Top Chef Texas Highlights: A Bitchfest Battle at Restaurant Wars

Categories: Screen Bites

bev and lindsay.jpg
via Bravo
... a snapshot of a very surprise ending.
It happens every season. It brings out the worst in most chefs and the best in few. The winner is never predictable. The loser is often a heartbreaking surprise. The Top Chef Restaurant Wars legacy held true last night -- with a "battle of the sexes" twist. The claws were out.

The episode opened with Ed shit-talking in what's become a slightly varied weekly kick-off clip that's settling in as Season 9 standard procedure.

"It's going to be boys and girls fighting it out on the playground," Ed says, "I definitely think that male chefs have more talent." He goes on to point out Sarah's weakness last week, when barbecuing in the sun wiped her out.

This week's Restaurant Wars challenge: make a three-course menu with two choices per course for 100 guests.

The boys practically skipped arm-and-arm into the kitchen, loving on each other's ideas so hard that they forgot to assign someone to expedite the food. A revolving door of team members stood outside the kitchen in their chefs wear trying to make sense of it all. It worked, to a degree. The judges weren't asking where the food was, as they were in the girls' round.

While they didn't outperform the girls overall, they did so in service. The female kitchen endured repeated tear-downs from Lindsay, who tried to keep shit from falling through the cracks when the cracks felt more like gaping potholes.

In the end, it was not only girls versus boys, but service versus food. And food, the girls' strong suit, won.

Now the highlight reel:

Ugly but delicious.
Most Hideous Dish We'd Enjoy the Hell Out of Anyway: Chris Jones' Cracker Jack Ice Cream, Cherries and Frozen Peanut Butter
It might be a "jumble in a bowl," as Hugh Acheson called it, but it's a jumble we'd like to curl up with in front of the television and spoon into our face. Cracker Jack anything is fabulous, but with the added texture of cherries, frozen peanut butter and walnuts, this thing don't need to be pretty 'cause we're going to mix it around with a spoon till we can eat it like chilly saccharin soup anyway.

Most Foreboding Conversation: The girls during the boys' service
Sarah: "Guys, I'm putting my blood sweat and tears in tomorrow."
Grayson: "Yeah, we got to fight for this one I think."
Sarah: "We have to fight, and we have to stay calm."
Lindsay: "We have to trust each other."
... all before their zen spirit unraveled into a tangled mess of emotion, f-bombs, and mostly blaming Bev for everything that went wrong.

Most Unexpected Potty Mouths: Lindsay, the Southern belle-ish sweetie, and Ty-Lor, the good-natured glass-half-full hipster
Lindsay: "Guys, the judges are fucking pissed that it's taking this fucking long. And all these short ribs that are in the window are now dead."
Ty-Lor: "We definitely shouldn't have played fucking circle jerk expediter. We should have just stuck with one person and gone with it."

Episode (Season?) Scapegoat: Beverly
Sarah shoots down every dish idea she has during menu-planning. Lindsay endlessly chides on her for overcooking the halibut. Sarah addresses her as though talking with a 3-year-old: "You're here to help the team. This is not gonna be how we start service." Beverly whines about being treated like a child, then fades to the background until she's treated like a child again. It's a vicious cycle in mean-girl pathology.

Dish We'd eat All Day, Every Day: Grayson's peach salad
Salty, sweet, fruity, tangy. This salad's got it going on. Grilled peaches with pickled shallots and candied pistachios are good, but coated in bacon vinaigrette -- a brazen choice -- it's over-the-top goodness might possibly cure both the common cold and PMS.

Surprise Ending: Ty-lor packed his knives, and, you know, went.
Diagnosis: "Ty's not-so-Thai dish," as Tom bottom-lined it. Or, as Hugh further explained, "Ty's dishes were both supremely under-seasoned."

The Moment that "Surprise Ending" Doesn't Begin to Describe: Bev won.
Emeril called her short ribs the "most flavorful thing of two days of eating." The verbally battered chef, who's been holding strong despite being the object of everyone else's bitchy days, actually did it. Lindsay looked like she just saw a ghost. It was like when the popular boy decides to date the nerdy girl instead of the cheerleader. It never happens, till it does. Hell yeah, Bev. Now hopefully she'll step it up and stop wallowing in the misery others shower on her.


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Nyesha for the win. The classiest one there.


You were surprised Ty-lor got cut? Not me, he's been treading water for a while now, and it seems like he has been on the bottom a lot more than the top.

Bev, just needs to pop one of the other girls in the mouth. Or at least stand up for herself once in a while.

Leslie Minora
Leslie Minora

I was surprised! He was on the bottom in the very beginning of the season, but he seemed to be getting better and better, making it into the top a couple times. And I just like the dude. I thought Chris Jones was a goner for his delicious mess of modernist stoner food, but I guess tastless and pretty loses (rightfully so) to yummy and hideous.



I'm waiting for Beverly to finally get pissed and say "shut the eff up, fattie."

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