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Jan 18, 2007 02:54 AM

Top Chef: The "Scandal" ...reactions?

OK, so they haven't quite decided who's going home for the elimination part yet, but I was not surprised by the "scandal." Thoughts?

You can post thoughts about the elimination part, too...we're just not quite there yet and I thought I'd get a start on the thread.

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  1. Marcel is just such a freaking tool....Granted Cliff was really dumb for putting his hands on him. I think Marcel is being carried by the sympathy he is building from the judges who don't have to deal with him all the time!

    1. I'll just say that Ilan's Liver in Chocolate thingy made me a little nauseous.

      2 Replies
        1. re: King of Northern Blvd

          I feel sick every time I think about that chicken & liver. I feel sorry for the 2 who had to taste that mess.

        2. ok this is not about the scandel, but...

          has anyone else noticed that all of ilan's dishes are basically exact replicas of the dishes he probably has (does) prepared at casa mono? the clams and fideos? that is one of the best dishes at casa mono. i think he made churros once, also at casa mono (or bar jamon one of those) and i feel like he made a couple other dishes (maybe one with quail or sweetbreads or something) i've already had at casa mono. isnt this supposed to be a creative competition, not just make dishes you've been cooking for a few years at a restaurant. honestly, i would never go to ilan's restaurant if i could get the same food but exceptionally done by andy nusser at casa mono.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jon

            he's also done the pan con tomate and tortilla and yes, the sweetbreads. and the grilled corn and bacon dish which was reminicent of his father is supposedly available at another batali restaurant. bacon breakfast ice cream, while unusual to the average viewer, has obviously been done before by heston blumenthal (though it was bcon and egg).

            i think ilan is an excellent cook... and that's where it ends. being able to replicate what you see makes you a craftsman/practitioner, not a visionary. as you can see in the red challenge, he froze. no vision or creativity - he just took what was red.

            sure, everything has already been done before; no dish is entirely original. but stay tuned for the finals. i can bet that each and every one of ilans dishes can probably be traced back to another chef.

            1. re: gingersweetiepie

              right the grilled corn. a staple on the otto summer menu. the pan con tomate and tortilla looked identical to the ones served at bar jamon (the smaller bar area next door to casa mono). i wouldnt be surprised if he whipped out olive oil gelato with sea salt in hawaii...

              what's weird is that both eric ripert and tom colicchio had to have eaten at all of those batali places and must have had the fideos dish a thousand times. they never once mentioned that ilan is ripping off the original dishes...

              1. re: jon

                The judges seems to value taste more than originality. That's why Elia's cream of mushroom soup won the Thanksgiving episode, and they didn't say a thing when Michael used Salmon in back-to-back challenges and won both quickfire and elimination with the same key ingredient.

                1. re: jon

                  It's very obvious that, antics aside, there is a slight favoritism that leans in Ilans favor, for both his pedigree and a cooking philosophy that's very de rigeur. He can behave as badly as he wants but at the end of the day they want to believe in the perfect execution of his food. "Okay, so you tried to assault someone, but boy, that fideos dish! Mmmm!"

                  In fairness, Marcel's frog's leg dish is a ripoff of Robuchon - people rely on what they know, especially when the stakes are high.

                  I think the interim between LA and the final will allow each contestant to work on their unique vision. If they don't deliver, I guarantee it will show in the outcome.

              2. re: jon

                And he also did the paella w/ soft shell crab.

                1. re: jon

                  it also seems like he loves Saffron..

                2. Cliff has 50 lbs on Marcel easy and I'll bet Marcel was sore the next day. Picking somebody off the ground while you have him in a full nelson is no joke.

                  I can't believe what a punk Ilan is, he kept on goading Sam to shave Marcel's head when Cliff was holding him down. Tough guy couldn't do it himself? After seeing him get the soccer ball in the face during the diet camp challenge I bet Marcel would take him in a square go. I can't get his whiney Capote like voice out of my head. Plus, did anyone notice he was wearing 4 watches during the judges table?

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: Withnail42

                      I was trying to figure that out, too! What was that?

                    2. re: KTinNYC

                      50? I'd say 100. Cliff is a big, strong dude. Full nelsons are an illegal hold in "real" wrestling because of their potential danger. Even just messing about, someone with a lot of strength (or just leaning their weight/leverage) can injur someone.

                      1. re: KTinNYC

                        I think the way Marcel has been treated is awful. Cliff only jumped on him because he is bigger than Marcel.
                        What's funny is that most of the other chef's think they are so much better than Marcel and they think they are more mature but in reality they acted like they were in high school.
                        I really wish Marcel would have got at least 1 hit in on Cliff's arrogant ass.

                      2. Cliff was idiotic to touch Marcel.
                        The producers were left with no choice.

                        At least the food finally looked interesting.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: EnglishMuffin

                          Does anyone else suspect that Cliff knew he was going to lose on that uninspired beef dish and decided to take the low road and get kicked off for doing something obviously against the rules. Anyone who has watched any reality tv knows that physical violence is absolutely barred. Oh and I agree Ilan is a tool with no originality whatsoever. As for Marcel he is probably a prick but he can cook.

                          1. re: DCtoNC

                            I thought Cliff's subconscious got the better of him . . .
                            not a *conscious* acting out on the low road.
                            You know how you just *know* when you've f*k up?

                            1. re: DCtoNC

                              I don't think Cliff did it on pupose---he really seemed to want to win. He is just a straight up asshole.