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Top Chef All-Stars - Ep. #7 - 01/19/11 (Spoilers)

Pre-apologies if this is more abbreviated or not as complete as I usually try to be. It was a pretty tough, emotional day today for me, and my mind is not all there. But I'll give it the ol' college try.

The pre-bit before the show starts goes over Antonia's "black widow" jinx of her teammates always going home...and when asked, both Carla and Tiffany say they "No!" to being on her team! In Dale's confessional he says "It's true about Antonia! 'Here, drink this Kool-Aid; everything will be OK!' " LOL!

It looks like it's a fish-filleting contest at an "elite seafood restaurant". Don't suppose we might see Chef Eric Ripert, might we? (I couldn't be that lucky.) Well, it's at Le Bernardin, at least, with Anthony Bourdain introducing the Quickfire Challenge! Justo Thomas of Le Bernardin prepares 700 to 1,000 lbs. of fish EVERY DAY (AB *did* say "every day", didn't he?) in the hours before they open at noon. He can filet and portion 2 fish in 8 minutes. The cheftestants have 10 minutes to do the same with 1 cod and 1 fluke.

Bottom group - Fabio, Tiffany, Antonia, and Carla
Top Group - Dale, Richard, Mike and Marcel

Those in the top group now have to make the best dish in 45 minutes that they can using the heads, racks, fins and collars of their butchered fish. Judges are Anthony Bourdain and Justo Thomas.

Richard and Mike get very good reviews, Marcel's dish is called monochromatic by Bourdain, and Dale's dish seems to be the most praised....and he wins the Quickfire!

They head back to the TC Kitchen, where Padma is standing there with Ludo Lefebvre. Padma lets them know it's time for RESTAURANT WARS! Ludo explains about his "pop-up restaurant"...a restaurant that exists often for one day only, or up to 2 months - it depends on what he wants to do. And that's what's happening with on this All-Stars Restaurant Wars. The judges will be Anthony Bourdain, Dana Cowin from Food & Wine Magazine, and Ludo Lefebvre. And Padma says for the first time the DINERS get to choose the winning team!

Dale is one captain, and he gets to choose the other team captain - and he chooses Marcel, because he doesn't want to work with him.

Teams are:

Team 1 - BODEGA - Dale, Richard, Tre, Fabio, and Carla (Fabio is FOH)
Team 2 - ETCH - Marcel, Mike, Antonia, and Tiffany (Tiffany is FOH, even though she doesn't want to be)

As they break into their teams, it is obvious that no one wants to listen to Marcel as he tries to organize his team. He's *way* controlling and really doesn't know how to talk to his team. This is going ot be interesting.

They arrive at where they're cooking, and it's outside. Tom notices while talking to Marcel that he's bouncing off the walls. And Tom's not sure how Team Bodega's food is considered bodega-ish, but he'll give them poetic license. He tells everyone there will be ONE winner, and that winner will get $10,000.

Marcel actually instructs Tiffany on how to cook a 6-minute eggs. Their entire team seems so disorganized! Finally Tiffany gets out front, and Angelo says he'll make sure her egg dish is taken care of. And in plating it looks like he helped it a lot! Marcel said he wasn't going to do a foam for his dish - and what a surprise, he does a foam for his dish. Pissed off Angelo a LOT.

Carla hollers to the other team "you guys have a good service!" and throws kisses to Antonia. She cracks me up!

Dale gets cranky as service begins, and takes it out on the servers. Fabio's not happy with the way he's treating the servers and asks him to back off - Dale's realizing that being the expediter is not the easiest job in the restaurant! And Tiffany comes back with plates from her team's service - way undercooked lamb. She listens as they re-serve some plates, and the diners at this one table are pretty critical about the food being too salty, unbalanced with the egg, undercooked meat. Yowza.

At BODEGA, Richard's and Dale's first courses get favorable reviews, and Tom notices that Fabio is managing his staff. He says it's the 1st time he's ever seen that. Tre's pork and Richard's cod dish get rave reviews, and Fabio's dessert dish gets superb comments from Bourdain. The judges seemed very pleased overall with BODEGA.

They head over to ETCH. Padma notices that Tiffany seems to think that being FOH is schmoozing with the diners. When Tiffany finally gets over to their table, she says "we're hungry!" and Tiffany rushes back to get the judges' dishes.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Mike and Marcel are griping at each other, and Angelo is trying to get them to focus on just cooking.

The judges seem to like the lamb dish from Mike and Angelo, but Antonia's gnudi are too salty for Padma. When desserts come out, what a surprise - Marcel's had a hand in one of them, which Bourdain calls "a perfect shit storm of awfulness!"

