Team Top Chef

The chefs leave the drama in Dallas behind to cook for those that have inspired them in Austin.

Dec 21, 2011

(Sorry, just had to get a random Gilmore Girls reference in the title -- even if the spelling is different.)

Hello, tweethearts! Thank you all for your comments on last week's recap -- both complimentary and not-so-complimentary. I asked for arguments, and I got them! I don't want to dwell on the last episode because, well, I don't think any good will become of that, so let's move on to Austin, shall we?

This week's Quickfire was pretty awesome. Since I obviously work in Bravo's digital department and work closely with our social media peeps (I tweet from @BravoTopChef often.) I was psyched to see it used so innovatively in the challenge. Like Tom said, we always get a ton of ideas for challenges, and this was a chance to use them. Seeing Tom on his iPhone calling out tweets made me giggle. The first selected instruction was to use bacon. Yes! Love bacon. My editors actually bought me bacon floss for Chanukah (which I think might defeat the purpose of using floss, but whatever.) Next, the chefs are instructed to make a hash, and finally hand one of their competitors a random ingredient. This cracked me up. "You take sriracha!" "No, you take sriracha!" if it's one thing i've learned over nine seasons, it's that chefs love sriracha. I think the chefs handled their ngredients pretty well. Ultimately, my man Paul Qui came out on top. His use of seemingly unrelated ingredients showed a real confidence -- he did anything but play it safe.

Let's talk about Paul Qui for a moment. We learn on the car ride over to Austin that he used to sell weed. Whaaa?!?! Although maybe that explains his calm demeanor -- har har -- I honestly would never have guessed that in a million years, but I'm glad he stopped doing that and turned his energy into something productive. We also learn that Heather has a crush on John Besh (who doesn't?), and that Chris needs to go to the gym.