On week six of Top Chef: Texas the competition gets saucy as the cheftestants make their own sauce and serve a Texas-style four course steak dinner! In episode 6, we are honored by the presence of Chef Dean Fearing alongside our fabulous Top Chef judges, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Hugh Acheson.
There are 13 cheftestants left, 5 guys and 8 girls. Episode 6 starts off with the guys concerned about evening the playing field. That is, all the guys except Chris Jones who made an effort not to worry about how many women or how many men were left, rather he chose to concentrate on winning. The cheftestants were taken to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, which they would make their home base in Dallas. When they arrived at the college, Heather Terhune saw Dean and made the observation that since he was classicaly trained, their challenge was most likely going to be extremely difficult.
This challenge tested the cheftestants’ skills as sauciers. Nyesha Arringtonmentions that being a saucier is an “artistry of itself” and that she would like to be one for the rest of her life. The cheftestants drew knives to select which sauce they would be preparing. Grayson Schmitzwas confident because she has been a saucier before and because she was clasicaly trained. She boasted that for her, “sauces aint no thang for me.” The cheftestants were asked to create a sauce based on their mother sauce in one and a half hours. For example, Chris Craryhad to create his own sauce from velouté. This challenge would earn the cheftestants immunity, but no money.
- Chris C. (mother sauce: Velouté) prepared Halibut Over Mussels Andouille, Mushrooms and Velouté.
- Edward Lee(mother sauce: Béchamel) prepared Cauliflower Milk Béchamel with Poached Red Snapper, Crab and Fried Oyster.
- Grayson Schmitz (mother sauce: Hollandaise) prepared Scallop, Charred Corn Sauce, Corn Ravioli, and Blueberry Balsamic Reduction.
- Paul Qui (mother sauce: Espagnole) prepared Quail with Pickled and Roasted Mushrooms, Garlic Scrapes and Okra.
- Whitney Otawka (mother sauce: Tomate) prepared Poached Shrimp, Fennel Pilau, Sauteed Okra and Pancetta.
- Heather Terhune (mother sauce: Béchamel) prepared Gruyere Croquette with Chinese 5 Spice, Apple Ginger Compote and Asian Slaw.
- Beverly Kim (mother sauce: Espagnole) prepared Crab Maki Roll with Rib Eye, Charred Shallots, Peppercorn, Sake and Red Wine.
- Dakota Weiss (mother sauce: Béchamel) prepared Béchamel Infused with Peach, Truffle and Lemon Crab and Mushroom Duxelle, Seared Scallop.
- Ty-Lor Boring (mother sauce: Hollandaise) prepared Hollandaise, Ahi Tuna, and Bok Choy with Sugar Snap Peas.
- Nyesha Arrington (mother sauce: Tomate) prepared Tomate Sauce with Coconut and Ras El Hanout Braised Lentils.
Chef Fearing thought the overall technique used for the sauces was “well done.” His least favorites were Dakota’s, also Nyesha’s because it had too many flavors, and he thought Beverly’s “coriander wasabi was more sauce than the mother sauce.” His favorites were Grayson’s because he was impressed by how she made ravioli in just an hour and a half, Chris C.’s and also Paul’s because they both had a great combination of flavors. In the end, Dean thought the best dish was Grayson’s with the mother sauce cooked to perfection! And so she got immunity for the next elimination and her boasting was validated.
Padma introduced the elimination challenge as “the toughest you will ever have to face.” The cheftestants were to create a four course dinner for 200 guests. Ty, as usual, was confident in his skills since he worked for a steakhouse in New York. We’ll see if this time he will actually be good at the challenge. For the challenge, the cheftestants were to create a four course steak dinner for the Cattle Baron’s Ball. The steaks had to be served medium rare. They had 30 mins choose a menu, 3 hours to prep and 3 hours to cook at Shouthfork Ranch. The winner of the event will also win a Toyota Venza.
Nyesha was focused on the Toyota Venza, which she got to see as soon as they went outside and stepped into, what else? A Toyota Venza. Thank goodness for product placement, otherwise all these chefs would no way of getting their shopping done! Chris Joneshilariously said, “I would love to win a car, I would to win anything!” Ty gave an homage to his dad, calling him his everyday inspiration. Ty also had a scary moment when he cut his finger and the nurse who looked at his hand told him he needed stitches. He decided that he wanted to wrap his hand and keep cooking. Major bonus points for toughing it out and staying focused on his goals! That’s especially impressive when he returned the next day and had four stiches! Four! Props to Ty, I mean, the man was at the hospital until 6 a.m.
- Sarah Grueneberg , Dakota Weiss and Beverly Kim prepared the 1st Course with Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho, Poached Shrimp and Avocado Mousse.
- Edward Lee, Chris Jones and Paul Qui prepared the 2nd Course with New York Strip Carpaccio, Pistachio Vinaigrette, Mushroom “Bacon”, Red Onion Jam.
- Ty-Lor Boring, Nyesha Arrington, Chris C. and Whitney Otawka prepared the 3rd course with Grilled Rib Eye, Creamy Potato Gratin, Thyme Jus.
- Heather Terhune, Grayson Schmitz and Lindsay Autryprepared the 4th course with “Right Side Up” Texas Peach Cake, Whipped Mascarpone, Pecan Streusel.
Once the judges were done with their meals, they felt like the cheftestants could have performed better. Ty was disappointed because the main point of the challenge was to serve 200 steaks at the same time. Unfortunately, Lindsay Autry got so over-anxious about having the steaks ready, that she freaked out and put the steaks in the oven too early. The steaks were cooked for too long and came out dry. Overally, the cheftestants were worried about ending up at the judges table because they knew they had served a mediocre meal.
Padma, as usual, came out and asked for Heather, Nyesha and Chris J. They made the best course in the challenge. Nyesha and Chris J. were that much closer to getting their wish of winning a car, or at least “anything.” Heather was the one to win the challenge, even though she used Edward Lee’s recipe for her cake. Don’t get me wrong, normally I really like her. Unfortunately, today she assumed the leader position and had a horrible attitude towards Beverly. Today, I would not have made her a winner.
Now for the losing three: Ty, Whitney and Ed. The ultimate loser who had to “pack her knives” was Whitney Otawka, for making something very ordinary and simple, yet serving raw potatoes. Tom said a very mean and unnecessary line, “usually it’s very hard for us to eliminate somebody, but tonight, you have made very easy for us.” Unfortunately, the other chefs warned Whitney to start cooking her potatoes the night before, but she refused. This is not the last we see of Whitney though, as she will face Chuy Valenciain the Last Chance Kitchen.