But again - the DINERS are the ones picking the winners, so what the judges are saying could be totally different from what they think!

Padma asks Team ETCH to come into Judges Table....PLEASE don't tell me they won? Nope, they show a preview, and Mike and Marcel are arguing at JT - so I'm assuming they're on the bottom! Does this mean bye-bye, Marcel? ;-)

Yup - the Diners picked Team Etch as their least favorite restaurant. Only 17 out of 76 diners favored ETCH! Wow, that's a HUGE differential! Discussion about the lack of organization in Etch's kitchen, and when Tom asked who was in charge of organizing the kitchen, no one spoke up. As Tom said "The silence is deafening."

Marcel takes a beating for his dishes, and no one at JT liked his "surprise dessert". Bourdain said it was like a "thumb in the eye". And then the arguing of Mike and Marcel in front of the judges REALLY tells all about Marcel - he goes all ghetto in his arguing yet again. Antonia tries to say "as Team Captain, Marcel should have stepped up" and he still argues.

Team Bodega goes in, and when asked, Dale said he was EC, and Richard said he was "Technical Advisor". Richard gets raves for the initial bag of potato chips, and his food was highly praised as well, as well as Carla's dish. And Richard wins!

Back to Etch - Concept, Teamwork, Service, Food - all of them were just plain bad. Ludo said being an EC (Marcel) is not just about cooking - it's about managing. Tiffany's bad dish and bad FOH was noted. Bourdain said that he thinks Angelo realized the problem early on and just kept his head down. His fish dish wasn't great, but I don't think it was the worst dish. Bourdain said "prison breaks are organized with more teamwork than this restaurant!" LOL

This is a tough one to call - I'm thinking it's either Marcel or Tiffany. I hope the former! And when Tom reviews each cheftestant's issues, there's not one of them that had something good about their dish.

YES! It's Marcel who's outta there! Interesting - Marcel says he's a nice guy and a likeable person. If you have to say that as often as he seems to, perhaps you're trying to convince people of something that isn't as true as you think it is?

And the next episode has Lorraine Bracco as a guest judge. I *think* next week (January 26th) is actually a repeat, according to TV Guide, so this new episode won't be until February 2nd.

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  1. It may be too late now, but notice that this episode is 75 minutes. Set your recorders appropriately.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 10foot5

      Aye-yi-yi. I had forgotten that RWars is usually longer than regular episodes. Thanks for the heads-up, 10foot5!

    2. Linda, I hope things are ok for you. How lovely of you to do the recap for us after a difficult day.

      Please oh please let it be Marcel.

      I think etch loses by a lot with editing intended to make it look close.

      8 Replies
      1. re: debbiel

        I'm hanging in there, debbie, thanks. Watching mindless American Idol and then fun Top Chef helps me keep my mind off of the day. :-)

        1. re: LindaWhit

          You couldn't tell from the recap--thanks for doing it!

          1. re: Nettie

            Thanks indeed - the recaps are great and I really hope things are ok.

            Gotta say this was a great Restaurant Wars - and what a treat to see the winning team really put it all together.

            1. re: Siun

              I hope all is well, too, Linda. Hang in there, and thank you again for another excellent recap!

          2. re: LindaWhit

            Great recap, Linda. Hope everything's okay.

            Hooray! Marcel is finally out of there! :)

            1. re: ChefJune

              I thought Marcel's comment to Richard was more self-deprecating than anything else. Blais is notorious for his worrying and I'm sure all of them heard Richard's doubts for a long time in that room. 

              I think I may have figured out something about Marcel. He has a Napolean complex. I saw him standing next to Carla and she's 5'11". Marcel must be about 5'6" and it bothers him. That's why he has the bouffant. He has an inferiority complex and he lashes out as a defense mechanism. 

              The reason Etch lost is because they didn't work well together. Marcel isn't a leader. In order to be a leader those being led need to have respect for the leader. They don't respect Marcel and the results were not surprising. 

              When I saw they were doing the quickfire at Le Bernardin I was quite pleased that Jamie wasn't there to foul the place. She doesn't deserve to ever walk into that restaurant ever again. 

              The difference in the FOH performance between Fabio and Tiffany was amazing. I wonder how much time Fabio spends FOH at his own restaurants? I bet he spends more time in front these days than he does in the kitchen. He can make a restaurant more successful by being out front rather than by him being in the kitchen. He can train a monkey to make gnocchi. 

              1. re: John E.

                Fabio spends a lot of tim in the FOH. I've never noticed him directing the servers, but he does schmooze and walk around quite a bit. Service is pretty good, and the food is very good as well.
                It's not surprising that Marcel went home. I think it was easy to tell from the moment they picked team it was going to be a catastrophe.

