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Top Chef, Season 9 Episode 9: BBQ Pit Wars

Remember: there will be spoilers.

Oh, I did enjoy this episode. Good cooking, some drama, and another win for Paul’s Wonder Palate.

A month ago, I tweeted:

. . . and I still wanted to every time his face popped up on the television screen. Doubtless, Myhrvold is a brilliant polymath. He also comes across as a ragingly condescending jerk.

I enjoyed the Quickfire because it was a good, honest cooking challenge. I was a little surprised Ty-lor won it with his watermelon, which made me all the more want to eat it.

Beverly is a near total disaster. Her spraying Padma and Nathan with foam was just weird. What got me to laugh, and laugh out loud for a long time took place during the BBQ challenge, with her oddly calm reaction to the fire ranging on the camper stove. She didn’t seem to think a giant fire in such a confined space was problematic until the smoke detector went off. That scene (embedded here) is a master class of comic editing, with Malibu’s commentary (“She’s missing a few chapters”) as the coup de grace.

Though you do feel somewhat badly for Bev, considering she seemed to have been made a prisoner of her own home by her parents, and this is very likely why she has such trouble out in the world.

The BBQ challenge was a great one (like the chili challenge). It’s regional, it should be really tasty, and the circumstances lead to great (if loopy) TeeVee. Sadly, only one of the three teams really stepped up. Paul wins again with a combination of flavors that when you hear about it makes you scrunch up your face, but delivers on deliciousness. Grayson and Lindsay are lucky to have been on his team.

Grayson once again gets more than her fair share of screen time, first for the “sex in the mouth” comment, and then for her “Little Green Frog” song, which I’m sure made many across America pause on this frame:


That bit of unbridled goofiness made me think she simply does not belong with the cynicism and hard-bittenness of New York, however many “bangin'”s or “true dat”s she utters. She’s simply too sweet and goofy.

Anyway, not particularly sad to see Malibu go. While he was among the more entertaining to watch, he was clearly not at the caliber of the other chefs (nor Nyesha, it turns out). And his “art” was a little off-putting.