Top Chef Texas Finale: The Paradox of Choice with Chef Ed ‘Hasta La Vista’ Hardy

Saving the best for last, Padma reenacts Angelina Jolie's famed pose.

It’s the final episode of Top Chef Texas and we’re back one last time with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem to pick over the bones of the show we love to hate.

I’m so disgusted with last night that I have but a few questions/remarks.

I was hoping that I’d feel funny today. Or angry. But, instead I feel… nothing. This season of Top Chef has robbed me of emotion and even my sense of time. It’s really over?

Thankfully, yes. So, the inevitable conclusion…or is it really? Paul cooked Asian. AGAIN. How is it that Beverly is taken to task for this and he’s not? Holy double-standard.

I think you’re being a little a little unfair. He did manage to cook other things. A lot of what he produced would fall under the “New American” label rather than Bev’s “Asian Fusion Plated American-Style.”

It is so tragic that no one picked Marco Canora. Have you been to Hearth? That place is awesome!

I love Hearth. I love how Chef Canora really focuses in one main ingredient and then explores all the possible flavors on one plate. When you’re at Hearth, you don’t just get steak, you get steak with a dab of short rib and a touch of bone marrow.

Barbara Lynch is the real deal and gave Paul a huge advantage. She is awesome. He had the way stronger team.

No doubt about it. A team with Chef Lynch, Ty-lor, Chris Crary, and Keith is definitely stacked. There’s not much to complain about when your weakest link is Keith (and he’s not a weak link in my book, anyway). And, it’s Paul for heaven’s sake.  He didn’t need the help.

"Paul, do you like movies about gladiators?"

Sarah missed Marco and wound up with…evil Heather. The disliked Tyler! Grayson and Nyesha’s gifts couldn’t combat that!

Sarah seemed to like Heather, so I guess that’s ok. If I could still feel feelings (Thanks again, Top Chef Texas!), my heart would have leapt when I saw the great Chef Tyler Stone again. Sarah didn’t need that kind of “help,” so I kind of felt bad for her. They managed him okay, but it couldn’t have helped her chances.

People who eat veal are evil. End of story. Let’s have baby-raised-in-a-confined-crate-without-its-mother cheeks. Barf. Can’t people move on to a more humane and flavorful protein? Yeesh.

Hmm. I admit I am very concerned about how animals are treated; you’ve helped me come around on that (Except for geoducks of course!). But as a chef, I have to fall on the wrong side of speciesism. ( As near as I can figure, the speciesist argument is that anything you do to an animal is wrong, so no matter what I do or what protein I use I’ve been. I can’t cook like that, nor do I believe in the arguments of speciesism. So, I’m left walking a middle road, one that you’ll probably criticize me for. I try to source humanely treated and killed proteins, and I rarely use stuff like veal. But you better believe I use foie gras, as I’ve visited those ducks and they seemed happy.

"Emeril, when people say 'The Chubby One,' they're not talking about me."

I won’t join the foie debate yet because I, too, love it, but I’m just squarely against eating any form of baby — unless it’s baby vegetables! Also, the wine pairing stuff…Paul is a total teetotaler. I don’t trust a chef that doesn’t drink. :p

Then you must trust me more than any chef you’ve ever met. Didn’t I see him drinking this season?

I don’t think he drank very much that I saw. Anyway, Sarah remarked that it’s about doing what the judges haven’t seen. She seemed to really push herself and her food looked amazing. That said, Paul did what the judges have seen and won. 

She did a great job, I admit. She obviously did her homework over the break and came back with a great menu in mind for the judging. The Spot Prawns with the pasta was truly original. Let’s face it though, Paul’s cooking on an average day is better than most chefs’ good days. Paul and Sarah both had good days. I’m proud of them both.

Until next time, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

I felt bad that Sarah was crying because for a hot minute, I believed that this season would not have came to its inevitable conclusion and it would have been a real surprise. BOO!

The only real surprise would have been if Sarah didn’t cry. Although I’m happy thinking about Paul taking a bath in a tub full of his record-breaking winnings, I’m sad thinking that this will probably be the last time that we do this together. No more movie references, no more shameless blogging flirtation. No more debate about animal ethics. It brings a tear to my unfeeling eye. Adieu, ma belle amie. Adieu.

Does this mean you quit? Because you can’t quit…you’re fired!


  1. Paul says

    What a stupid and ill-informed interview! The interviewer should be fired. She clearly has an ax to grind with Paul. What is wrong with cooking Asian and why should any chef be called out for cooking Asian? Should Morimoto be called out for cooking Asian? What about Sarah? She ALWAYS cooks Italian — sheesh! Talk about double standard!

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