Top Design
Chef's Choice

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Tom's Diner

Here's some more background on our mystery chef: He favors modern cuisine and high-quality ingredients. He's got an eclectic sense of style, loving natural things along with arts and crafts mixed in with the mid-century modern aesthetic. "You're left with quite an unusual range of inspiration," says Todd. Yeah -- like everything. Of course, the wife points out, arts-and-crafts and mid-century modern are not necessarily mutually exclusive: "You know, both movements are linked by one critical philosophical underpinning -- that design be organic Look at the work of Scandinavian and Finish designers. Or Tord Boontje, who plucks the defining traits from the best of both worlds." You see? That's why our marriage works -- she brings the aesthetic know-how, and I provide the dick-and-fart jokes. It's about playing to your strengths. Speaking of playing to your strengths, Goil predicts he'll have a hard time doing just that in this challenge: "I'm a bowl-of-noodle kind of guy." Then you build the best darn arts-and-crafts, mid-century modern, high-end bowl of noodles that you can, mister. Money will certainly be no object -- the Top Designers will have $2,000 for materials and $42,000 to "memo out" (i.e. "use temporarily without actually paying") furniture from the Pacific Design Center. The mystery client will also be this week's mystery judge -- now I really hope it is Dan Aykroyd in drag -- and the Top Designers will have two days to build their three-walled room, with Matt getting an extra-hour for being declared the extra special winner in last week's challenge. "Please make good choices," Todd implores the Top Designers. "And we're going to be heading back to the design studio." Wait just a minute there, Oldham -- I believe someone wrote a note promising "lunch," not "a few hasty instructions and a glass of cheap plonk." What kind of chickenshit outfit are you people running here? Bring out the plate of blue-point oysters!

Whether the designers got so much as a cheese platter will go undocumented, however; we're back to the Pacific Design Center, where everyone's sketchin' like Chechen. While we watch other people draw, let's have Carisa explain all this arts-and-crafts jazz to us: "Arts-and-crafts is like this whole, you know, thing that happened in the 20th Century... " she begins. Other things that fit that description: World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, the Yankees' World Series titles, the entire run of M*A*S*H*, basically anything taking place between 1900 and 2000. Ah, but we pick on Carisa because we don't have Ryan to kick around anymore; let's hear about her plans. She's cooking up a built-in banquette for "seating an unlimited amount of people all along the wall." Andrea's taking the whole arts-and-crafts thing to heart: she's going to use stone and wood along with a couple of walls made out of suede. Meanwhile, Michael is thinking about food -- see, Todd, you really shouldn't have cheated these folks out of a meal. Oh wait -- he wants his room to be a backdrop with the focus being the table and what's on the table. That's something else entirely. Carry on.

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Top Design




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