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Top Chef S9-13: Bike, Borrow and Steal

Updated on February 4, 2012

Top Chef Texas is on its 12th episode and we have 5 cheftestants battling it out for the title of Top Chef.

Remember, there’s still The Last Chance Kitchen, which can only be seen online, but you want to be spoiled about that, check out my review of that online episode.

Don’t forget, if you don’t want to be spoiled about this episode, get out of the kitchen now!

Grayson wakes up feeling crappy about Moto Chris leaving. She felt close to him and is really bummed she had something to do with his departure.

Ed wakes up wearing a button down shirt, jacket and boxer shorts. It’s been a while since Crazy Ed did anything really crazy and I had almost forgotten about the cray cray. Thanks for the reminder Ed.

Quickfire Challenge

The five cheftestants enter the kitchen to find Padma standing next to a table filled with towers of pancakes. The cheftestants will be making pancakes for a celebrity who loves them: Pee Wee Herman. He comes out on his infamous bike, wearing his traditional attire…not the one he was arrest in, fyi. A day of cray cray it is.

The cheftestants have 20 minutes to make pancakes for win and $5,000.

Padma and Pee Wee
Padma and Pee Wee

Grayson makes a Mini Mouse ricotta buttermilk pancake with peach compote, blackberry and basil. Pee Wee tastes it and tells her it’s the best pancake he’s ever had.

Sarah makes a confetti pancake with blackberry sauce cocoa nibs with vanilla whip cream. Pee Wee tastes it and tells her it’s the best pancake he’s ever had. Cut to Grayson glaring evilly.

Paul makes a rolled pancake with berries, black pepper and champagne dippin dots. He’s never made pancakes before and though Pee Wee’s never had black pepper on his pancake, he tells him it’s the best pancake he’s ever had. Cut to Sarah who gets that it’s a joke.

Lindsay makes a ricotta pancake with whipped cream fraiche, marcona almond and anise cookies. Pee Wee tastes it and tells her it’s the best pancake he’s ever had.

Ed makes pancake bits with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with bacon and brulled marshmallows. Pee Wee tastes it and tells him (along with Ed who joins in) it’s the best pancake he’s ever had. Now everyone gets the joke, but this time Pee Wee wasn’t kidding. Though there’s no bottom, there’s only one winner of the Quickfire and the $5,000 and that’s Ed who made the best pancake Pee Wee ever had.

Elimination Challenge

Pee Wee ends up recalling Pee Wee’s Big Adventure where he went to the Alamo’s basement to find his missing bike, only to find the Alamo didn’t have a basement. Padma tells the cheftestants that their goal it to give Pee Wee better memories of the Alamo by cooking him an unforgettable family style lunch.

To do that, Pee Wee gives them all new bicycles which they are to use on their adventure to serve the judges and Pee Wee on the next challenge. They will have the bicyles, $100 for food and a map to the Alamo. They must find their own food as well as ask a local restaurant to work in their kitchen to create a platter for the next challenge.

The cheftestants have 10 minutes to talk to Pee Wee about his likes and dislikes and the journey beings the next morning. Pee Wee likes chicken, egg salad sandwich, spicy food, not spicy food, American food, Ethnic food and doesn’t know if he has any allergies. Perfectly not clear? Then we’re all on the same page.

The next morning the cheftestants decide that they will all go together to the Farmer’s market, but after that, everyone is on their own.

They seem to find what they want, but Lindsay finds that her meat is too expensive and Ed can’t seem to find any shrimp, so he leaves without any protein.

Paul and Grayson leave at around the same time and both spot Rosario’s a Mexican restaurant. Paul goes for the wrong door while Grayson heads for the right door and she ends up getting the restaurant first.

Paul ends up finding La Frite and settles in rather smoothly.

Lindsay finds the Mad Hatter’s Tea House and Café. She questions their ingredients and when she doesn’t find what she needs she leaves to go buy some more.

Ed finds a nice little bed and breakfast called King William Manor where he takes up so much space that he ends up serving up eggs for the B&B’s clientele.

Sarah finds the Mad Hatter’s Tea House and Café and swoops in. Lindsay shows back up again, but has to leave since there is only one cheftestant allowed per restaurant. Bummed out, she leaves and finds Frank’s Hog Stand where she ends up making her meal in a pint sized kitchen.

The judges Pee Wee, Padma, Tom and Gail
The judges Pee Wee, Padma, Tom and Gail

The Tasting

The judges for this challenge are Tom, Padma, Gail and Pee Wee Herman. I guess they couldn’t convince Hugh and Emeril to show up for this one. It’s probably for the best since I’ve missed Gail.

Lindsay made a stuffed zucchini with braised beef cheeks, rice and goat cheese. Gail thought it was a nice way to present the food, but that the salad greens were a bit soggy. Padma really liked the vinaigrette, but felt there was way too much goat cheese.