          3. re: debbiel

            Yes thank you!

            I enjoy being "spoiled" by you every Thursday morning!

          4. Finally. Oh, and in case folks didn't notice, Marcel didn't actually make any mistakes (roll eyes).

            22 Replies
            1. re: debbiel

              What a treat to see him head off ... and to see how the other team really got the pop up style and made it work. When only 17 out of 70 diners voted for etch, that's really bad.

              Also what a treat to see the Le Bernadin guy from Raw Medium .... that man's a god.

              1. re: Siun

                You mean Anthony Bourdain? He wrote the book, but he's not a Le Bernardin guy - that's Eric Ripert. But Linda (and I) won't argue with you about Bourdain's god-likeness!

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  I believe Siun is referring to the guy at Le Bernadin that preps all the fish, Justo. There was a chapter in Bourdain's book about him and his prowess at breaking down fish for the restaurant.

                  1. re: sibeats

                    oh duh, of course you are right. sorry!

                  2. re: mariacarmen

                    No, we won't argue about EITHER of their god-likeness!

                    And I get to see BOTH of my boyfriends in early March here in the Boston area, thanks to a very nice person who linked the info to me in last week's thread, and who has decided I'm not an axe murderer and will be joining me (although she's bringing a friend just in case I *am* an axe murderer :::grin:::).

                    I will have to refrain from squealing like a 16yo at the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium. (None of this Biebermania shite...I'm going back to a *real* squeal producer! LOL)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      what??? TB and ER are both coming to your town?? how did you manage that??

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        how did you manage that??
                        When you wish upon a star
                        Makes no difference who you are
                        Anything your heart desires
                        Will come to you

                        Jiminy Cricket was RIGHT! :-)

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I swear to G-d, LW, I saw Ripert first! Thief! : )

                          1. re: mamachef

                            Finders keepers, losers weepers! ;-)

                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        She's bringing the friend in case you embarrass her w/the squealing and drooling ;-)

                        1. re: momjamin

                          Oh balderdash. She's gonna be squealing too. Or at least looking at me with a big silly grin on her face, just like mine! ;-)

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            OK, maybe your prediction is more accurate. Hey -- when does All Stars end, relative to their visit?

                            1. re: momjamin

                              Good question - they have 9 cheftestants left - Tiffany, Carla, Richard, Tre, Angelo, Mike, Dale, Fabio and Antonia. Next week is a repeat, so assuming it's one cheftestant told to PYKAG in subsequent episodes, and they'll have three cheftestants in a two-part finale, I calculate the finale will be on March 16th and 23rd. So we won't be able to ask questions about the winner - just up to what we've seen, which will be a few episodes before the finale. :-)

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                OMG. We demand full recount, pics, DNA samples (just kidding)

                                Just don't think you can drink them under the table :)

                                1. re: julietg

                                  Just don't think you can drink them under the table :)

                                  I wouldn't DREAM of it! LOL

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          well, well, look at you! after the week you've had you *definitely* deserve to have this to look forward to :)

                          it's funny, i was just thinking yesterday that [in a fantasy world] it would be awesome to organize a CH group vacation to the Aspen Food & Wine classic this year - the lineup is amazing, and they're doing a Top Chef QF challenge between Kevin Sbraga & whomever wins All Stars. too bad it's so darned expensive!

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Now if it was Kevin Gillespie, I'd be there in a heartbeat. :-) Kevin Sbraga? Meh....not so much. ;-/

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              agreed, but i'd kinda like to see if Sbraga can bring it. and since i'm talking fantasy here anyway, who cares which Kevin it is if he's facing off against Tre? ;)

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Geez Louise, that is pricey! Guess they don't want any ordinary Joes there.

                              1. re: Parrotgal

                                i know. bums me out because i'd love to go, but that doesn't even include hotel or airfare!!!

                    2. wooooo!! this was one of my favorite resto wars so far! so glad with the outcome of this episode overall

                      thanks for doing these recaps. theyre awesome! hope everythings ok

                      1. Marcel FINALLY got his comeuppance - only problem is, he doesn't know it. Too bad he thinks he was eliminated because he "didn't make any mistakes." It would have been soooo wrong for anyone else to get eliminated.

                        On the other hand, Bodega really rocked it. I can't remember another RW where the judges raved over every single dish from one team. Professionals one and all.

                        1. I have to say, Marcel said many things that made me cringe tonight, but he had (IMHO) the best line of the night. Upon sending the Bodega team to JT and letting them know they were the tops, "You can stop worrying now, Blais."

