top chef texas episode 14 “mentors”

PREVIOUSLY Pee-Wee Herman rides a bicycle. The chefs are like a biker gang. A biker gang that cooks in random restaurant kitchens on the way to the Alamo, that is. Grayson goes home. Tom tells the four remaining chefs about Last Chance Kitchen. Everyone is all, “OMFG,” including us, because Bravo won’t tell us who won the final showdown. So bitchy.

BACK AT THE RANCH We find the chefs outside, smoking cigarettes and being SHOCKED and SCANDALIZED by what they have found out concerning Last Chance Kitchen. Ed predicts that Beverly will return, and Sarah’s all, “Blasphemy!” To make things not at all more exciting, Ed bets a pack of cigarettes that Bev will return instead of Grayson. Sarah raises him a banana, and then is excited about some alone time with that banana, smoking cigarettes.

QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE The chefs walk into the kitchen to find Tom, Padma, and five cloches. As there are only four of them there, Ed expertly deduces that another person will soon be rejoining them. Brilliant. However, Ed doesn’t want anyone back. What a surprise, dick.

Padma interrogates the chefs about their various levels of nervousness, and then decides to release the Kraken…aka The Big Bev. As Bev walks in, no one really greets her or congratulates her or anything. They all just shuffle their feet and look down at the ground. I guess if someone I had verbally abused popped back up in my life, it would be a little…

Tom’s all giddy that Beverly is back, and he’s tells the other chefs, “You bitches are in for some shit.” Or something like that. Then, he jumps right into some Quickfire Challenge exposition and talks about how chefs rely on their senses blah blah blah. I don’t like where this is going. And, much to my dismay, Tom tells the chefs that they will be blindfolded—with blindfolds from under the anti-climactic cloches—while choosing their pantry ingredients, in order to force them to rely on their other senses. Or because Bravo has decided to humiliate them. Look, they don’t just cook, they fall down and grope each other sometimes too!

After a few facepalms from the chefs, Padma tries to assure them that their shame is not for naught because the winner of this challenge will get a choice between Immunity—WTF?—and a new PRIUS V OMFG. Also, if someone chooses Immunity, they just go right into the finale without cooking in the Elimination Challenge. That. Is. Weak.

So the chefs put their blindfolds on, the clock is set for 30 minutes, and they’re off!  It looks a little Night of the Living Dead for a moment, as the chefs try to find their way into the pantry. And then it devolves into frat party grabass, and everyone violates one another. Beverly is having an especially hard time finding her way around, and Padma just shoves Beverly into the pantry. Lols. The fridges—which I guess are also in “the pantry”—are giving people problems as well, mainly because the proteins are VACUUM WRAPPED. Which non-eyesight sense is helpful in that scenario, Tom? I call shenanigans.

With about 20 minutes left, everyone has begun cooking, so Padma and Tom take a loop around to make fun of everyone. Beverly tells them that she mistakenly grabbed an avocado. Paul says that he would take the car if he won. Attaboy, Paul. Ed is dismayed that he grabbed pork casings. Padma and Tom LAUGH IN HIS FACE. Lindsay ended up with mascarpone cheese instead of crème fraiche. Yummy. Sarah is making a soup with a bunch of shit. And peaches. These people are fucking obsessed with peaches. This isn’t Top Pickled Peach!

Regardless, time is up, and Tom and Padma come around to ridicule everyone further taste the dishes.

BEVERLY striped bass, avocado, lime, jalapeño.

PAUL sautéed prawn, thai-style tomato salad.

ED “udon” with pork casing broth, ribbons of zucchini, mushrooms, scallions.

SARAH corn soup with onion, red chili, roasted mushrooms, corn, peaches.

LINDSAY fish with bulgur wheat, mascarpone, broccoli rabe.

Beverly and Paul both undercooked their proteins. While Tom is tasting Lindsay’s dish, he says something to Lindsay about metaphorically walking into a wall. In turn, Lindsay tells him to fuck off with her face. And while Lindsay’s dish was good, Tom and Padma like Ed and Sarah’s dishes the most. But who comes away with the win? Sarah does. And she chooses the guaranteed spot instead of the car. Weak. If you don’t know whether you can make it to the final four, how are you going to win it all? Foolish. At least you could have a car and get fourth place, instead of having no car and getting second or third place. I mean, seriously.

Ed interviews that he feels as though Sarah doesn’t have “the confidence.” As much as I might agree with him, the next few moments will show that Ed doesn’t have “a heart.”

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE Then Tom and Padma lasso everyone up to tell them about the Elimination Challenge. They start giving little hints about what the Elimination Challenge will bring, including uttering the phrase “…a small hand in getting you this far…” Hearing this phrase, Beverly thinks that her son—you know, her toddler son—has been brought in to help her. Really? Yes, your son is here, Beverly. But since you’re the only one with a child…he will be helping everyone. I hope he’s one hell of a sous chef.

Actually, it’s not Beverly son who the producers brought in. Rather, the guests are the chefs’ mentors. And upon seeing their mentors…Everyone. Loses. Their. Shit. Except Ed. Because he has no soul. In fact, he says, “Oh no.” Even Paul gets all weepy, which makes me all weepy. Aww, Paul. Padma introduces everyone’s mentors.

