Top Chef Texas Episode 15: Chef Ed Hardy Raises His Hand ‘Cause He’s Sure

TCTexas 15 Snow Angel Top Chef Texas Episode 15: Chef Ed Hardy Raises His Hand Cause Hes Sure
I'll just let this ensemble speak for itself.

This latest episode of  Top Chef Texas raises a lot of questions. Does Sarah have confidence or not? One minute she’s boo-hooing her chances and the next she’s effortlessly cranking out enough pasta to feed a small army, Will Paul and Lindsay quit fannying about with  fish and cook something else? Is Padma running out ridiculous poses? We’re playing a confidence game on this week’s episode of Top Chef: Texas with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem.

Ed, what is happening here?

It’s tough to figure out Sarah’s confidence level. It might just be that she’s very expressive (for example: Sarah crying in Episodes 2, 4, 7, 11, 12, 16, 17, and 21). She should be confident cranking out pasta, it’s one of the main items on Spiaggia’s menu. I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that all we get is pasta, risotto, and soup. Lindsay is no better with her Halibut obsession. It’s Top Chef Ya’ll! Let’s get creative and push boundaries! Speaking of pushing boundaries, Takashi pushed Paul with the geoduck clam. It’s one of my favorite proteins, more on this later.

Poor Bev misses out on the challenge of a lifetime! I mean, she’d have been in paradise! I feel bad she’s gone. I’m probably the only person in the world who feels this way, though.

Looks like we’ve found something else to agree on besides sustainably sourced meats. I truly believe you might be the only one that feels this way about Bev.

As I mentioned earlier, Sarah has a very defeatist attitude, it seems. She makes herself out to be the underdog and it almost feels like we’re getting set up to see her pack her knives, what with all the flashback photos. But is all this a con? Is she really teeming with confidence? Is she game-playing here?

I was conned by the images of Paul looking like a hurt puppy in the promos. I ran screaming around my apartment: “No way he’s going home!” My wife is concerned that I might be leaving her for Paul. At any rate, we should all know by now, whatever Bravo makes us believe in the commercials or flashbacks will not be the truth. It’s more like, “Watch What Won’t be Happening.

TCTexas 15 Anita Lo Top Chef Texas Episode 15: Chef Ed Hardy Raises His Hand Cause Hes Sure
"You think everything is stoner food, Padma."

So, Anita, Floyd, and Takashi. I’ve dined at Annisa and loved it and I’ve met Floyd and sampled some of his food. I don’t know much about Takashi, tho’. Having spent time with Floyd, I would be psyched to work with him. That guy is the real deal. You should see his walk-in, and he’s a big home gardener, too. Very passionate about food. I can’t wait to go to the North End Grill!

Wow! What talent! I agree completely! Anita Lo is fantastic. Takashi is very talented; I’ve heard great thing about Restaurant Takashi and The Slurping Turtle. Interesting story: I helped Chef Floyd’s pack up all of his ingredients for his Iron Chef appearance. If you look closely at his mise en place, you’ll note my handwriting on the labels. My first appearance on Iron Chef America, as it were. I can’t wait to get into his North End Grill!

This QFC is pretty tough, as there’s no talking involved and you’re just left with what’s at your station. Even the judges for once seem super-interested in what is happening, but it seemed clear that Sarah and Floyd were on the same page from the get-go. Side note: I feel terrible about the geoduck because they can live for such an insanely long time. If you can live to more than 100 years old, people probably shouldn’t eat you. But, really, was Takashi being uber cocky by picking the geoduck? 

Is “cocky” the right word to use in reference to the geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck”)? I have never encountered a protein that draws so much laughter and so many comparisons to certain, ummm, “male naughty bits.” I like it though. [Ed. note: Of course you do.] Just blanch while alive and peel off the outer skin. Then hopefully while its still writhing around, slice thin pieces off the “siphon.” This can be tough as it will try to retract while you’re slicing, but it makes for a delicious ocean-y flavor. Hey! Why is everybody leaving? Don’t you want to know more about how to prepare live Geoduck?

TCTexas 15 Lindsay Top Chef Texas Episode 15: Chef Ed Hardy Raises His Hand Cause Hes Sure
"Just for the halibut! Get it?" "Yeah, no, I get it. That's really funny, Tom."

Now, I’m nauseous. Thanks, Ed! Now I’m back to losing confidence in Sarah, despite her win. She couldn’t recognize amaranth. Or maybe that’s the Master Gardener in me speaking and most people don’t know an amaranth from an amaryllis.

I think it’s you. I have to admit I’ve never used amaranth. Does that make me a bad chef?

Of course not. There are many other things that make you a bad chef, too many to name, in fact. Now, the fire and ice cocktail party. Another dumb challenge, led off with Emeril’s stupid remark, “Chili with a scoop of sour cream is not going to cut it.” That was stunningly condescending, especially from Mr. Bam himself.

I never know what they really want out of these challenges. Do they want plates that are on fire and stuff frozen in liquid nitrogen? ‘Cause I’ll do it. I’m just glad that I can comment on their decisions the morning after without having to pull my hair out as a contestants trying to figure out what to do with their corny themes.

Conceptually, I like Sarah’s the best. It’s super-ambitious. Girl is cranking out pasta, using that supercolderatorthingy, and keeping her cool. Also, I mean, crikey, enough with the damned fish already on the part of the other pair. It seems like a cop-out half the time on the scale of ease. And, is Lindsay being cocky by revisiting the halibut that done her wrong previously?

Not cocky, just one-note. I’ve been harping on it all season! Where is the pushing-the-envelope cooking that used to make Top Chef watchable? Halibut again? Pasta again? Even Paul repeats himself with the King Crab, although his lobster broth was pretty sweet.

Tomato water is pretty much the lamest thing in the universe ever. And using winter tomatoes? Blasphemous. This whole exercise on Lindsay’s part is fascinating because she was getting all judgy about the other two’s cold elements being gimmicky. And then she busts this out which doesn’t at all go with what she’s doing. Lack of confidence, I guess?

Lindsay just falls a bit short. Her cocktail wasn’t special and her fish wasn’t spicy. I guess two slight flaws at this level means you’re packing your knives. And I agree with you about the tomatoes. Listen up, blog readers! The number one vegetable you should be buying in-season and locally is tomatoes!

TCTexas 15 Sarah and Paul Top Chef Texas Episode 15: Chef Ed Hardy Raises His Hand Cause Hes Sure
Paul covers his face with his hands, hoping that if he wishes hard enough, Lindsay will magically appear.

It’s funny how the cocktails unnerved all the chefs. We’re in season 9 here, people. You should’ve gamed up for every possible challenge. Sarah’s sounded the best to me as well, although I don’t really go in for any of those frou-frou drinks. Just a classic martini for me, thankyouverymuch. Paul seems like he might be a teetotaler because of his utter lack of confidence in his mixology abilities.

But, his cocktail looked good and paired well apparently. That’s just Paul being humble. Me? I’m making a mint julep with mint ice.

Fancy. Well, so long as you don’t use tomato water. Lindsay is sent packing, and Sarah claims she always knew it would be her and Paul. This is a big turnaround from her earlier remarks — and I’m pretty sure that she’s the only one who felt that this would be our final pairing.

Again, we’re sympatico. I’m just sad that next week will be our final pairing, Caroline.

Ditto. Parting is such sweet…ah, forget it. I can’t wait for this season to be finished.

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