Top Chef Texas, Week 5: Trophy Wives Make Easy Targets

The cheftestants cook for the 1%

Yeah, so there was no recap last week. Sorry about that. Thanksgiving and, you know, all of that. But how cool is it that Mr. Paul Qui won $20,000 in the Quickfire with his coconut curry with a ghost chili in? (Here's a quickie recap: chili cookoff. Random exclamation of, "Nobody take my breast milk!" Chuy is the Most Interesting Man In the World. Weeping.)

(Mole chili es no bueno. Richie is PYKAGed. Richie haz a sad. Richie is probably fired.)

Hokay, here we are, all turkey- and pecan pie-d out. Let's go to Dallas for a road trip!!! Yay! Everyone loves Dallas!!


The cheftestants pile into their ProductPlacemobiles and drive drive drive, while Not Chicago Chris confesses that he used to be Chunky Chris, and then they find themselves … out in a dry field on what is quite obviously private property? That is guarded by a State Trooper? Does not compute. But look! There is Padma! And John Besh! What are they doing out here in the middle of a field? Oh, they want the cheftestants to make a meal out of some random survival kits planted in the back of the ProductPlacemobiles. Rickety tables, Swiss Army knives, and camping stoves await, and Padma is hungry. John Besh is windblown. Ed wrenches his back. Lindsey wins for her Vienna sausage slurry with saltine-salmon sandwiches (really). And then they get back in their PPmobiles and finish driving to Dallas.

When the cheftestants arrive in Dallas (oohing and aahing over the fact that they are staying in a room! With beds! Woooooah), Padma announces that they will be catering a progressive dinner. (Get it? Rags to riches?) Blergh. In Highland Park. Doubleunplusgood blergh. The cheftestants are split into three teams: appetizer, entree, and dessert. Dakota grouses that this is the third time she's had to do desserts! She didn't come on Top Chef to make desserts! Waaaaaah!

Okay, here is where my 99% shows. These Highland Park people are W E I R D and have no taste. The wives look shellacked and I suspect that there are just, like, dried cornhusks where their brains should be. And the men are either dull or infantile. ("AH WUV GUMMY BEARSSSSSS … ") The decor of the houses is the very definition of gauche. Anyhoo, whatever, each host couple gives each team a bizarre set of requirements, the chefs roll their eyes, and yadda yadda yadda.

Chicago Sumo Chris makes a bizarre-ass appetizer "cigar" made from collard greens and chicken and bread and I am telling you that the look of horror on those socialites' faces when presented with those little phallic delicacies dusted with cumin "ash" was probably verrrrry familiar to their husbands. ("You want me to put WHAT in my mouth?!") Paul Qui makes fried brussels sprouts with prosciutto. Chuy, on the entree team, makes a goat-cheese-stuffed salmon in a cornhusk. Not-Chunky Chris makes a cupcake from hell, and Dakota makes a banana bread pudding that the judges love.

This episode is so weird and uncomfortable to watch because these Highland Park ladies are SO vapid and the men are so douchey and Tom and Gail and John Besh are SO OBVIOUSLY taking the piss out of them … it's just … ecchh. And if I had to hear that one dude say "channel your inner fat kid" one more time, I swear to Vishnu I would have driven up to Dallas and punched him in his gummy bear-loving face.

ANYHOO. Paul Qui's brussels sprouts win (well deserved, if they were anything like those jewels at East Side King), and Chuy gets sent to the Last Chance Kitchen for his overcooked salmon and mealy goat cheese. There he battles Keith in a butchery and steak-cooking showdown; Chuy is victorious and the sight of Giant Keith draping wee Chuy in that enormous chef coat is just about the most adorable thing ever.

Please, dear gawd, let next week be less bizarre. And let us never speak of Dallas again.

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