Top Chef Texas Episode 7: Chef Ed Hardy Is the Duck of Death

Chef Tim Love explains why Chris Jones's lid is a hair-don't in Texas.

We return with commentary on this week’s Top Chef: Texas with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem. If you don’t get the headline, you need to see Unforgiven. Thank you, Management.

All right! Tim Love of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro is in the house! And he brought tequila. Sweet! My husband loves Don Julio. Which tequila are you choosing to cook with?

Tequila is great, but if bourbon exists in the world, why are we not cooking with it? I’ll choose the blanco, it seems to have herbaceous qualities that might be useful in my cooking style. Simple recipes for home cooks? Try a tequila-lime glazed tuna. Sear off a piece of tuna. Combine 2 oz. tequila, 1 oz. brown sugar, and 1 oz. lime juice in a pan with a little pepper flake. Stir and reduce until glaze-y, spoon over sliced tuna. For this challenge, I might have used the blanco to make a tomato/fennel chutney. As for Chef Love, he is fun, even if he isn’t exactly cutting edge. He definitely deserves kudos for really being adventurous with western game.

How drunk would you get in sampling? Maybe just one good shot to calm your nerves?

Why not? Nerves are most often the cause of failure in Top Chef kitchens, no matter what the season. Definitely one or two shots would probably result in a positive effect.

Hey Padma, does Cher know that you raided her wardrobe?

Uh oh! More scallops! Top Chef should just ban scallops. And oysters, apparently. Anyway, Chris J. is talking about being careful when cooking with booze. Is he right? I always thought that as long as you cook off the booze, you’re fine.

I think your readers are pretty well acquainted with how I feel about scallops and Top Chef. Chris “Look there’s something crazy going on with my head at all times” Jones is (mostly) right. You have to be careful with spirits because yes, you do cook off the booze, but not as much as you might think. The “burning” sensation is caused by the leftover alcohol when it hits your tongue and can be distracting. It can also be wonderful if you know how to control it. I finish soups all the time with just a dash of spirits or wine or vermouth.

For the QFC, Ty-Lor wins. Awww. He looks very happy. Do you concur?

We’ve reached the point in this competition where its starting to get tough to determine what is good and bad based on looks alone. A lot of these chefs are starting to get comfortable in the Top Chef kitchen, and a lot of the obviously bad competitors have already packed their knives. Conceptually, Chris C.’s dish works great for me. I guess Ty-Lor’s flavors were spot on.

Which game meat would you want? Which chef would you want to cook for?

I’m sooooo tired of duck. I would have tried out a Rockie and Bullwinkle dish. (Russian accent) “Moose und Squirrel.” Inspired by Chef Love, my man-crush on Paul Qui continues. He’s so cool. He’s a silent killer. I wanna be on his team.

Working alongside other cooks all day long, you’re probably always judging each other’s food. Why do people get so game-y when judging each other’s food on this show?

Being forced to work with someone is one thing most chefs should be able to do. Someone has to be in charge. In my kitchen, you accept criticism from the person ranked above you. Thank Escoffier for the brigade system. Criticizing a chef’s plate in front of them is something else entirely. Even Chef Honey Badger might pull a couple punches.

This one is for you, Ed Hardy. May I present your man-crush, Paul.

Is Heather being a complete b-word? She’s being really mean to Bev. Yikers Island!

Wow. Heather is being bossypants to cover up the fact that she’s not as strong of a chef as she thinks. She bulldozes Beverly on every decision and uses the excuse that “we can’t have everything Asian.” Unfortunately, Heather, too, has a limited repertoire. Otherwise, she would have at least tried to meet her halfway. That’s what everybody else did here apparently.

What’s the wildest game you’ve had? I’ve had moose and caribou, both of which are very tasty.

Americans lost their palates for really gamey flavors, after World War II and refrigeration and transportation changed the way we eat. The best game I’ve had came in pie- form in England and wasn’t readily identifiable. The English still will hang a variety of meats and let bacteria work their magic to change the flavors. I guess my favorite would be a really well-hung game bird. No jokes about that last adjective, please.

In one fell swoop, Heather nukes her chances of winning fan favorite.


Fine. But that is low-hanging fruit. In the end, this is a tough call to make, as it seems that everyone put out respectable dishes. Ed and Ty’s definitely seemed like perfection on a plate. That was a well-deserved win. I feel bad for Dakota and Nyesha, tho’.  It may have been easier to see Heather leave only because of her rant this evening. 🙁

In Heather’s case its, definitely Dead Chef Walking. She somehow survives to suffer a fate worse than packing her knives: a couple of episodes where she’s going to play the villain. Absolutely no one will want to work with her now, which won’t help her chances. Grayson stepped up with nerves of steel, telling Chris J. to “shut up” abou the dish, then criticizing Heather later. I feel like Dakota and Nyesha were victims of the “some decisions were made in consultation with the producers” clause. Au revoir, ladies!


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