Supersize Me! The Top Chef Texas recap

Life doesn’t always give you gifts. You don’t always get to see the asshole who tailgated you all the way down the expressway getting pulled over for a speeding ticket. The guy who broke your heart in high school doesn’t always show up at the reunion bald, fat, and broke.

So we must savor these moments.
So, for example when young master Tyler Stone—that’s “Stone. Chef Tyler Stone” according to his cringe-worthy audition video—a little twerp who saw himself as a real contender, who boasted about being twice as good and half the age of most of his competition, gets kicked off the show because he can’t seem to locate the tenderloin of a pig—don’t let this moment pass you by without fully appreciating it. Bask in it. To borrow a food term: Let it marinate.
You might be asking yourself: How could Tom Colicchio be so cavalier as to boot one of his contestants from the show before it had really begun? Well, he’s got 29 chefs and only 16 snazzy Top Chef chef coats to give out. You do the math.
I’m afraid that’s going to be the theme this Texas-sized season: Everything’s bigger on Texas Top Chef!  A mere 16 contestants is for those pussy cities like New York and Chicago. In Texas, this one goes to 29 contestants!

(References to Texas doing everything bigger will most certainly be a fun-for-the-whole-family, fast-track-to-inebriation drinking game. The other one? Every time someone says “BAM!” or makes a play on the word “BAM!”—now that Emeril Lagasse has been installed as a permanent judge. Shoot me now.)
So the 29 contestants line up—they’ll be breaking into 3 teams and competing for those 16 slots—and it’s hard to know who to really pay attention to at this point. Why get attached to one particular neck tattoo when it could be gone by the end of the show? (Yes, once again, this is a very tatted up bunch. It looks more like the opening scene to MSNBC’s Lockup than Top Chef.)
But of course, I couldn’t help but to notice Richie Farina, who wore a pink bandanna with a pencil stuck in it, thus making him look like a gay Geisha gangster. Once he took the bandanna off and revealed his neo-Sanjaya haircut, I sort of understood why he wanted to distract attention away from his hair. But he’s strangely adorable, right?
There’s also a mini drama with Richie and his boss Chris Jones, the sous chef at Moto in Chicago (by the way, there are more Top Chef contestants from Chicago than there are corrupt politicians in Chicago). (That last joke was brought to you by the year 1955). And Jones, who made some sort of precious, Richard-Blais-style faux-caramel apple out of his pork, seems like he might be a contender.
There’s also the guy who looks like the love child of Billy Bush and Bradley Cooper, who remarked out of the gate that Padma looked “hot” and that was why he needed to stay in the competition. Ugh. (I must say, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when his duo of rabbit was proclaimed one of the best of the night. Didn’t see THAT coming from hair gel boy.)
Then there’s a man named Ty-lör Boring. Um, say what? Look, maybe the guy was born with the name Ty-lör Boring, in which case his parents are horrible people. But if his actual name is Tyler and he figured that he was far too interesting a cat to have a first name Tyler and a last name Boring, so he decided to add an umlaut, a dash, and in inexplicable “o” to the spelling—well, he’s already on my list.
There’s a girl named Janine, who compared seeing Padma and Tom in person for the first time to “going to a wax museum” and later, upon discovering that she would be cooking with rabbit, proclaimed “rabbit orgies are awesome!”
“Please let her get a chef coat” I wrote in my notes. (She got put on the bubble. She claimed it was an anti-tattoo bias—a reasonable theory, frankly—and will have to cook for her life next week.)
Who else? Who else?
There’s a kind of lovable giant, who I kept thinking was going to break into that ukulele version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” who actually DID go to prison for dealing drugs, but  now the only thing he “cracks” are eggs. (No, I have no idea if he actually went to prison for crack. It could’ve been the heartwarming but illegal distribution of medical marijuana to cancer patients, for all I know.)
Crack guy (sorry) seemed like a pussycat, but I was secretly relieved when Simon, with his particularly elaborate neck tattoo and scary scowl, was told to leave. (However, I did fear for Padma’s life when she told him to “pack up his knives.” I make a point of not mentioning knives around guys who look like that.)
There’s Edward Lee—also on the bubble—who has some sort of condition that I have diagnosed as “reverse lockjaw.” Did anyone else notice this? Every time he talked his jaw was flopping around like a beached fish. It was disconcerting.
Another possible contender is a girl named Nyesha, who worked alongside Chef Robuchon and has a serious intimidation factor.
Then there’s a guy named Chuy (pronounced “Chewie”). Anybody named after my favorite Star Wars character is alright in my book, but anyone who says “Booyah, Beeyotch!” upon winning a chef’s coat—especially when moments earlier he was shaking in his boots like a little girly man— is NOT alright in my book, so I remain on the fence.
Anyway, I appreciated the fact that they didn’t try to cram all 29 contestants into one episode. Next week, it seems, we’ll get the final group and the bubble folks to cook for their lives.
Say it with me people: A first episode so big and Texas-sized, they had to split it into two! BAM!

One thought on “Supersize Me! The Top Chef Texas recap

  1. I'm putting it out there right now: I simply REFUSE to mention that Texas cliché in my blog, no matter how many times they shove it down my throat like so much beef barbecue.

    I hate Texas already. So that and that other “mess-y” one won't get any love from me.

    Also, I'm guessing you've never seen Chelsea Lately or you'd be aware of another, more famous Mexican-American named Chuy.

    Lastly …

    Yes, once again, this is a very tatted up bunch. It looks more like the opening scene to MSNBC’s Lockup than Top Chef. Made me fall out!

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