The Food and Wine Hedonist

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Top Chef Texas: My Recap of My Recaps

The reunion show was on and, never having seen previous seasons, I really didn’t know what to expect.  I knew there would probably be a blooper reel and some funny comments that ended up on the cutting room floor.  But I wasn’t sure if it would focus on the food or the relationships.  I got my answer – I don’t think there was one moment in the whole reunion that talked about a specific dish.

Then it hit me – the show is not and never will be about the food.  I know this sounds a little counterintuitive, but let me clarify.  The competitions and the overall subject matter were definitely food-related.  It’s was the vehicle to keep the show going.  But when it comes to what gets ratings, what keeps us coming back, incites near riots on internet, and what we’ll always remember are the people.  Want proof?  Quick – what was the winning dish on the episode “Game On”?     Right, didn’t think you’d remember.  But EVERYONE remembers that’s when Heather started riding into Heather for a perceived poor work ethic.  And that’s pretty much the big story from the whole season.

My First Top Chef Journey

I started doing recaps of the show partly out of embarrassment that, as a self-proclaimed lover of all things food, I had never seen any episodes of any season.  My friends would always tsk tsk me for never watching so I knew I had to watch this time around. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I’ve seen some really crappy reality TV shows where my faith in humankind gets obliterated.   I’ve always hated the contestants who bawl their eyes out over little things and the raging lunatics that make you wonder how they survive day-to-day life without getting pummeled.  Though I could overlook all of this if there was some decent eye candy.

I was excited about there being six chefs representing my hometown – Chicago.  When people think of foodie havens it’s usually New York or San Francisco.  And if they do think about Chicago food, it’s usually pizza or hot dogs.  But it’s an amazing food city with a wide variety of ethnic foods and top notch restaurants and here was an opportunity to shine.

I told myself that I’d need to keep going through the season were the Chi-town chefs doing well, availability of eye candy, and limited exposure to psychos.  So here’s how it all shaped up –

  • Eye candy: C-.  There were a few that were pitching wedges (pretty good from 75 yards out) – Penishead, Beverly, Grayson, Twitchy, the cruise ship chick who didn’t make it into the competition.  Nothing like The Bachelor, though.
  • Weepy Contestants: C.  In the first few episodes, Beverly was constantly weeping about missing her family.  She eased up after a while – probably because she realized that time away from screaming kids is a dream come true.  If that was all the crying, I’d give the season a B+.  But then the “Mentor” episode happened where  tears were flowing harder than my rectum after that burrito bender last August.
  • Raging Lunatics: B-.  Jabba, The Mouth of Sauron, and Penishead had their moments.  However, I think it was manufactured by editing.  Combined they were nowhere near as maniacal as what I’ve seen in other shows.
  • Chicago pride: B+.  Sarah made it to the finals and Bev did pretty well overall and in Last Chance Kitchen.  Even Ugly Chris went further than a lot of people expected and showcased a lot of creativity.  Chuy and Richie didn’t last long, but at least they provided some personality.  But I don’t think Jabba represented well.  I can stomach her being a beyotch, but the fact that she used Sonny Chiba’s cake recipe twice is a deal-breaker.

Although none of this really mattered because I get hooked too easily on TV shows.   I actually watched every episode of both seasons of Rockstar.  ‘Nuff said.

A lot of people out there are swearing off Top Chef forever after this season.  The biggest complaint was that the challenges and gimmicks (Pee Wee Herman as a judge) took away the focus from the food.  Others complained that we really didn’t get to see how the contestants were as chefs.  I admit I’ve complained about those same things.  But in hindsight, we saw who these chefs were as people.  And that is what’s going to pull me into watching future seasons.  That and boobies.

Random Thoughts on the Reunion Episode

  • OK, I may have to take back some of what I just said about learning about people.  In the reunion episode, we didn’t hear Whitney say one word and she was a complete non-factor in the season.  She would’ve been perfect for…
  • Mediocre Chef – In one of the many outtakes, the great Sonny Chiba suggests that show and Bravo put together a really funny montage of what that show would look like.
  • Why couldn’t producers fix the competition so that Keith (the Big Suge Knight-looking guy) would’ve stayed on throughout the season?  Besides hearing stories of  his time in the slammer, we would’ve also gotten more phrases like this – “it was the fart in the air.”  I think that’s his version of “the elephant in the room.”  He probably didn’t want to offend Jabba.
  • Way after he got booted, I came across a great nickname for him – Black Hagrid.
  • I still don’t like The Picnic Ham with Eyes (aka The Mouth of Sauron).  She was asked if she told one of the judges to F-off.  She denies it and felt hurt that it was brought up.  They have tape of that don’t they?  I’m guessing she did it.
  • Vomit moment – Mouth of Sauron talking about great sex
  • Fap Moment – Padma flirting with Charlize Theron
  • There was a great montage of memorable Grayson quotes – jam out with your clam out, I feel like there’s a dick in my ass, just got me wet, it’s like sex in the mouth.
  • Sonny, in describing the weirdness of Ugly Chris – he’s the child you didn’t want.

I hope you all enjoyed these recaps as much as I enjoyed writing them.  Be sure to check out some of my other posts.  There’s something here for everyone.


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.

5 comments on “Top Chef Texas: My Recap of My Recaps

  1. a2sicilian
    March 8, 2012

    Astute observation–definitely intense from the relationships perspective. Funny moment…PeeWee Herman saying, “So will this be the episode that jumps the shark?” (Although I actually thought his episode was kinda funny.)

  2. Socialkenny
    March 8, 2012

    BTW,is this Top Chef Texas exclusive to Texas,’cause I never seen it on Bravo yet?

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      March 8, 2012

      Really? It’s what was on Bravo in US. I know there’s a Canadian version of Top Chef which we don’t see here. It may depend on where you’re getting your Bravo feed. If it’s US, it should be there. But it could be some international version of Bravo that doesn’t have the show…

  3. Pingback: I’m a dick blogger. « A Dissolute Life Means…

  4. Pingback: Top Chef Seattle Episode 1: Season Premiere « The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2012 by in Television, The Chi and tagged , , , , , , , .
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