Top Chef

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Hate the Sin, Love the Dinner

Back from commercials, Cliff is setting up his bouillabaisse. He presents it and explains about greed. The thing is, it's not like it's overflowing the bowl or anything. I mean, I get why it might be good, but I don't really get why it would be greedy. Neither does Debi, and when she asks, Cliff says, "The amount of seafood is, uh, quite succulent." What a bad answer. Wow. The guests eat, and Ted says that the broth is his favorite part of a bouillabaisse, and he's not crazy about one that intentionally has less broth. It's not so much greedy as it is miserly, which is an unfortunate misfire.

And now, Elia and her chickens of pride. As soon as she says it's roasted chicken, there is applause from people who are happy to see something they recognize. She carves the chickens tableside, which people seem to enjoy. Everybody seems very pleased with the chicken. Ted comments to the guest judge that he spends his life trying to get good at roasted chicken, and that this is a good one. Debi calls it "clear, uncomplicated, and nourishing." In other words, "I'm glad she didn't serve it in soup spoons or some shit like that."

Marcel is working on preparing his dish, and while Michael offers to help him, he says he's okay. In an interview, Marcel says that if he has time to do things himself, he doesn't like too many people around hovering over him. We watch as he pipes cream between two little wafers, puts some cherries on top, and adds the cherry foam. The foam, the foam! He turns over to Elia the job of putting a schmear of chocolate sauce on every plate. "Betty," he says, "please take out this bowl of cherries." There is then a voice that says, "Marcel, hold up for one second." "Holding up," Marcel responds. Padma's blog revealed that the "hold up" voice is a producer, who tells the cheftestants to wait so that camera shots can be set up, so that's why they need to wait. "Marcel, I'm starting," Betty announces. "No, don't go!" Marcel calls out, because the producers have told him to wait. As you can imagine, Betty freaks out in her interview about how incredibly rude this was and so forth. And somehow, this shows "what the guy is made out of." Yes, because he failed to speak politely to you after you didn't listen to the producer and Marcel was trying to keep from screwing up the shot. He's made of cooperative reality-show contestant, in this instance. Ilan continues to pump this up, saying in disbelief, "He starts barking? Barking at us?" Ilan announces that the plan is to refuse to serve Marcel's dish. "Come on, you guys," Elia says, frustrated. "No. No!" Ilan insists. Elia tells us she feels bad for Marcel, "because he's built so many enemies."

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Top Chef




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