Come On Down: It's Time to Meet the Contestants for Top Chef: Texas
Andrew Curren polishing off a redneck porron in his trial video
The folks over at Bravo have been teasing out info about the new contestants while they battle in court about your tax dollars. A set of clips released last week compiled a montage of each contestant and some of their dishes, drawn from the videos they submitted to enter the contest.
When first published to the website the videos were still raw. Expletives flew, and suggestive lines filled many of the videos that have since been tamed by boring bleeps. Luckily, we transcribed the highlights before the clips were edited. We'll also save you from a really annoying cars.com commercial buried between each contestant clip.
Andrew Curren (pictured above) says Texas cooking isn't about Houston or Dallas or cowboys, and then fills a porron -- a Spanish glass vessel used for sharing wine -- with a mix of lemonade and Lone Star beer. Curren loves him a redneck shandy.
Ashley Villaluz was getting married in May, according to her interview. I'm guessing that didn't happen. She plates up roast duck breast and shows off her sneaker collection and love for motorcycles.
Berenice deAraujo cooks steak and eggs in a hot tub, actually using the jacuzzi as a water bath for hollandaise, whisking while wearing an almost impossibly small bikini.
Beverly Kim is ready, according to her video, even though she has a 14-month-old son. Kim whips up some bibimbap with sesame oil, and garlic, but neglects the hot stone bowl. No crunchy rice here.
Chaz Brown is a self-proclaimed Padma Lakshmi stalker saying he had her picture in his locker in the seventh grade. Brown compares food to sex, citing that both actions involve putting things in peoples bodies. True, but creepy.
Chris Crary used to be fat. Now he's jogging shirtless on the beach. He say's he's attractive and mentions that he's absolutely not gay. Then while telling a story about a coworker, he refers to himself as always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He closes by saying he should picked because he's good looking and attractive (again) and that's what really matters, isn't it?
I wish he was still fat. Fat guys make better chefs.
Chris Jones has a lot to lose. His résumé is sterling and his skills are solid. With beady eyes blinking behind thick-rimmed glasses, shaggy hair and occasional outbursts, Jones is my number one pick for slicing a finger off or otherwise going off the deep end on the show. He's nuts.
Chuy Valencia loves his haters. Their energy gives him the seeds he likes to plant, sprout and turn into a plant that he date rapes. Valencia drops 7 or 8 additional F bombs and then tells you he's going to mind fuck you. All while roasting garlic. He also loves Justin Bieber and banging women -- although we're pretty sure those are mutually exclusive. He says he's trying to tone all that down, though, after an STD and pregnancy scare. We assume he means the women banging and not the Bieber-liking.
Keith Rhodes is a James Beard-nominated chef from the Carolinas. He's a big guy with a booming voice who gets my nomination for the contestant most likely to hand Chuy Valencia his ass.
Colin Patterson has a vegetarian restaurant called Sutra. He's got a beard and a baby too. He composts and focuses on local ingredients and minimalism when he's not extreme skiing and breaking his face.
Dakota Weiss is a tattooed hotel chef who seems reasonably normal compared to her competitors. Cue critic crush.
Edward Lee talks through a monkey puppet. The New York-raised son of Korean immigrants puts pickled okra and tiger blood in a blender and downs it and calls it fabulous. I'd trust his palate.
Grayson Schmitz didn't live on a farm, but she did grow up in New Holstein, Wisconsin. She makes a simple basil risotto with sauteed shrimp. She also has a really messy bedroom.
Heather Terhune doesn't like when cooks use the wrong tool for the job. She asked for artichokes and spare ribs for her fourth birthday. She's wanted to be a chef ever since.
Janine Falvo has a pet chicken named Bettie White. What else can you say?
Jonathan Baltazar is a Filipino who doesn't cook Filipino food. He wanted to be an architect, but he always knew he could cook. He avoided it because he was afraid he would get fat. He's not. I wish he were.
Molly Brandt lives and works on a Caribbean cruise ship who trained at CIA after reading Michael Ruhlman's The Making of a Chef.
Laurent Quenioux eats canned tuna in oil with tomatoes and tarragon. He cooks pigeon instead of chicken to differentiate his restaurant but loves foie gras.
Kim Calichio hails from Long Island, New York, and earns an honorable mention for contestant most likely to get mixed up with the show's host, Colicchio. Calichio thinks she should be on Top Chef cause she's a hard-ass bitch who's gonna get the fans. I bet she's the first to cry.
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