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: momjamin

                            I thought it was kind of nasty of him to say that, especially with the tone of voice he used. Yeah, he shook hands with the winning team, but the prefacing of the congratulations with what he said would have irked me.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Yes, his whole context was definitely unpleasant, but the fact that we all knew Blais was nail-biting and rehashing every detail made it funny to me.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I can't stand Marcel, and am glad that he's out, but I thought that was a friendly comment -- Richard was clearly freaking out, and he's said in interviews that he's always obsessive and the rest of the chefs all know that about him, so I thought that was said in a nice and funny way (and it was clear that Richard took it that way).

                            2. Okay, here's a REALLY interesting bit from the extended judges' table video: apparently Marcel wanted to name their restaurant... wait for it... MARCEL !!!!!!

                              And from Bourdain's blog (I just can't stop laughing): "In the end, his team turned on him, joyously, a pack of gleeful attack dogs, finally let loose from their cage. Having poked them with a stick repeatedly, he handed them the key, rolled himself in meat juice for good measure, -- and let loose the dogs of war."

                              Ooooh, this is so much fun. I can't wait to see what all the clever bloggers have to say!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: lisavf

                                Oh lord. I'll watch those videos tomorrow, but all I can say is "WHAT a surprise, huh?" I've seemed to say that a LOT about Marcel this season.

                                  1. re: lisavf

                                    Since so many of us have stooped to amateur analysis, I'l take my shot. I don't think he has Aspergers and I don't think he has a Napoleon Complex. I think he is a classic example of a narcissistic personality disorder. Seriously.


                                  2. YES! The TC gods have smiled upon us this week. And I have to tell you, I've REALLY been trying each week to put my feelings about each cheftestant aside, but, man, Marcel just doesn't let that last long. From the time team "Etch" assembled to start planning, The Jerk emerged.

                                    LOVED what Richard said about not wanting Marcel to pick him. I think that, and watching Fabio work the front of the house (he kicked butt, as always) were the highlights of the evening for me. Well, secondary highlights considering The Highlight was seeing Marcel pack his knives and GO!

                                    16 Replies
                                    1. re: phee

                                      It was great to see Fabio do so well with FOH, despite my wanting them to stop having contestants work FOH.

                                      And let's not forget Medi as a possible name. Such hollow "coolness!"

                                      1. re: debbiel

                                        I thought that Medi sounded like something medical rather than Mediterranean!

                                        1. re: debbiel

                                          Medi was the name of the restaurant Marcel had for the restaurant in his season before they decided to change it to a diner concept. I don't like the name, but I have to say it's better than "Marcel!"

                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                            Anything's better than Marcel -- in more ways than one!

                                        2. re: phee

                                          When a restaurant team really meshes and each person flows, it really is such a treat to watch. FOH was so good and a joy to watch.

                                          I was really disappointed back when they did the Dim Sum episode that this group of very talented chefs could not pull together to show us a good service ... it just seemed ridiculous that with that pool of experience. Tonight completely wiped that out with a chance to watch the real thing.

                                          1. re: phee

                                            I too loved watching Fabio do his thing. But Tiffany's FOH made me cringe - I really like her, and it was painful. As she became more uncomfortable, she came dangerously close to self-parody. Ouch.

                                              1. re: aching

                                                Tiffany started to remind me of Gina Neely.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  She was cackling away. Shrill. It was painful. She was flopping about.
                                                  (She always struck me as a cackler, from her first pre-interview at the beginning of TC:DC although others did not see that)

                                                  Her "Oops.." adds to my impression of her as a bit of a shit-stirrer, continuing from her time on TC:DC, and which helped her direct attention away from her performance in this episode.

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    I STILL do not see cackling. Loud laughing, a "guffaw" maybe, but a "cackle" seems sinister to me, like something a witch would do. Is that what you mean?

                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                        Wow! I guess a cackle is more common than I thought.

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      "'When the judges arrive at Etch, Tiffany is still schmoozing the customers, her cackling laugh soaring over the din."

                                                      Did you write this???

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      ACK!!!!!!!! Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    3. re: aching

                                                      Come on - you KNOW that was mostly the way it was edited.

                                                  2. I loved the quickfire on this! First of all, having AB introduce it and not Padma was refreshing. I wish they'd shown a little more detail on Justo filleting the fish instead of cutting to a bunch of reaction shots of the chefs. I also really liked how they settled it between the top four by having them cook the "waste" parts of the fish, and how all four seemed to be really into that challenge. But my favorite part was Richard's description of his first job "at a restaurant called 'McDonalds'--I don't know if you've heard of it" and "the seafood cook is the most prestigious position, being that they only have one seafood item".

