Top Chef
Eastern Promise

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Keckler: A+ | Grade It Now!

Colicchio turns to the dessert and how freaking hard it was. Marisa explains, "I put a teaspoon of gelatin in for each cup of liquid -- that is a ratio that even a pastry assistant should know." Ming wants to know if she tried it. She did and admits that she did think it was "a little bit firm, as well." She didn't think it was unservable. Colicchio wants to know if Elia would have served that dessert. Elia starts to say, "I am not big in gelatins, it's a personal taste --" and Marisa turns on her, with a forced, tight, sarcastic smile, and says, "That's not what you said when you tasted it." Elia tries to explain herself, "What I mean is, I never --" but Marisa doesn't let her. If I may, I think Elia was about to express a preference that I myself have, and one that is not predisposed to liking any gelatin-based desserts, whether they are soft as clouds or hard as Marisa's head. I don't think she was necessarily going to put Marisa down, I think she was going to hedge and possibly say that as she doesn't like those kinds of desserts, she doesn't have enough experience in making them to know how hard or soft they should be. But Marisa doesn't let her get a word in edgewise. "I mean, we were sitting there, we were tasting our food -- the savory and the sweet -- saying, 'Oh, this is great,' and 'We think we're gonna win,' and now suddenly there's a lot of back-pedaling."

When asked, Marcel says he thinks Otto brought the least amount of production to the team because he was off returning the lychees. And, concerning Lycheegate, Marcel thinks Otto was responsible for ruining the integrity of the team. Elia agrees, "After the lychee thing, it was just very difficult." Colicchio asks if Lycheegate was critical enough to result in Otto's oeuf'ing. Elia does. Padmadala invites Otto to address Lycheegate. Otto says, "We paid the bill, we rolled the cart out, and then I said, 'Did we pay for that case of lychees?'" Marisa pulls a very tight, very sarcastic smile, cocks her head at Otto, and then swings back to look incredulously at the judges as if to say, "Are you going to challenge this or do I have to?" Colicchio sort of leads Otto and says, "I can see how you ended up the car, there were these lychees there... 'Hey, great, look what we have, we can use this!' Did you think that?" Otto denies this and Marisa makes the bitchface to end all bitchfaces. Her chin is pulled in, her eyebrows are raised, and her upper lip has disappeared into her tightened mouth. Maybe she should put that look in her calendar. It would go well with the swimming poses, which made the Evil Dr. Mathra say, "Oh, she's a swimmer! That explains my desire to waterboard her." Gail prompts Marisa, who goes off, "I have to sit here and look at these judges and chefs I respect, and the fact that you are sitting here lying to them, you said that specifically to me." I actually believe her now. Otto calmly says, "I'm not going to get into a he-said, she-said situation with you." Okay, that's all taking the high ground and shit, but let's not forget that when Colicchio repeated to Otto what Marisa said he said to her about the lychees, Otto copped to it immediately. He told Colicchio it was a true statement, yet now, when Colicchio is basically just asking him to reaffirm what he already told Colicchio, Otto is totally denying it. I gotta stand one hundred percent behind Marisa on this. She's acting like a bitch because she has every good reason to be angry at what Otto is trying to pull. Also, I'm not sure that Marisa can yet replace Tiffani in the bitch department. She's getting all emotional and unhinged here, which makes her very human. Tiffani, if you recall, was always very calm, and smug, and "oh, you funny little man, you need to relax" with people. That, for me, is way more obnoxious. "That's pathetic," Marisa tells Otto. Otto goes on that the lychees were returned. Elia apologizes to Otto and says quietly, "I like you as a person, but this was an act of dishonesty. You jeopardized the whole team for this. I'm so sorry." I really love Elia. She's sympathetic but honest. Colicchio asks if anyone else feels Otto jeopardized the team, "I do!" Marcel pipes up. No, not you, keep chopping. Frank steps up, all affronted at the behavior he sees, and says, "I was under the impression that this was a team. I don't really understand how team members FLIP their loyalties on a WHIM!" Well, when they're questioned point-blank about who should go home, team loyalties don't really apply anymore. ["Not to mention that the second the challenge ended, they ceased being a team at all. There's nothing left to be loyal to. Go coach JV football if you're so into the TEAM." -- Joe R] Ted Ilan opts for stating that he doesn't think any one person bears the blame for what happened to them. Team Korea is excused. Man, with Frank in the mood he's in, I'd be scared to go back in the kitchen with him. All those mallets and meat grinders.

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