Chef Tell: Morgan "Straight Man From Texas" Wilson Wins
Let's just say that last night on Top Chef Just Desserts , Dallas' Morgan Wilson made quite an impression. Good, bad, sweet, saucy and everything else in between. He was even bold enough to overshadow the super enthusiastic and over-confident Team Go Diva (Flamboyant Zac, aka Zamboyant, Yigit and bitchy Heather H).
The Quickfire Challenge introduced guest judge and executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck's everything, Sherry Yard. The feat was simple but historically intimidating: Make a mind-blowing souffle.
Lots of chefs went for the chocolate. Zam went for a frozen version to cover up his technical inabilities. Morgan prepared a Gianduja souffle with burnt sugar ice cream and raspberry coulis. He landed in the top three with Downer Danielle and Yigit, who won.
The QC was, truthfully, pretty lame. There wasn't much attention paid to prep, save discussing the importance of height, and well, Team Go Diva yelled "Go diva!" so much it was irritating for me at home, so I can't imagine how obnoxious it was in the kitchen.
The Elimination Challenge, however, kicked some ass. And rightfully so, since the winner would receive $20,000. In honor of LA Fashion Week, the chefs were to prepare a work of edible haute couture inspired by a pair of women's heels they selected from a table of various styles (selection order determined by the much loathed numbered cookie draw).
Zam was quick to point out that he's a veteran chocolate fashion designer, but Morgan (or Morganza as was revealed to be his nickname, and based on his threats I'm risking a punch in the face to tell you this) was just as proud to expose that he digs hard on some heels: "I'm not a diva like the rest of the kids in here, but I love shoes -- especially women's shoes. And there's some pretty hot shoes in here."
He selected a feisty pair of red peep-toe platform stilettos with black piping. They were good inspiration -- he was clearly motivated. Excited, in fact. I'd be willing to surmise that he may have been nursing a semi...sweet chocolate plan for his edible dress, that is. Yeah, that's what I meant.
But wait, there's more to the challenge.
The chefs also had to create two petit fours that would serve as accessories to their edible fashion. They would serve 60 fashion-savvy peeps at an event after a total of eight hours in the kitchen, and with a budget of $200 spent at Albertson's.
They shopped and most chefs had clear focus. Others went for produce and gum. It was confusing. Morgan knew his shoes were "hot" so he wanted something "spiiiiceeeeeeey" and grabbed chili powder. He was seriously obsessed with the shoes. He loved the shoes.
Back in the kitchen, while Zam went on and on about his showgirl warrior in bondage hooker shoes, Morgan was glowing with pride: "They're totally 'fuck me' pumps." And he began creating loads of chocolate sequins that would enhance the shoes but not take away from them when his masterful little black dress (or LBD, as the ladies call them) was pulled together. Now, I call it masterful because it was beautiful, not because it would actually fit any living creature. So we're clear, it would not fit any living creature.
Morgan finished before everyone else and they weren't, so much, thrilled about it. But he helped Heather C. put a peppercorn belt on her lettuce dress (her second effort after she made the infamous Austin Scarlett Project Runway corn husk mistake and didn't soak her radishes overnight. All you reality watchers know what I'm talking about), and then created a matching clutch to go with his shoes. Now, I know matchy-matchy isn't in this season -- I watch the style shows, too -- but that thing looked exactly like those shoes. It was hard to tell it was fake -- at least on screen. Impressive and OCD and overkill all in one.
And he was right pleased: "My dress is fucking hot; the sequins are shiny. I wish I could just put it on...And I'm gonna have to wear the shoes, too."
The fashion crowd -- which Zam noted was major, "not just bloggers" -- was impressed overall. The judges (including Sherry Yard) were irritated that some chefs created petit fours larger than one bite, and that some chefs eschewed pastry techniques for elementary produce collage.
Yigit and his stunning Bjork inspired ice warrior princess look, Zam and his burlesque warrior with plunger molded pasties, and Morgan's LBD, red hot ruby ring and spicy macaroon jewelry landed in the top three. Morgan was the clear, clear, obvious-beyond-obvious winner.
Zam was a little pissed that a "straight man from Texas" kicked his ass, but it didn't seem anyone -- even she -- was pissed when Heather C. was sent home for the second time. As she said, "This time, it's for good."
Next week: Morgan elbows Heather H. Morgan hates Team Go Diva. Morgan, Morgan, Morgan.
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