Top Chef
Food For The People

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TGI Top Chef

Oh, and look! This episode is heavily brought to you by TGI Friday's!

Food flurry. Cliff is making mac and cheese and fish sticks. Josie bangs the flat of a sauté pan as a "zen way of getting out frustrations," corn is zipped off the cob, and carrots are sliced. Colicchio arrives for his Sniff 'n' Sneer. Betty is all smiles -- AND TEETH -- as she asks if it's against the rules for Colicchio to taste her soup. Colicchio says he can taste it, he just can't comment on it. Betty says, "Okay, I'm going to look in your eyes and get some sort of a --" Colicchio nearly chokes on the soup for laughing because he has his eyes closed. That was an uncharacteristically human moment for Coldickio. It was nice. Moving on, Colicchio talks to Frank who tells him, "I am making Alice in Wonderland's Mushroom Fantasy." Frank stacks white button mushroom caps on top of five-inch-long scored or fluted cucumbers. The fluted look can be easily done by taking a channel knife -- used by bartenders for citrus spirals -- and stripping off sections of cucumber peel. Colicchio laughs, "Is the childhood memory a drug experience?" Seriously. Frank laughs with him and explains that Alice in Wonderland is his daughter's favorite movie and he used to watch it with her. Colicchio moves on to Emily, who was about to taste her own corn. Colicchio comments, "It's a good thing you're tasting your food," as she hands over a bite to him. Colicchio has no reaction or comment. As he slices up watermelon, peppers, and pineapple, Son of Sam tells Colicchio he's doesn't have any experience with TGI Friday's food. I don't know if he means cooking it or eating it. After moving on to Michael and learning that he has a brother who is a firefighter, Colicchio jokes that Michael has "too many" inside tracks.

Outside the Kenmore Kitchen, Colicchio tells the cameras that Marisa was disappointed not to win the ice cream challenge, so she's going right back to what she knows and making a fruit crisp dessert. Again, I thought the challenge was about entrées.

As Marcel prepares buttermilk-soaked onion rings, he tells the camera he doesn't know if he's ever made onion rings before. Marcel tells us that he's been doing fine dining for so long that it would be a "huge blow" for him to lose a casual dining challenge. Marcel shakes a large, wide metal bowl with onion rings in flour and explains, "The key to breading is keeping one hand dry at all times." He's right. I didn't know that the first time I did dredged meat through egg wash, flour, and breadcrumbs in culinary school, and I had to keep pulling dough rags off the tips of my fingers. It was annoying, but I learned my lesson. Meanwhile, Betty glares at Marcel and tells us, "That man [come on, is Marcel really a man? He seems more like a Hobbit] is rubbing me the wrong way and I really think it comes down to the fact that he's just pontificating to make himself sound as though he's more experienced than he is." Still not hating Marcel, but I'll tell you, Betty's over-enunciated and dramatic line deliveries are really turning my nerves into a fine dice. Also, given Marcel's mad scientist predilections, I was expecting far more attempts at foams, gelées, and smears by this point. I'm not comfortable not feeling the flames of hate for any one cheftestant at this point. Betty goes on with her huge round eyes and her huge square teeth, "Marcel thinks that comfort food does not sit in the same category as fine dining." Well, that does make him a bit of a wank. Not an annoying wank, like Stephen, just a stupid wank. Marcel tells us he's "super-psyched" as he twirls his tongs and snaps them at the camera. I just have to laugh at him. Time ticks down.

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Top Chef

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