Top Chef: Texas--Five Predictions

Categories: Five Great...
topcheftx.jpg
© Bravo

Did you watch last night's first episode of Top Chef: Texas? Episode summaries are usually Edwin's beat, and he usually weighs in toward the end of the season, after we've learned which cheftestants to root for. I'm going to take a different approach at the head-end of the season and make some risky predictions about foods that might appear on Top Chef: Texas.

5. Rattlesnake Something

Delicious
Flickr user magicrabbit22


This one's a gimme, since a quick glimpse of chefs skinning a snake has already been aired. We've talked before about cooking rattlesnake on this blog. Will the cheftestants face a Quickfire snake challenge? Watch for them to fast-grill rattlesnake, or perhaps prepare snake crudo or carpaccio.

4. Butchering a Steer

Sides of Beef
Flickr user A Culinary (Photo) Journal


Episode one featured a cocky chef Tyler Stone rightfully getting booted for turning a beautiful, large pork subprimal cut into unusable trash. Asking the chefs to butcher a hog in cow country might foreshadow a more Texas-appropriate challenge: breaking down an entire steer carcass into a meal for hundreds of guests.

3. Real, Texas Barbecue

danaptbbqbrisket.jpg
ProfessorSalt.com
BBQ Brisket - as Texas as a billionaire oil man


As a competition barbecue cook myself, it has always chapped my hide that slow, overnight cooking of real, smoked barbecue has never been featured on Top Chef. Watch for an episode in which this Texas staple will challenge the classically trained chefs. Why? For starters, fine-dining chefs always think real barbecue is easy to cook because if rednecks can do it, so can they, right? Wrong.

Also, chefs always try to fancy up their barbecue with extraneous oddball ingredients when it's best done with salt, pepper and post-oak smoke. Those are the only seasonings used in Central Texas, and Hill Country locals won't appreciate some fancy Chicago chef using some exotic ingredients to "improve" a centuries-old tradition.

2. Frito Pie

Frito Pie
Flickr user camknows


There's always a kids' challenge on Top Chef. You know, "make a healthy school lunch the kids love." Haven't we seen enough variations of mac-and-cheese with puréed butternut squash or some other high-minded malarkey?

I want to see the chefs update another native Texas dish that goes way, way back: Frito Pie. That's a single-serving bag of Fritos split open and smothered in chili, cheese, onions and jalapeños, like nachos but a thousand times better. It's a Friday-night high-school football tradition that's apparently fading, according to author Lisa Fain on this recent episode of KCRW's Good Food. Top Chef would do a great service by having chefs reinvent Frito Pie instead of the zillionth remake of mac and cheese.

1. Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak
Flickr user KB35


The No. 1 prediction is the riskiest. I was weighing the odds on what Texas classic is more likely to appear on the show: a whole, roasted Sonora-style cabrito, or the more gabacho chicken fried steak. I was hoping for the more ranchero-Mexi influence in the great nation of Texas, but it's gotta play to mainstream America, so I'm putting my chips on the chicken fried steak and a cold beer on a Friday night.

There you have it, dear reader. We'll see you again at the end of Season Nine and see how clear my crystal ball turns out to be.

Follow Stick a Fork In It on Twitter @ocweeklyfood or on Facebook!



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Wilson Riley
Wilson Riley

"... salt, pepper and post-oak smoke. Those are the only seasonings used in Central Texas [BBQ] ...."

Amen.

Dwayne
Dwayne

When I saw they were starting with 29 (!) chef-testants, I was taken aback and didn't watch.  It's so hard to keep 18 chefs straight in my mind early in the competition.  Maybe I'll try to hop on board later....

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Shuji: Cabrito is more from Nuevo León and Tamaulipas; Sonora is beef country!

foodgps
foodgps

Isn't Frito Pie a Santa Fe dish? I always thought it was invented at the bygone Woolworth's

Guest
Guest

That CFS looks good...

909Jeff
909Jeff

Its on my DVR and I look forward to commenting on it as the season goes on! 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Although Santa Fe has embraced it the most, it's a creation of Elmer Doolin's mother謡ait for my book for the whole story...

909Jeff
909Jeff

My high school served frito pie in the "quick" lunch line... of course that was back in the 90s when no one gave a crap about healthy lunches.  2 bucks would get you a frito pie in the bag and two orders of fries... Shit thinking back if I end up with early heart disease im suing my old school district! 

foodgps
foodgps

Good to know. Looking forward to your book.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...