Ed made chicken and grits, raw corn and kale salad with red eye gravy. Pee Wee liked the fresh corn and thought the meal was delicious, only the chicken seemed a bit off. Tom agreed with Pee Wee that the chicken’s texture was weird.

Paul made roasted chicken, red curry gastrique with a summer salad. Gail liked the gastrique and thought he did a great job. Padma felt the dish needed more heat and was a little too sweet. Tom felt that the vegetables were so acidic that the sweetness of the gastric really worked.

Sarah made a summer vegetable egg salad with chicken skin vinaigrette. Gail thought her eggs were cooked beautifully and coming from Gail, that is a high compliment. Tom thought it was a nice, but simple dish. Both Tom and Pee Wee agreed that the egg needed some salt or pepper and was really under-seasoned.

Grayson made an egg, spinach and gorgonzola chicken and butternut squash. Tom thought the chicken was great, but thought she veered way off with her salad and the tomatoes. Pee Wee doesn’t like runny yolk.

The Winner

It’s hard to take a challenge serious when Pee Wee Herman is around with his dial on 11. In this case, it was good to see the judges just going with it and having lots of fun. With such a serious competition going on, it’s nice to have a moment of levity to lighten things up. I wish it has been earlier in the season, like Project Runway’s Miss Piggy challenge, but better late that never I guess.

Tom tells the cheftestants that everyone did a great job and the difference really ends up being those tiny little things that separate the pack.

Pee Wee really liked that Lindsay’s food was served in a little boat. Gail thought it was delicious, even though the salad was overdressed. Tom shares that stuffed zucchini was the first thing he learned to cook when he was 13, which is awesome to know. She had a lot of challenges finding a restaurant to cook at, but in the end it paid off and she wins the challenge.

Padma then tells Paul that he is also safe, which leaves Grayson, Ed and Sarah in the bottom 3.

The Elimination

Tom goes from saying Ed’s chicken was possibly undercooked to it was slightly under-cooked. Everyone liked the dish, but his cooking method was off and Pee Wee thought the texture was just weird. Ed made a bad technical mistake.

Gail loved Grayson’s squash, but it could have been the largest chicken breast she’s ever been served. Tom had real problems with mixing butternut squash and tomatoes. Not only do they not go together, but it makes it seem like Grayson is confused about what type of dish she’s serving: fall or summer.

Padma thought Sarah’s dish was beautifully done. Tom agrees, but making a rookie mistake by not seasoning at all is huge at this state in the game.

So, which is worse: a technical mistake, a seasoning mistake or a seasonal mistake? According to the judges, it is a seasonal mistake since Grayson is asked to PYKAG. There goes my dream of having the two that had to battle to make the show in the final.

Who should have went home?

See results

Last Chance Kitchen

The final four say their goodbyes to Grayson. After she leaves, Padma comes out and asks the final cheftestants to come to the judges panel.

This is when the cheftestants are told about Last Chance Kitchen. They are shown clips of the previous episodes of last chance kitchen, but aren’t told that Bev is the reigning champion. She’s not back on the show just yet. She won’t get that pleasure until she battles Grayson for that last spot.


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    • vmartinezwilson profile image

      Vanessa Martinez Wilson 6 years ago from Vancouver, WA

      @thebiology, I think both Ed and Grayson seemed like two people I'd like to hang out with. I wish they could have both made it and would have preferred to see Sarah PYKAG, but Sarah has been a little more consistent, so I see why they went that way.


      Wasn't this episode great? Everytime Pee Wee spoke, I either cringed or laughed like a school kid, so very amusing. I'm not sure if you watch Project Runway, but the Miss Piggy episode had the same effect. So funny.

      Ed's chicken was a little odd looking. He should have tried to make a side crispy or something, but I guess the taste was good overall, they just had to overcome the unusual texture.

      I so can't wait until next week! Either way, crazy will return, because Grayson and her sailor's mouth is always good for some odd behavior and Bev...well, we all know she's insane.

      Here's to hoping the next episode brings the downfall of Lindsay or Sarah, because everyone else is either so good (Paul) or Crazy (Ed and Grayson or Bev).

      Thank you both!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina


      I loved this episode so much! Between cray cray Ed bringing cray cray back in full effect and the wackadoodle musings of one Pee Wee Herman, it was genius! I have to say that the challenge was tough but Leah has a point that Sarah really shouldn't have neglected salt and pepper at this level of the game. But Ed's chicken looked gross as well and he shouldn't have stopped to help that B&B kitchen either. But you don't know how excited I am for next week and the crying/cray cray reveal of the last chance winner!

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nice recap- I agree with you I was rooting for Ed and Grayson, who were 'on the bubble' in the beginning to make it to the finals. But I think it's cool they have made it pretty far. I think Sarah should have gone home, I think not seasoning your food properly is the worst offense of those in the bottom.