Top Chef Texas

March 1, 2012 by staff 

Top Chef Texas, After 29 chefs (and what felt like 29 episodes), “Top Chef: Texas” crowned a winner. In the end, Paul got the Food and Wine magazine feature and added $125,000 to his already sizable stack of winnings. And it was never really in doubt.

OK, that last part is a lie. This was one of the tightest finales in the show’s nine seasons, with Tom saying it was the best food they’ve eaten.

For the final challenge, Paul and Sarah had to create a four-course tasting menu. A bunch of booted “Texas” chefs and two established American chefs each made a Quickfire dish, which Paul and Sarah blind taste-tested to determine teams.

Paul’s first pick turned out to be master chef Barbara Lynch, and he rounded out his crew with Ty-Lor, Keith and Pretty Chris.

Sarah had a strong group with Nyesha, Heather and Grayson. Unfortunately she also chose Tyler, who made the quickest exit in “Top Chef” history after flubbing basic butchering on day one. Both chefs blatantly avoided making eye contact with this guy, like when some hack cruise ship comedian is looking to pluck a volunteer.

When it came time to plan the dishes and cook, though, Paul and Sarah were in command, determined not to let anyone derail them. As Sarah put it: “I’m trying to get Tyler to feel like he’s part of the group, when really I don’t give a s***.” For once, I agreed with her.

For Paul’s first course, he presented chawanmushi (which the Google machine says is a Japanese steamed egg custard) with spot prawns. The first group of judges said it was exceptional, citing the silky smooth texture. But for the second rotation, the batch was an overcooked mess.

Next was grilled sea bass with clam dashi, radishes and mushrooms. The whole dish exhibited Paul’s deft use of contrast, and the broth was “brilliant.”

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