SARAH Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia

LINDSAY Michelle Bernstein, Michy’s

BEVERLY Sarah Stegner, Prairie Grass Café

PAUL Tyson Cole, Uchi

ED Frank Crispo, Crispo Restaurant

After everyone gets done talking about their transformation from rebellious teens to polished professionals, Tom and Padma predictably explain that the chefs must make a dish to impress their mentors. They will have two and a half hours to prep and one hour to cook. Aaand…Sarah’s car is up for grabs. Ha.

Since Sarah pussed out and took Immunity, she and Tony just leave. They don’t even get to taste the other chefs’ food. What a walk of shame. Sarah pretends to be excited.

NOT A WHOLE LOTTA SEAFOOD The chefs hop in someone’s BRAND NEW PRIUS V OMFG AWESOME and head to Whole Foods. Lindsay can’t find squid or octopus. Ed is looking for oysters, but there are also no fresh oysters to be found. Bummer, dudes. However, Ed decides to get smoked oysters instead of fresh ones. Don’t do that, Ed. Don’t. Do. That. Think of Spike!

While she is shopping, Beverly is thinking about where she is going to hang her piece of paper that declares her the winner of Top Chef. You should fold it up and hand it to whoever goes home for this challenge. So bitchy.

DATE TIME / PREP TIME Sarah and Tony are off at some restaurant pounding tequila—blanco, always blanco—while the losers are toiling away in the kitchen. Ed says that he is going to be PISSED if Beverly beats him. Paul is worried that his dish may be too simple. Lindsay is terrified because OMFG what if she gets fired over this challenge?! As if.

BACK AT THE RANCH Everyone. Hates. Beverly. Paul talks to his adorable girlfriend on the phone. About his cats. Ahh, I love him.

IT’S BUSINESS TIME Since Beverly is cooking in a wok, her timing needs to be perfect. Paul—as per usual—is doing a fuck ton of components for his soup. Lindsay is making a stew. This isn’t Top Soupier, people!

In the dining room, the judges and the mentors arrive. Ugh, Cro Magnon is back. Ed’s mentor looks like a goon. Or a boxer. Or a boxer goon.

Beverly is the first to serve, and she says that she is going to impress the judges with her flavorful balls. Or something.

BEVERLY gulf shrimp, bbq pork, singapore noodles, peanuts, coconut milk.

I want to go to there.

Before Lindsay comes out, Tom starts making fun of Michelle, and it’s cute. If Tom’s wife weren’t such a hottie, I would tell him to hit that.

LINDSAY seafood “stew” of clams, mussels & atlantic cod, toasted couscous, cream-emulsified broth.

PAUL chilled sunchoke & dashi soup, summer vegetables.

Paul’s mentor says that he exploits Paul on the regular.

ED braised pork belly, smoked oyster crèma, pickled vegetables.

Ed appears to grab someone’s nose as he leaves the table.

MID-COMMERCIAL MORSEL Ed thinks everyone else is such a pussy for crying. Especially you, Paul. Get it together.

JUDGES’ TABLE In the Stew Room, Ed is bitchy about the whole Last Chance Kitchen thing. Sarah reappears, well-rested and ready to go. Then Padma comes in and tells her to sit right there, while everyone else goes in to face the judges. So…good thing you’re there, Sarah. At least you probably have some alcohols to keep you company.

Paul’s dish is deemed restrained and thoughtful, and Tom thinks Paul has a lot of nerve. In a good way. Beverly gets mad props for her risky decision to use a wok. Therefore, Beverly and Paul are safe. Ed and Lindsay are not pleased. Oh, and Paul wins the car. Ha.

Paul is happy that he won this challenge. Because he made his mentor proud. You should be happy you won a fucking car, dude! Now you and your girlfriend can haul all your cats around. Beverly gets all weepy. Predictable. Padma’s just like, “Uhh…congratulations! Leave right now!” And when the two walk back into the Stew Room, Sarah is not so much happy to see them—well, she’s not happy to see Beverly. And she can barely even squeak out a “congratulations” to Paul, much less to Beverly. What a pillar of sportsmanship.

Then the judges start giving Ed and Lindsay the business. Lindsay’s addition of cream is questioned, as is her choice of dried herbs. Gail is in lurrrrve with Ed’s pickles, but Hugh is suspicious of Ed’s oyster crèma. Ed comes clean and tells them that he used canned oysters. Tom is like, “You have got to be fucking kidding me.” Lols.

The judges send the two back into the Stew Room to talk about them behind their backs. As they walk in to see the others, Ed makes fun of Lindsay for crying. Ed is also convinced that he is going home, and he is pissed that Beverly beat him, but he pretends that he’s not. He’s not a very good pretender, though.

God, there are like four commercial breaks during this judges’ table. And I don’t like it. Luckily, after 47 hours of sending people in and out, the judges make a decision. And Ed and His Jaw go home. You should have made a soup, bro. Or even a stew.

With Ed’s departure, the other chefs look to the future. Lindsay says she is going to bring it. HARD. Beverly starts talking about irony, and she looks totally different in her interview, so it is clearly from the finale. And I don’t think that whatever she was talking about was even irony. But at least she didn’t say “literally.”


NEXT WEEK Bears. Ski lifts. British Columbia. Ice sculptures. Food inside ice blocks. Ice picks. Cooking outside. Guns. Everyone’s hair is longer.


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