Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson judges the chile and rodeo challenges from the comfort of his couch.

on Nov 23, 2011

Chuy owes Uncle Sam some bucks. For what we do not know. Payroll taxes from his restaurant? Back taxes on his yacht? Extraordinary rendition fees from a failed coup attempt in central Africa? This is a statement his accountant hopes he had not made on national television. 

Nyesha thinks Paul is amazing. Paul is amazing, but let's not let this fawning take away from Nyesha’s resume. She is amazing in her own right. She has more Michelin stars on her resume than all of Belgium (this quasi fact has not been verified). Paul, reacting to a compliment with pure aplomb, cackles like a nervous hyena. The Moto boys are not chile heads. They are a little wary of that fire belly. They just get wonderfully weirder those two.

The raw Anaheim dish by Beverly is an odd choice. Like a crudité if you remove the ité. She gets in the bottom three. The other two to land in chile purgatory are Richie with his sweet scallops (what’s up with the fad of savory curds? Laurent did that in Episode 2 as well) and Chuy, with his canned Yucatan flavors. Chuy wants to die under the table. This can be arranged but is not good TV. 

Grayson, Paul, and Heather are in chile heaven. Paul wins with his Thai style soup. Grayson and Heather look less than pleased with the result, Grayson giving the lightest clapping ever to the result. If Grayson claps in the forest, can anyone hear?

Paul’s use of the ghost pepper in a Thai soup was very smart, as the coconut milk and the lemongrass can hide a lot of heat yet still be very nuanced. I loved Grayson’s popper but I don’t think it will go on the Chile’s menu anytime soon… too spicy. Heathers couscous surprises me. Again, I di not taste the food but it looks like she nailed the balance between the heat of the chile and the sweetness of the dates. 

Alas, the Elimination Challenge is introduced and we’re cookin’ chili… all night long. Heather is confident because she makes chili a lot! This is good because as things progress, it looks like people want to work with her like they want to stick pins in their eyeballs. Teams are organized, and Nyesha is not happy with her team, giving us an ominous foreshadowing. She doesn’t want to carry this team on her back. I picture them in a large rooster costume, with Richie on top, his Mohawk as cockscomb, then Beverly in the middle screaming that she needs help at the meat counter, Nyesha plodding around looking for a chicken fight.