Top Chef Texas Episode 10: Chef Ed ‘Disco Pants’ Hardy on Restaurant Wars

"Hugh, don't look so shocked that Padma thinks I'm cuter. I mean, c'mon, buddy!"

It’s raining, his socks don’t match, and he’s feeling particularly surly, but we’re determined to rehash the latest episode of Top Chef: Texas with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem.

It’s restaurant wars! Wheee! 

Yayy. Whoopdee doo.

I see we took our happy pill today. Seriously, though, it’s restaurant wars and an old-fashioned battle of the sexes. My first thought is that the girls will smoke the boys. After all, that’s what we did in culinary school.

Okay dokey smokey. I’ll bite. I’ll take myself, Ben, Bobby, Angel, and Brian. You can take Lisa and, well, that’s about it. Boys win! Boys win! That being said, I actually prefer working with the fairer sex in professional kitchens. I haven’t quite figured out why yet. (No, not because of THAT. Get yer mind out of the gutter.)

My fellow Dream Team members and I after service at The French Culinary Institute's L'Ecole restaurant.

The only reason your mind isn’t in the gutter is because you have a lovely wife. Also, dream on if you thought you could ever beat the Dream Team, my dear. Anyway, if you have three courses to put out in these restaurant wars, what are some things that come to mind to embrace and avoid?

Embrace? Simplicity. Items that are held warm or cold and just placed on the plate with a little garnish are excellent. Braised items, soups, or room temperature desserts are great. Avoid? Complexity. Dishes that have a lot of different components that have to come together at the last moment doesn’t allow for a smooth service, especially on an opening-night restaurant.

The pop-up restaurant names are a bit too precious for me. Canteen and Half Bushel. It seems like it is getting harder and harder to name a restaurant.

These names are terrible. Canteen is uninspired, and Half Bushel doesn’t make any sense. Why not Two-and-three-quarters Bushel?  It’s just better to name it after your grandma and be done with it.

Please explain Padma’s disco pants.

Oftentimes I find its best to add a little chopped fresh herb at the end of making a sauce. That way you still get a bright herb-y taste without having it fade into the background. I also like to incorporate a little bit of butter at the end to provide additional body and mouth feel.

Ben Chiu-Maes (c.) will attest to the Dream Team's superiority over our male counterparts.

Fine. Don’t explain her pants. I’m starting to think Padma has naked photos of you, by the way. But, explain this: neither team’s service goes very smooth. What piece of the pie was missing during planning?

Obviously some sort of expediting plan for the guys (see below) and tranquilizers for Lindsay. Wow. Control freak much?

Expediter is a really important role, as we see. Can you discuss what purpose a great one serves at a busy restaurant?

A great expediter is like a world-class symphony conductor. He is able to control and adjust the music as it occurs. The pace, the volume, the emotion, all the different parts and notes are in his head with only mere glances at the score. Same for a great expediter. He/she is able to remember what was on the tickets without looking at them and almost magically plan out in their head what tables will go out next. It’s tough to juggle different cooking times for different entrees and courses and it takes someone that can be alternatively calm and excited, loud and quiet, scary and then reserved. I’m not bad at this kind of thing. I’ve known chefs who are better at it and, conversely, I’ve known better chefs who are terrible expediters. It’s just a sort of brain/synapse thing, if you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

"I can't wait to be really mean to my teammates during tonight's service!"

I am really tired of the Bev bullying. She is a competitor and should get to cook what she wants!

Repeat after me. Short Ribs. Kimchi. This. Is. Not. Original. Or. Inspired. What was her first suggestion? Beet and goat cheese salad? Absolutely groundbreaking. Why the bullying you ask? She “competes” by spraying foam on dresses, trying to burn down campers with flaming alcohol and cooking the same Korean fusion every single time. I guarantee there’s cutting-room-floor footage of every other chef helping her out and taking items of hers off the stove / out of the oven before the burn. Chefs who have been cooking for awhile have a sixth sense about who demands respect and who doesn’t. It’s obvious that Beverly has given them reasons to not respect her. Their only remaining option is to bully her in team situations.

My point is, though, that she should be able to cook what she wants and defend it at Judges’ Table — or not. Moving on, what did the boys get wrong and right?

The food must have been severely under-seasoned, I guess? Conceptually everything seemed to be ok. Ed was apparently fairly good at hosting and managing tables.

"It's true, Ty. I do have naked pictures. They are actually of Tom, though."

And, the girls?

Ummmmm. Were you watching the episode? I guess yelling and leaving judges waiting at the host stand is a winning strategy on Top Chef now.

So did Ty get sent home for being the naked chef? Chris J. did, like, squattina and stays…he def has naked pics of the producers!

Let this be a lesson all of you. Those of you with naked pictures of others, hold onto them. Those of you that have naked pictures of yourself on the internet, tread cautiously.


  1. domynoe says

    Their only remaining option is to bully her in team situations.

    Bullying should NEVER be an option, no matter what the circumstances, and no one should ever claim it to be an option.

  2. Chef Ed says

    You’re absolutely right! Sometimes when I’m on the line in the middle of a busy service and I need a plate fast I think about bullying my co-worker to make them work faster, or berating them in some way so that shame will cause them to bring me what I need. But then I stop and think about their feelings and how wrong it would be. So now, instead, I send a waiter to the table to tell the guests that their food is delayed because the chef stopped service so that the cooks could all have a group hug.
    Also I think every human being should make it a practice to hold hands and sing Kum-ba-yah with their co-workers to start the day.

  3. Sky says

    One of the best explainations about an Expediter that I’ve seen as well as the details on what works/doesn’t work in this type of challenge. Thanks!

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