‘High Chef: Houston’ Recap: Episode 5: Cooks Carry the Smoke and Brisket for Houston Pitmasters

Regardless of cooks nonetheless reeling from the final episode, High Chef: Houston returns this week with presumably probably the most high-pressure, Texas-themed problem but — smoking brisket.

As if taking up a 12-hour cook dinner in a barbecue Mecca isn’t scary sufficient, the present enlists 20 pitmasters from the Houston area to style take a look at, which conjures up at the very least one chef to meditate.

So, who brings the smoke?

Warning: Spoilers forward. Right here’s a recap of High Chef: Houston Episode 5.

The Challenges

Elimination Spherical Pt. 1: Cooks are required to “flip the script” on Texas barbecue with a brisket dish, however they solely have half-hour to trim, season, and put their briskets on the pits at Houston’s J-Bar-M Barbecue earlier than smoking it on the pit for 12 hours.

High Chef: Houston invited 20 pitmasters from the Houston space to check out their contestants brisket.
David Moir/Bravo

Instantly, the Southerners really feel the strain. Houston’s Evelyn García sends a prayer as much as the brisket gods. Desirous to symbolize Mississippi effectively, chef Nick Wallace busts out greater than a dozen spices and colleges his counterparts on the fundamentals of smoking brisket (Fats facet down!). With the assistance of J-Bar-M Barbecue’s pitmaster Willow Villarreal, cooks load their peppery briskets on the pit.

Cue the file scratch.

Quickfire: Simply when the cooks thought they escaped the Quickfire problem, judges announce a Texas toast problem the place the winner will get immunity and $10,000. Greenback indicators float by Chan’s head as she thinks about her upcoming wedding ceremony, Buddha Lo plots to fund eye surgical procedure for his pug again dwelling, and Chicago’s Damarr Brown is puzzled. “$10,000 for toast?”

High Chef: Houston contestants had been shocked by the Texas toast Quickfire.
David Moir/Bravo

These creations are one thing to behold. There’s García’s candy lemon cream stuffed toast with spiced pecans and boozy strawberries, Ashleigh Shanti’s pizza toast rollup, which makes judges chuckle, and mille-feuille toasts that may make you scratch your head. Jackson Kalb’s candy and salty shrimp toast with balsamic chili jam, and Jo Chan’s mushroom and arugula toast impress judges, however it’s Nick Wallace’s standout BLT, made with pancetta and cheese unfold, that wins them over.

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Elimination Spherical Pt. 2: Cooks return to their briskets and as they end up, Houston space barbecue royalty filters in.

There’s Villarreal; Greg Gatlin of Gatlin’s BBQ; Blood Bros. BBQ founders Quy Hoang and Terry and Robin Wong; Richard Orozco of Piper’s BBQ & Beer; Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue’s Scott Moore Jr.; Don Nguyen of Khói Barbecue, Sloan Rinaldi of Texas Q, Russel Regal of Roegels Barbecue Co, Ara Malekian of Harlem Street Texas BBQ, and plenty of extra.

Jackson Kalb “bastardizes” the brisket, grinding it up and serving it with a stuffed scarpinocc pasta with cornbread crumbles, and burnt ends. Judges name the brisket smoky and the “buerre-becue” sauce attention-grabbing.

Chefs Jackson Kalb and Damarr Brown tending to two beefy briskets.

Cooks Jackson Kalb and Damarr Brown each made standout dishes.
David Moir/Bravo

Brown stays constant in efficiency, making a smoked brisket with candied yams, braised cabbage, a Worcestershire eat, and giardiniera that choose Tom Colicchio known as “incredible” and Gatlin deemed “homey.” Wallace makes a standout brisket with “meh” sides.

Monique Feybesse, decides to go together with what she “is aware of,” pairing her brisket with onion soubise, bland confit potatoes, and a brioche bun that judges say isn’t fairly finished.

Shanti tries to make the most of the 12 hours by going all-in on the enhances to her brisket however then slices her meat means too thick, making her cream of collard soup with candy potato slicks troublesome to eat.

Chan appears assured in her brisket however struggles to decide on its enhances earlier than deciding on pappardelle with harissa cabbage and corn (This chef loves harissa). Colicchio calls it straight “whelming.”

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The Largest Oops

Watch the episode once more and also you’ll see the precise second the place barbecue snobs had been doubtless blessing Shanti’s coronary heart for these hefty brisket slices.

The Finest Turnaround

Luke Koplin seemingly hasn’t fairly nailed the artwork of seasoning on the present simply but. The chef acquired off to a bland begin this season however redeemed himself by making flavorful Indian meals within the third episode that impressed even host Padma Lakshmi. On this episode, he overdoes it with a Texas toast that tastes like “a salt lick” however later redeems himself together with his flavorful brisket, served with a thick onion barbecue sauce.

Chef Luke Kolpin preparing his Texas toast.

Chef Luke Kolpin ready a model of Texas toast that was too salty however redeemed himself within the brisket problem.
David Moir/Bravo

The Winner

García’s brisket curry with pickled greens and a burnt ends crumble wowed judges. Colicchio known as it a “vacation spot” dish and Lakshmi, reportedly a tricky curry critic, appeared like she’s prepared so as to add it to J-Bar-M’s menu. García, who is worked up to be surrounded by lots of her Houston friends, beams when named the winner.

“[This] lady’s from Texas,” she says proudly. “I needed to symbolize.”

Chef Evelyn Garcia feeling the heat of the pit.

Chef Evelyn Garcia wins the Elimination Problem along with her brisket curry.
David Moir/Bravo

The Loser

Chan, Feybesse, and Shanti all are within the backside three, with Colicchio saying it’s noticeable when the cooks are hesitant, uncertain, uncomfortable, or overthinking. Although she had a powerful begin to the competitors, it’s Shanti’s doing-too-much chunky soup that acquired her despatched dwelling.

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chef Ashleigh Shanti stands amid onlooking judges and fellow chefs.

Chef Ashleigh Shanti was despatched dwelling after making a brisket soup that was troublesome to eat.
David Moir/Bravo

Standout Dishes

  • Wallace’s BLT, and, actually, any of the pizza toasts seem to be prime munchies fare.
  • Buddha Lo’s barbecue beef bourguignon with beef fats potato croquette, onion jam, and delightful uncooked beet petals is one for the (cook dinner)books.
  • Judges say Jae Jung’s “Okay-Jun Type” barbecue brisket with grits, cherry tomato kimchee and Asian pear relish is bursting with taste.

Favourite Moments

  • When García says “Should you’re not consuming a beer, are you actually barbecuing?” plus all of the cooks complaints about reeking of smoke means they had been heading in the right direction.
  • Seeing the cooks checking temperatures, spritzing their briskets with what’s presumably mop, and wrapping their meat in butcher paper to “relaxation” would make any barbecue fanatic really feel proud.
  • When Nick Wallace offers us his greatest cowboy impression whereas trying to rope steer mannequins.

What’s Subsequent?

Within the subsequent episode, cooks will make dishes that pay homage to 5 trailblazing Texas ladies. There might be tears. Plus, one eradicated chef returns because of High Chef’s Final Probability Kitchen. Will it’s Ashleigh Shanti?

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