Top Chef Texas Episode 6: Chef Ed Hardy Wonders, ‘Who Shot Ty-lör?’

Overcome by the heat, Padma relies on an old Victoria's Secret pose to keep her balance.

This week’s Top Chef: Texas has Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem and I in a decidedly Dallas state of mind

First, what up with all the chef-smokers? As a former smoker, I am proud to say that I made it through culinary school without a puff! Why do you think so many chefs light up?

Because we all drink? You’ve got to do something something with your free hand while you’re drinking. I solved this problem years ago by double-fisting. That way I don’t have to smoke.

Good thinking! So, of the classic sauces — tomate, espagnol, hollandaise, bechamel, velouté — which would you most like to do? I think espagnol is gross.

I was mystified. Didn’t we drop all pretense of the classic French sauces years ago? Aren’t they too heavy for today’s sophisticated palates? Okay, home cooks. Let me explain. No, wait, that’ll take too long. Let me sum up: Espagnol IS gross. Tomate is tomato sauce. Near as it doesn’t make a difference. Don’t let folks tell you otherwise. Hollandaise is delicious. Add herbs or whatever spices you want. Have a ball! Velouté is boring. It’s a roux with some stock. But don’t make it. Bechamel is non-boring velouté because its a base for cheese sauces. Substitute milk for stock. Don’t forget a dash of nutmeg. That, in a nutshell, is all you need to know anymore about classic French cuisine. Modern French cuisine? That’s another story…

Fearing is losing me here. His assertion about the tomate with a roux! Not at the FCI. And not in The Escoffier. In Larousse Gastronomique, yes, there is one odd version with meat stock and a roux, but, um, ewww. ‘Splain to me.

I can’t. I can’t blame any of the chefs here for lack of roux because, as you mentioned, its not part of the actual recipe. I love it when judges are wrong! I think the heat is cooking Dean Fearing’s brain. MMMMmmmm. Brains… Sorry, I’ve been zombie entertainment kick lately. I can’t stop watching The Walking Dead on AMC. At least until Mad Men and Christina Hendricks returns. MMMMmmmm Christina Hendricks. While we’re on the subject, if anyone is looking for stocking stuffers that combine zombies AND cooking, may I suggest trying here, here, or here? The Restaurant of the Damned, indeed.

Without his second pair of specs, Chris J. is forced to squint as he salts his carpaccio.

First, stop talking about my Joanie like that! Next, you’re a bit young for this, but I never looked at Dallas and Dynasty as an either/or proposition. PS: I would kill to be at Southfork, if only to drink bourbon and throw the glass against a wall a la J.R.

I ain’t that young, old timer. True, I would get Dallas and Falcon Crest mixed up sometimes, but J.R. left enough of an impression on me that I’ll go through a couple sets of glasses a week. I smell like bourbon. I even stuck steer horns on my car. My wife hates all of this. Didn’t women like J.R.? Is TV lying to me?

Should there be a no-repeat rule for the duration of Top Chef — except for maybe the finale between two or three people. I understand Ed’s frustration with Heather here.

Why are we talking about Ed so much? It’s weird. It may be the interesting facial hair or the faces he makes, but the camera is always on him. Heck, I love “Eds” more than most, but this is a little ridiculous. And yes, there should be a no-repeat rule. It should start with scallops!

Stephen Fearing looks away in disgust as Tom suggests that tomate does not, in fact, have a roux.

The gratin potatoes are worrisome. I would have heated the cream and the potatoes in it and not just set them up raw/cold and open to air. This is a recipe for underdone taters. And there’s little worse.

It was 114 degrees out there. Think about that for a moment. 114. Now, raise your hand if you want some creamy cheesy potatoes on a day like that. Okay, you weird, sweaty fatsos, you can put your hands down. [Ed. note: Hey! I take offense at that last remark!] Gratins can be difficult. I always end up adding more cream than I thought necessary and more cheese and cooking them longer and then running the risk of it becoming a greasy mess. If I could leave home cooks with one piece of advice it would be to never to add too much cream, consider cutting it with a bit of milk. You know what would have been a better idea? Potato salad. A thousand different ways to add flavor and make it interesting and light if you steer it (get it?) towards a mustard-y, lemon-y direction.

I never ever need to eat any variation of watermelon gazpacho again. You?

Nope! Nor compressed molecular gastronomy watermelon. Or watermelon coolers. Or watermelon liquor. Just plain watermelon for me, thanks!

Ty-Lor...just because!

“There’s no point of view on this dish.” I like that! I’m stealing it. Can you elaborate on what this means from a chef-y perspective?

As a chef you’re always trying to communicate a theme with a dish. It could be: “Nostalgia is good!” -or- “I like exotic spice!” -or- “Perfect  execution!” -or- “Surprise twist!” -or- “I’m a pretentious ass!” (that last one only applies if you’re this guy). The judges meant that they couldn’t find what statement, if any, the dish was trying to make.

Oh, snap! Whitney goes home for the potatoes! I KNEW IT! Ty-Lör, G-d love him, he took on a big job. Ed, he’s our boy. But this girl seriously screwed the pooch!

I think the judges had it right here. They were clearly disappointed. I do hope Beverly lasts for a while longer, as she’s going to turn into a punching bag. Especially when they hide the soy sauce and wasabi from her.

Last questions: Is Heather a bully? Is it irony that the Cattle Baron’s are raising money for the American Cancer Society?

Heather is a bully. But I disagree with your second question. Are you implying that beef and cancer are somehow related? Haven’t you heard its What’s For Dinner? Stop advancing your vegan agenda or I’m packing my knives and going home.

I’m on the Master Cleanse right now, so I am, in fact, a vegan, albeit temporarily. A steak, however, sure does sound good after all this lemon juice. Sigh.



  1. domynoe says

    Heather certainly is becoming a bully! Chris was talking about Sara a bit back, but all I saw was Sara being assertive. Heather on the other hand? She needs to stop. I hate it when a group of people pick one person to pick on just because that person tends to be less assertive and has tastes that doesn’t suit theirs.

    Except Marcel. He was an a$$. 😛

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