Ideas for Texas-themed 'Top Chef' challenges

Lee Harvey OswaldBarbara BushBP PlcTop Chef (tv program)

The Chicago culinary scene is bigger in Texas. At least five Chicago cheftestants have been awarded the coveted “Top Chef: Texas” jacket in the latest season of the show, which premiered Wednesday night.

The final slate of 16 cheftestants, which may include a sixth Chicago chef, likely will be revealed next week.

In Wednesday’s episode, some of the chefs worked with pig and rabbit to create their dishes. Yawn.

It seems “Top Chef” has fallen into the “Project Runway” trap of repeating lame ideas for challenges. Use unconventional items to create a garment? Again, “Project Runway"?

In honor of “Top Chef”’s ninth season, RedEye devised nine quirky Texas-themed challenges that, honestly, may be a little tough to swallow.

>> Cook food on the sidewalk.

>> Puree food to serve to George H. W. and Barbara Bush.

>> Incorporate denim or silicone into the meal.

>> Work with oil-covered seafood for a BP-sponsored challenge.

>> Cook horse while riding a horse.

>> Upgrade the Hooter’s menu.

>> Visit any Texas ballpark and use home plate as, well, home plate.

>> Leave chefs in the backwoods for two days to find food, kill it, build a G.E. Monogram kitchen and cook their dish.

>> Use food to prove Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman in the JFK assassination.

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