The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Top Chef Texas – Episode 3: “Quinceanera”

Last week’s episode   Next week’s episode


It’s week three and, until now, I haven’t really seen anything that sets apart Top Chef from any other cooking competition show.  You have some set ingredients, a time limit, voiceovers from contestants, some whiny punks, some cocky douchebags, and the occasional cut finger.  Now that we have the roster of sixteen contestants, hopefully I’ll get a glimpse of what makes this show so great.  Or at least a glimpse of that big black guy in the mansion’s hot tub.  (That’s gotta happen, right?)

OK, quick note…  and I swear I don’t’ watch other Bravo shows – but WTF is Padma wearing?  I’m ok with the brown pants with the rings on them, but there was something on her shirt that made her look like a hunchback.  And that graphic headband and shiny gold shoes did not work for her.

Also, in last week’s post, I mentioned that Lindsay’s thick neck, mushroom cap hair, and the fact her hair, skin, and shirt were all the same color made her look like a penis.  You can’t tell from the website pic, so I took a pic of my TV…

See what I mean?

Quickfire Challenge – Create a dish using rattlesnake

The guest judge was Johnny Hernandez, a local San Antonio chef and expert on snake and other game meat.  I do like how Padma channeled Samuel L. Jackson with her “muthaf*kin snakes on the muthaf*kin plates”.   The winner of $5k and immunity for the day was Dakota – aka Twitchy.


She made a beer battered snake, warm succotash salad, and zucchini almond gazpacho.  Not that snake is an everyday thing for me, but that didn’t seem very exciting and some of the other presentations were more innovative.  I’ve had rattlesnake in Arizona and Texas and both times they were deepfried like a chicken nugget. Either that’s the only good way to cook it or she’s pretty shrewd in doing something that the judge would probably appreciate.

Elimination Challenge – Create a buffet for a Mexican Quinceanera party

The chefs were split into two teams and given the task of catering a 15th birthday celebration.  In addition to the judges, we got to hear the scathing commentary from the girl.  Sure, she’s the guest of honor, but she was brutal.  If she wasn’t correct, I’d say she was downright annoying.

The Green Team won the challenge handily as their dishes were deemed more authentic.  They didn’t push the envelope any more than the Pink team, but just did everything better.   The individual performances were strong and they were a lot more cohesive.  I guess it helps when you have a true Mexican on the team.  This was pretty clear-cut.

Judges Table

So this is the part of the show where the four worst from the losing group is brought in, slapped around, and then one of them gets the axe.  Twitchy would’ve been there for her lousy cake, but she won immunity earlier.   So the four were:

Keith (Who looks like TV on the Radio guitarist) – He made enchiladas with flour tortillas which is a bad idea – they get mushy.  The team was also supposed to make a shrimp cocktail, but he bought pre-cooked shrimp.   Apparently that’s a no-no.

Ty-Lor –  His Fritter with avocado was blasted for having no taste and being misproportioned to the dipping sauce.  To be fair, this was a last minute concoction because of Keith’s cooked shrimp debacle, but I did like how he took owndership for the failure.  He also made a carne asada that drew high praise from everyone. So it was unlikely that he would go.

Sarah and Lindsay (The Penis) – they put together the cochanita pibil, a Yucatan pork specialty. Theirs was considered lacking spices and generally unauthentic.

And the one eliminated was Keith and his big ol beard.


Bummer, because he could’ve been a lot of fun to watch.  I really wanted to hear more about his background in the slammer – why he was in there and maybe some anecdotes from behind the barbed wire.  But wait, he may come back in some kind of future challenge.

General Comments

–       There was a brief moment where they showed Padma in a doorway staring at the party with a really creepy look on her face.  Sure she’s hot, but if it was my party I would’ve locked the doors after that.

–       I went through it a couple of times and didn’t see what Whitney made – either in the Quickfire or the Elimination.  I don’t think she even competed.  Wonder why.

–       I do like there’s some collaboration between the chefs and it’s not all cutthroat.  Yet.

–       Some of these chefs aren’t going out of their comfort zones.  Beverly (from Chicago’s Aria) cooked her way in with Korean comfort food, made rattlesnake nigiri, and made short ribs with kimchi.  I guess this is ok at this point in the competition, but hopefully they aren’t one trick ponies.

–       Chefs that are my favorite to watch so far – Richie, Ty, and Twitchy!

–       Best foods so far – Chuy, Sonny Chiba, and Beverly

–       Hating – Sarah from Chicago – fat, ugly, and catty

–       It looks like Beverly is going to be the weepy reality contestant who cries at every moment. Ugh.

–       I think an ongoing theme is going to be preparing something that’s reflects the chef’s artistry/style/preference versus giving people what they want.

–       So there’s Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills.  Can I be the first to ask for Real Housewives of Ann Arbor?  You’ll see  hairy legs, breastfeeding, and all kinds of Subarus….

What did you think?

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

8 comments on “Top Chef Texas – Episode 3: “Quinceanera”

  1. armchairshrink
    November 19, 2011

    I don’t think Sarah’s looks should have anything to do with your opinion of her behavior, but thanks, you just ensured I won’t be reading your blog again.

    • MoHub
      November 22, 2011

      Agreed. Sarah is unpleasant, but she’d be just as unpleasant if she looked like a movie star. Judging her on her appearance is uglier than the way she was descibed.

      • thefoodandwinehedonist
        November 22, 2011

        Well, if she looked like Scarlett Johanson I may have given her a second chance… 😉 Just so I’m clear, the “Lindsay looking like a penis” thing is ok, right?

        Sorry to have offended… please do stop back again someday.

  2. MoHub
    November 22, 2011

    But you only described LIndsay’s look; you didn’t equate it with her personality. I’m less offended that you pointed out Sarah’s size than that you indicated it defined her as a person.

  3. Pingback: Top Chef Texas – Episode 4 « The Food and Wine Hedonist

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  6. Pingback: Top Chef Texas – Episode 2: “The Heat is On” « The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2011 by in Television, The Chi and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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