Top Chef
Wedding Bell Blues

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The Cake Mix Controversy

The Katie Leebot announces that the wedding reception is the next day. In the afternoon. Dave's eyes bug. I think he's sort of the Andrae of this show. With the crying and the elaborate facial expressions... you know? All the cheftestants are scared shitless. So am I, quite honestly.

After commercials, the Katie Leebot is again explaining the unreasonable timeline. "Good thing we slept yesterday," Lee Anne jokes. The Scotti find this hilarious, just as I would if I knew my caterers were going to have to pull an all-nighter to cook for my wedding. That's just cruel. The wedding reception and dinner will be held at the Hotel Monaco in SOMA (South of Market). I think this hotel sounds fabulous, especially because of their pet policy. Check it out. Although I'm wondering why they don't have special things for cats, I do love: "Can't bring Spot with you this time? Not to worry - the downtown Hotel Monaco San Francisco offers Guppy Love, a complimentary goldfish along with fish toys to keep you company during your stay with us. Our housekeeping staff has been trained to feed and take care of the goldfish - all you need to do is enjoy." How cute is that?

Although Lee Anne is the leader, all the cheftestants are responsible for making sure the Scotti have a perfect day. The Scotti and the bot leave. Lee Anne goes over the menu and concepts with everyone. Dave is responsible for the Crispy Prawn Toast; Stephen, the three Japanese amuse bouches; Harold, the first course of seared salmon salad; Tiffani, the Lovers' Nest; and Lee Anne, the Peking-style beef. They are all going to join forces on the wedding cake and the petit fours. When talking about the wedding cake, Harold announces, "It's why God created Betty Crocker." Lee Anne agrees and, just so we don't miss her meaning, Bravo captions for us, "Let's buy, like, white cake mix." I never thought this was such a big stretch for caterers. I know Bravo and Colicchio both try to make a big thing out of it, but I think it was blown way out of proportion. Cake mix -- especially the kind without powdered egg -- is used all the freakin' time. Tiffani asks if they're all on the same page that they will buy cake mix. Everyone seems to agree wholeheartedly, but Stephen keeps his prissy mouth shut. Later, he walks over to Harold and confirms, "Just going with the cake mix? Betty Crocker?" Harold nods. Okay, one more time: THEY ARE GOING WITH THE CAKE MIX! Stephen blathers to us, "This wedding cake had no potential whatsoever. I did not want to attach my name -- even if I were to help -- because, you know, mediocrity is not my game and I just didn't want to have anything to do with it." First of all, FISH HOOK! Second of all, I don't see you offering to hand measure out all the ingredients for the cake. If you don't stand for mediocrity, Stephen, then make a play to raise the level. Don't sit there, arms folded, and sneer that you aren't going to have anything to do with it when we all know you couldn't bake a wedding cake if your personal collection of Chinese soupspoons depended on it.

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