Louisville’s Chef Edward Lee, frustrated with only making it as far as the second-chance bubble round in the season premiere of Top Chef Texas, got serious in episode two, telling the camera “if they leave me here in the stew room long enough, I’m gonna kill the other five people to get that jacket. That’s how bad I want it.”
(He looked like he might kill and eat them. Which would make for an awesome Peter Greenaway-inspired Quick Fire Challenge.)
Midway through the episode, he reinforced his commitment when he sliced open his hand, and kept cooking — with a medic working on one hand while he prepped with the other. It was a gusher. Real Dan Akroyd as Julia Child material. But he just gloved up and kept going. (Take that Jamie Lauren! Inferior Top Chef All-Star contestant who abandoned her teammates to get stitches for a little nick.) If that duck looked suspiciously juicy, well… he earned the Jacket and that’s what counts.
This season got off to a slow start when the Bravo producers added a death match cookoff round, eliminating assorted hopefuls and cruise cooks before the competition actually began. Only 16 chefs could earn a chef’s jacket, a bunk in the (truly unfortunate looking) Top Chef house, and a spot in the actual qualifying round. (If it sounds confusing, it was. The contestants who only made it as far as the bubble — like Chef Lee — spilled over to the first half of Episode 2, and then the actual competition began. They should have super sized the “Cattle Call” Premiere, or at least confined the Bubble Round to episode one.)
When Chef Lee says, “outside of Kentucky, I’m a nobody,” don’t believe him. In addition to the James Beard nominee bona fides mentioned on Top Chef Texas, he also trounced Chef Jose Garces in Battle Tongue and Cheek Iron Chef 2010.
He might’ve made it past the bubble by the skin of his teeth, but cheers to Chef Edward “it’s only a flesh wound!” Lee going all the way.
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