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Top Chef - Beach Episode

Finally an episode that was more on food than on drama. I think this was the first time this season where the editing let us see the thought process behind the dishes and made it alot easier to understand why people were succesful and why other people were not.

Some random thoughts from the episode, I think it's time the show puts a ban on all Napoleans - NOT ONE HAS WORKED YET! It was unusual that 3 of the stronger chefs were in the bottom 3 and I was surprised that Frank went home after his stellar display in the quickfire challenge - the judging seemed to fairly inconsistent as it appeared they took Sam and Cliff's full body of work into account where in other weeks they strictly said they would not do that. I was more surprised that Elia won over Mia for the full win; yes her dish looked tasty but they also said Mia's dish was well prepared and had great flavor - I thought the comments of the surfers would have put Mia's dish over the top.

Lastly, I think it became apparent why everyone on the show hates Marcel. I was actually watching the show at my sister's apartment last night (her roommate was watching it for the firs time) and by the end of the epsiode she said "what the hell is wrong with that guy," after seeing him flirt with the 14 year olds he is unquestionably annoying as hell.

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  1. Funny after continually watching the reruns lately I am begining to like Marcel. I am not sure why.

    5 Replies
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd

      The more I see him, the more I like him. From what they have showed, I don't think he is as arrogant as people make him out to be - just self confident - which many people confuse with arrogance. He may be a little over the top with his "cutting edge" techniques he likes to talk about, but its not enough to hate the guy.

      I liked how he made Betty seem like a raving lunatic on the Thanksgiving show when she said that Marcel only thinks of himself, then Marcel replied that he helped her with her dish. She tried to say he didn't help her set up her kitchen, when she never offered to help set up his either. And what was with that outburst when they asked who she would eliminate - I had howard dean flashbacks.

      I think Marcel has a crush on Elia.

      1. re: LStaff

        I agree with you L about liking Marcel. I'm kind of rooting for him at this point. As for Betty, I have also totally changed my opinion of her and cannot wait for her to get the boot. She's scary!

        1. re: takeoutgirl

          I started out liking Betty in the very begining and now I can't wait for her to get the boot as well.

        2. re: LStaff

          Every one of these shows needs a villain. So they have edited Marcel into that role. I agree he is a confident chef with an interest in ‘non-traditional’ cooking. He stands out in the crowd making him and easy target. In fact what has he said that is different from what anyone else has said?

          And to his credit he called Betty on every complaint she had against him and she couldn’t come close to justifiably defending herself.

          And hey who doesn’t have a crush on Elia?

        3. re: King of Northern Blvd

          That was my reaction as well...I was definitely pulling for him...especially when his dish won immunity....he tries...maybe too hard...but he is willing to put himself out there and take risks...

        4. I'm new to Top Chef. Only seen it a couple of times. But I've been really put off by the credit at the end that says something about the producers, as well as the judges, having participated in the final decision. That implies, to me at least, that the chef's are being judged on their personalities and the audience response at least as much as on their food. If the winner is chosen for his/her ratings potential, then who cares? Am I the only one who feels this way?

          4 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            check out Tom Collichio's blog from the Thanksgiving show, I think he mentions how that dynamic really works.

            1. re: LStaff

              Thanks for that reference. It will indeed make a difference in my appreciation of the show to know that the producers aren't influencing the final decisions. Only problem is, I liked his blog better than the show but I'll have to watch the show for his blog to make sense. Life is hard.

            2. re: JoanN

              That disclaimer is on every single reality and game show in production.

              1. re: JoanN

                So true but this is not how tvland works.

              2. I was really surprised and a little disappointed that the judges were so wowed by the fact that betty wrapped her eggs in a slice of ham - that's great presentation? Yikes.

                5 Replies
                1. re: heathermb

                  I couldn't agree more. It looked so beige & blah. TV lighting, maybe?

                  1. re: heathermb

                    Perhaps only by comparison's sake with some of the others' dishes ....

                    1. re: heathermb

                      Wrapping food in a cold cut is so...TACKY PERSON DESPERATION. I was all agog and aghast at that little move.

                      1. re: orezscu

                        It was lovely Black Forest ham. Wrapping it made it easier to eat standing up, and allowed her to cook the eggs perfectly, while everyone else overcooked theirs.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Yup. As I said, her catering experience really showed in that dish: she was able to create something that could be eaten standing up and knew how to prepare the dish so that it would "hold" without either cooling off or overcooking. It's a skill. Not the same skill as a chef cooking for a fine dining restaurant, but a skill nonetheless.

                    2. I didn't like this episode. Having them shop for food without knowing what kind of cooking equipment they'd have available seems more fitting for a quick-fire challenge than for an elimination challenge.

                      I'm thinking Marcel can't be as bad as the show is making him appear. Elia knows him better than anyone and still likes him.

                      Surprised Mia didn't win, too.

                      Mike came off as a doofus once again this episode. Thought it was interesting and unexpected that Betty was the one to help him out. Looked like the others just handed over eggs because they didn't want to be shown up by Betty.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Chimayo Joe

                        I don't think Elia is much better than Marcel, they both strike me as arrogant and whiny. As for his gastrnomic rants, Marcel comes off as a guy who read a dictionairy but puts all the big words in the wrong places.

                        1. re: Chimayo Joe

                          It did *look* that way, but I'm inclined to think that it was edited to create that impression and add to the drama and characterization of the competitors.

                        2. For me - this is the first episode (both seasons)that had that "reality" show feel to it. I've encouraged people to watch the show on the basis that it wasn't really like the other reality shows. It wasn't the challenge itself - I thought that was pretty cool - it was the fact that the chefs didn't know what the cooking enviroment was going to be. I believe it still would have been a challenge for them knowing they were cooking on fire pits.