krispies on the plate, she would have won “by a mile.” But since she didn’t, in a distant first place is Lindsay for her bouillabaisse. She wins immunity, but does so knowing that a technicality was the only thing that kept Beverly from besting her again.


Guest judges that have nothing to do with food are not a new thing on Top Chef. But in what may be their crowning achievement in cross-promotion whoreishness, they roll out Charlize Theron and pimp out her new movie Snow White and The Huntsman in a barrage of forced dialogue that makes the chefs’ awe-struck Toyota Sienna road-trips seem genuine. (Snow White is produced by Universal, which is owned by NBCUniversal, who owns Bravo. But I’m sure that is pure coincidence.)

Theron plays the villain in the new film, so the theme here is to make a meal fit for the Wicked Queen. Each of the chefs will create a dish for a seven course meal, and their only guidance is to make it evil.

Except for some occasional Beverly bashing, this episode is the first that we have seen that is really about the food. Ok, the food and Snow White.

Most of the chefs really get into the whole gothic food thing, with Paul smacking his plate with a “bloody” handprint, Chris concocting a blood and maggot filled cherry-pie stuffed apple, and Sarah’s bloody wine risotto.

I could have done without some of the reaching explanations of the dishes, especially Beverly’s attempt at making a story out of her “black heart” forbidden rice and the bleedingness (?) of the red curry sauce. And I almost fell off the couch when Grayson served her Silkie (black chicken) dish and described the quail egg as “the baby that was inside her when she got slaughtered”. Whoa.

I had to pause my DVR and make sure that the moon hadn’t turned to blood and that frogs weren’t raining from the sky. But no, it seems that the chefs all cooked exceptional food tonight. It appears that no one screwed up. Quotes like “best meal I’ve had on Top Chef” are bandied about. Then again, these editors somehow made it seem like Tom was really interested in the new Snow White movie, so who knows.

The Judges were so happy with everything that they call all of the chefs out of the stew room and sing each of their praises. Paul’s bloody handprint foie gras and bacon dish emerged the winner, earning Paul….another $5,000? A trip to Paris? Oh, it is just two tickets to the premier of some movie that Charlize has coming out, but I can’t remember the name of it.

This was the nicest bottom three I’ve ever seen. Sarah, Beverly, and Grayson are up for elimination, and as Tom points out, the judges have no choice but to nitpick. Since they don’t really have to defend their food, instead we get the broad “I love food” or “I’m here for my family” pleas for mercy. “I have so much to offer!” Yawn.

They had to send someone home, and I thought I could hear Heather roar off in the distance as the axe falls down on Beverly’s head for her less than gothic halibut.

Does Beverly put an end to Nyesha’s win streak on Last Chance Kitchen? I’d spoil it for you but you’ll immediately figure it just by the fact that Beverly isn’t sobbing uncontrollably in her interview.


“I have no idea what’s going on, but I know it is going to suck for us.” – Ed

“That girl is tiny, but she crazy.” – Grayson

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

7 comments Add your comment


January 19th, 2012
8:27 am

FINALLY – an episode worth watching, with exciting food and an interesting challenge. I’m not sure they shouldn’t have pulled the old “nobody goes home” trick out of the hat last night but maybe that’s what Last Chance Kitchen is for.

In any case – even the dining room was all gothicky-Castle-Dracula-ish. Was a fun show.

I did kinda wish Padma would have shown up in someting like Cher’s Dark Lady outfit but hey … we can’t expect perfection. ;)


January 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Yeah that was the first good episode this season . Not getting rice krispies on a plate is/was/might be again so Beverly . I used to pity her now I find her annoying . I believe now fat bossy women are good for her .

I have never heard of or seen black chicken till last night . I need to google that .

” gothic halibut ” …..really good stuff : )


January 19th, 2012
12:14 pm

What’s up with Grayson, lately? She’s been scraping by with terrible to mediocre offerings of late. I’m still of mind that Paul has this one unless he just royally Blaises the end.


January 19th, 2012
12:50 pm

@Glenn – I’ve bought it at Buford Highway Farmers Mkt before. Didn’t turn out well for me, though :)


January 19th, 2012
1:04 pm

I dvr all the episodes but last night’s is the first one I’m actually going to watch again. What fun!


January 19th, 2012
2:25 pm

Best episode so far, I have such a girl crush on Charlize! Anyway, the food looked amazing too. Sure wish i could have been at that table!

carla roqs

January 19th, 2012
5:34 pm

mmmm, nope, disagree. last night’s episode did not make any sense. and yep, the unborn baby thing was over the top. bev should not have been sent home. black chickens have been all over food network. i will have to look into that after top chef cooking thing, though. bev beat out nyeasha???? interesting.