The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Top Chef Texas Recap: And Then There Were Two

By L. Stolpman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 23, 2012 4:00PM

Pictured: (l-r) Lindsay Autry, Sarah Grueneberg, Paul Qui -- Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Let's hope this week's Top Chef isn't not some sort of weird replay of Extreme Chef. What was that crap? Remember the Las Vegas season? Where they cooked and were judged on it? [Old timey voice] THEM DAYS ARE GONE, BOY. [/Old timey voice]

The chefs head to Chinatown in Vancouver. Sarah says, "Asian food is not my forte." We aren't sure Sarah has cooked anything other than Italian and German. This would be okay with Heather as it is two countries...whereas she thinks Asia is a just one small little country and people who only cook Asian food need to expand their repertoire. Whatever.

Quickfire. Padma and Emeril Lagasse welcome and congratulate them. Sure enough, Asian food is the focus. Out come Anita Lo, Floyd Cardoz, Takashi Yagihashi. Lindsay is paired with Chef Lo, Sarah with Chef Cardoz and Paul with Chef Yagihashi. The teams will take 10 minute turns preparing an Asian inspired dish. Winner gets $20,000.

The Pros go in first and each begin their dishes. Then the contestants race in. Each group does two rounds in the kitchen.

Lindsay and Chef Lo prepared scallop two ways: bok choy & chili, fried roe with sausage & water chestnut.

Sarah and Chef Cardoz made pan-seared cod with coconut curry, crab salad with clementine & amaranth.

Paul and Chef Yagihashi prepared mirugai sashimi with yuzu dashi, fried white fish, scallions & chili.

Winner is: Sarah and Floyd.

Elimination Challenge. The chefs will be doing a cocktail party in which they must prepare one dish and one cocktail. The dish must contain one hot element and one cold element.

In the kitchen, Paul begins breaking down thirty pounds of lobster for a broth while Sarah begins cracking 80 eggs for pasta. We have to give her credit here because she is working at quite a clip making perfect wide ribbons of dough. Lindsay is working on garlic and shallots and a tomato water. The scramble is on. Let's get to the dishes.

Paul serves king crab with lobster broth and lemon snow. Tom mentions that the broth has tons of lobster flavor and enjoys the pairing. However, he's disappointed in the garnish. Padma wants more heat in the dish. His cocktail is "The Pan Am" - kaffir lime, thai chilies and rum.

Sarah prepared a five greens filled pasta with garlic, chili and spiced sformato. She has a frozen mousse that sits atop her pasta which seems to be frozen solid. Her cocktail is an Agrumi: gin, kumquats and mango. Judges love the pasta though her dish doesn't go well with the dish.

Lindsay offers halibut with fiery celery root salad. Her cocktail is an "Encendido": Vodka, tomato and horseradish. Emeril and Gail get some heat but Tom isn't getting that. He's struck by the raw kale. This stumps Tom. The halibut we cooked nicely, though.

Judges' Table. Paul gets good comments but Tom disliked the arugula. Sarah's pasta is well received but the mousse was frozen a bit too much. Gail loved Lindsay's tomato soup and her cocktail worked well with her dish. The judges deliberate before Padma tells Sarah that she's moving on to the finale. Paul and Lindsay stand and wait. Finally, Padma asks Lindsay to pack her knives and go. Lindsay thanks them and then seemingly turns and leaves without another word.

Tune in next week when we'll watch Paul and Sarah battle it out!