Top Chef
Thanksgiving

Episode Report Card
Keckler: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
What the Turducken?!

In the kitchen, Betty readies her crème brûlées. Marcel tells us he's done for the day, so he asked Betty how he could help her. While Marcel torches the brulées from a culinarily safe distance, Betty realizes the ginger on top of the brulées is burning. She swears. She tells us, "I had decided to put some crystallized ginger and some fresh hazelnut on top of the pumpkin and then added the hazelnut on top and when I go to brulée it, they both start to burn." Okay, the patently stupid decision to put those garnishes on top of a pre-brulée brulée was hers and hers alone. Nothing Marcel did ruined her dish, as she will later accuse him. Marcel and Elia help Betty scrape the ginger and hazelnut off the brulées.

Betty walks in and singsongs, "Hello -- it's sugar time." I really want to smack her. She presents her "very unique" pumpkin and chai crème brulée and her chocolate crème brulée with "the essence of hazelnut." The brulées are accompanied by a shot of French roast coffee "with a touch of vanilla" whipped cream. Big whoop. Aside from being completely pedestrian, her brulées look as though they've sunk really low in their ramekins. Also, Betty? Get rid of the gold halter top with sequins the size of salad plates. You look like half of a drag queen. Mia comments that the signature hard-crack sugar top of a crème brulée just isn't there. "A custard with sugar over the top is not crème brulée," Colicchio agrees. Bourdain now has the floor, "I think what has happened here is what has happened throughout the meal -- a complete failure of the imagination. I mean this? Four hours? Four hours? This?" Colicchio holds his head in his hands. Bourdain makes a sour face and dramatically flings his cutlery down on his plate with a clatter. Michael walks out, saying, "A little cheese platter." "More?" a few people wonder. The cheese plate has Applewood Cheddar, Gouda, Port-Salut, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Brie. There's a pile of julienned apple or pear in the middle and that pile is topped with candied nuts. Michael leaves. "I like cheese," Bourdain says mildly. "I love cheese," Gail trumps him, "But why are we eating it now?" "Desperation?" Bourdain suggests. Doggedly, Gail makes the point that cheese should traditionally be served before the sweet dessert, not after. Ah, but that's where Michael's being cutting edge about it! He's bucking tradition and presenting you with the unexpected! Seriously -- Michael is brilliant! He's the most cutting-edge of all! Cheese after dessert. It's going to be the next big trend! "The mission was what? Stretch the boundaries? Push the envelope? No," Bourdain says shaking his head at everyone. I think they all feel ashamed.

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