A Very Special Episode of Top Chef
As Harold and Ilan do their duck, Ilan tells us his dish isn't working out. It's the Curse of the Mango come to git cha! Harold tells us that his and Ilan's dishes are two totally different styles. In the kitchen, Stephen says to Harold, "Your dish is way better, right?" Harold, being Harold, shrugs noncommittally and says, "Ah, you know -- you never know. You can't tell." But Stephen can and does. He tells us, "The best chef of the two seasons is Harold. Harold demonstrated commitment to excellence, much more so than Ilan, the winner of season two and any other of the contestants there." Ilan tells Sam he's going to put egg yolks on top of the rice, so as the rice heats the yolk up, it will get saucy and rich. Yeah, because that's what you want to eat on a hot Miami day: rawish egg yolks. That's equally "raw" and "ish." Ilan tells us, "It's cool that I'm going up against Harold -- feel the wrath of Top Chef: Season Two." Ilan, feel the wrath of my ass. As Harold and Ilan come out, someone asks Ted Allen, "What's going on with that hairdo?" Ted Allen wonders, "What has Ilan done to his hair?" Ted, I wouldn't be so quick to judge; your hair has the oddly mundane look of a paunchy, middle-aged accountant who hangs his suits in the order of the days of the week he wears them. I think you need to get yourself over to Kyan. Harold greets everyone and says he's giving them a spicy duck polpette (meatballs) with minted gnocchi in a braised duck sauce. He's also giving them some Italian red wine. Okay, so he had wine and Stephen's dish had wine -- what about the scallops? Harold tells them to enjoy themselves and goes back to the kitchen, leaving Ilan with the Loser Music to explain his pan-roasted and almond-stuffed duck breast served with wild rice that has the raw egg yolk. There's also a few spears of grilled white asparagus with a gastrique (thick, reduced sauce of vinegar or wine, sugar, and fruit). A fairly attractive Threesie called C.J. says, "I love raw yolks on things, but to put it on here that's going to come out in the heat of the day…" Ted Allen has cracked his yolk and messed it around his plate and notes it's not appetizing looking. Joey, another Threesie, dismisses the whole plate by saying, "I would never serve well-done duck. Ever." Harold's meatballs are appreciated by comparison. A few Threesie's even note that the Twosies seem to be working as a team and putting their entire meal together really well.