Top Chef

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Hate the Sin, Love the Dinner

I'm not sure Ted Allen is totally down with Marcel being in the bottom group, because he goes out of his way to say how beautiful he thought the dish was and how much he loved the taste of fresh cherries. I think he would have had Cliff and his unsatisfactory broth in this spot. But asked to talk about weaknesses in Marcel's dish, Ted just thinks it wasn't "lusty enough." Ilan smirks. Oh my God, WE GET IT, stud. You've had half the population of your city. WE GET IT. Padma, on the other hand, wants to talk foam. As in, what's with the foam? Over and over, foam foam foam. The guest judge didn't think the foam was "belonging to the dish." Marcel doesn't say much, or what he says, we don't see.

Betty says that the first thing that she thought of for sloth was slow-roasted vegetables. Colicchio asks her a question that's never good news, which is whether she tasted everything before she served it. She says she did. He questions her texture, saying it wasn't smooth, and wondering if that was on purpose. She says no, and says she put it through a China cap (THAT's what it's called!). Colicchio also wasn't wild about the combinations of flavors, and the guest judge thinks it would have been better as a simpler set of soups. Asked who she would send home, Betty says, far too eagerly, "I would love to see Marcel go home." That just makes it way too obvious that it's personal, and you invalidate your own opinion before you even start. She says that the gelee "had no flavor at all." Ilan, too, says he'd send Marcel home. He agrees with Betty that there was no flavor in the gelee. Marcel points out to the other two that he made the gelee from 100 percent juice, naming the brand he used and asking if they actually know anything about it. "Check your palates; get 'em tested," he says. They kind of deserved that one. He tells the judges that other people clearly have personal issues with him, but he doesn't consider it a personality contest. Asked who should go home, Marcel picks Ilan, saying the dessert was generally a sloppy mess.

The judges deliberate. Back in the back room, Ilan gleefully tells the others that they bickered back and forth about "how much we all hate Marcel," and Marcel tells Elia that they both said his dish was the worst. Ilan is still smirking his ass off about how the gelee had no flavor, because Ilan really, really didn't notice that who was going home was completely between him and Betty, because the judges clearly didn't hate what Marcel did anywhere near as much as what they did. Marcel tells Ilan that he's lost whatever small respect he had for him before, but Ilan cuts him off to bellow that he's wanted to smack Marcel across the face since the first day. Well, that's adorable. "Why don't you fucking go to a new school, learn some shit, go to France, go to Spain, go travel, go relax, go learn how to use some fucking salt, paprika, come back to me, you know, come to New York, maybe I'll show you how to cook a little bit." Big talk from a guy who just served floppy, syrup-soaked funnel cakes and claims to have had no idea that it was going to happen that way. Marcel looks untroubled. "Until then, shut the fuck up, keep making your foams, and go cry in a corner." Oh, dear. Ilan really, really has no idea what's happening here. Because the thing is... Marcel doesn't cry. He doesn't get upset. That's why Ilan hates him, is that Marcel doesn't really care what Ilan thinks, or he's very good at acting like he doesn't. He is truly arrogant, in that other people dissing him only makes him think they're stupid. I don't think this is getting to him all that much, and it's certainly getting to him less than he's getting to Ilan.

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Top Chef




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