'Top Chef: Texas' Recap: Chicken Salad Is Boring

Padma LakshmiThere was one last visit and a thank you from Charlize Theron, and then the chefs were back to work. After an elimination in which they worked as a team (Chris Jones and Grayson Schmitz won), they were then pitted against one another as their partners became their opponents.

Each pair had to decide on one dish to prepare for a block party. They had two and a half hours to cook for 200 people, which was difficult enough. Then they were told it was sponsored by Healthy Choice, and there were points for keeping the grub healthy as well.

So, Lindsay Autry and Sarah Grueneberg chose meatballs; Edward Lee and Paul Qui chose Korean barbecue; and Chris and Grayson chose chicken salad. Or rather, Grayson chose it, and Chris went along with it. Big mistake.

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Paul blew the judges away with his turkey-based Kalbi. They found his use of spices and lack of fat fabulous. Ed, however, didn’t get rid of much fat, nor did he impress with his chewy meat. When he was called in as one of the bottom three, he also didn’t win many points for his b.s. story about trying to get rid of the empty calories in rice since he replaced them with bread that was full of empty calories. I guess he tried.

The meatball girls -- Sarah and Lindsay -- impressed, though Lindsay was the clear winner between the two with her Greek-style meatballs made out of lamb and veal. I thought she might win the whole thing, but it was Paul who was crowned the winner.

Then there was the chicken salad ... the boring chicken salad. Why on earth Grayson thought this of all the dishes in the world was the way to go, no one could understand -- especially the judges who told her chicken salad was too dull for this competition. But she did, and she screwed Chris in the process. The judges didn’t really like either version, but Grayson won points because she made hers to order, while Chris made his ahead of time and the sandwiches quickly dried out. So it was so long to Chris. At least he won $5,000 in the quickfire challenge.

We’re down to five now, and my bet is on Paul to win the whole thing -- him and his lucky socks.

Did you think Chris should have gone home tonight?


Image via Bravo

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