                                                    18 Replies
                                                    1. re: Nettie

                                                      Oh, I forgot all about Richard's McDonald's commentary. How much fun was that? I love his dry sense of humor. He's the kind of guy I would love to hang out and have drinks with.

                                                      1. re: Nettie

                                                        That was such a treat - that chapter in Raw Medium is so wonderful and then to get to see Justo in action, wow. You're so right though - I wanted a nice long stretch of just watching him work.

                                                        1. re: Siun

                                                          Ditto. For some reason I thought Justo was older. Maybe I'm misremembering Bourdain's description of him in the book.

                                                          1. re: isadorasmama

                                                            I thought so too ... expected an old wizened fellow not that charmer in the chef jacket! Either way, that man has skills!

                                                        2. re: Nettie

                                                          I totally agree re the quick cuts on the fish filleting scenes - you couldn't get a sense of it. And I did love Richard's little McD's story.

                                                          1. re: Nettie

                                                            I missed that comment by Richard - funny!

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              His whole McDonald's story was great. "I sent out my first batch of Filet-o-Fish without the top buns. Even then I was making my mark as avant-garde."

                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                DAMN! How the heck did I miss that? TOO funny! Definitely requires a rewatch tonight OnDemand. :-)

                                                                Oh crap - does the OnDemand version give you the full 75 minutes or is it like the repeats on Bravo where they pare it down to fit in a 60 minute time slot? I hope the full 75 minute version.

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  I watched it on-demand and as far as I know I got the whole episode. Enjoy! I love on-demand!

                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                    Thanks. Didn't get around to it last night, but maybe today, since I took the day off due to snow...although *now* my car has decided not to start, so I'm going to have to deal with THAT today as well! It's always something...

                                                            2. re: Nettie

                                                              I loved that we didn't have to watch them shop. I left more time to see the planning, the cooking and the interactions.

                                                              1. re: chicgail


                                                                Out of God-knows-how-many shopping scenes on Top Chef, only a scant handful have been worth showing. I hope to see fewer of them in the future.

                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                  I found myself wondering, "Where'd the food come from?" (since they've had plenty of "cook with what's here" challenges) but didn't mind missing the shopping trip at all!

                                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                                    Agreed. Not just on food, but on plates, glasses and decor. Never understood what that was part of the challenge, and really enjoyed it more without those pieces.

                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                      I kind of assumed that they didn't show the shopping for plates, glasses and decor because they were using a pre-existing restaurant space. I didn't miss the shopping either, though I felt it made the RW feel truncated somehow.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        yeah, i felt that was always more about their personalities - what they pick to go in the restaurant, etc. (remember when one team bought all those aromatic candles?!) - they even had some design guy once, right? i know if you're a chef opening up your own restaurant you 'd deal with those issues, but, really more interested in seeing them in the kitchen.

                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                          Agree. I'm not so interested in watching contestants design restaurants -- that's for a restaurateur and professional designers. Just like I'm not as interested in them acting as FoH, which is restaurant manager. Both jobs may or may not be a chef's role as well, but it is not them acting as chef. Quality and timely food production and menu planning is a chef's job.

                                                                          1. re: dach

                                                                            +1. Watching them cook is interesting; watching them shop for tables and chairs is not really fun.

                                                              2. truly impressed with awesome restaurant bodega and how that team worked it. have to say. now i really like most of the people left. and while i will never love either of them, i actually like both mike i and angelo better than i did in their own seasons.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                                  I was thinking the same thing after this episode--the eliminations from here on out will be harder now that the people that I'd really like to go home are gone.

                                                                  1. re: Nettie

                                                                    That's true, but I still think the weaker chefs are Tiffany, Mike and Fabbio. I was shocked that Tiffany screwed up the fish filleting -- and I think she was too!

                                                                  2. re: AMFM

                                                                    Definately agree about Mike and Angelo. I particularly liked Angelo last night; regardless of the grief he got about "keeping his head down" I though he acted like a grown-up last night.

                                                                  3. OK, how many of us are going to finally start texting in our entries to the Bravo dinner cooked by the winner, now that Marcel's out of the picture? ;-)

                                                                    1. I loved this entire episode. Great 2 part quickfire. I like the butchering challenge, and the cooking with the leftover pieces.

                                                                      No one has mentioned a confessional comment that Angelo made concerning Marcel and Mike sparring during service. He said "If this was MY restaurant I would have just sent Mike home. Right there and then, there would be no questions asked". This brings up 2 interesting points, I think.

                                                                      A) Marcel always gets all the hate, but it seems like Angelo is siding with Marcel in this particular tiff.

                                                                      B) What if Marcel actually showed the "leadership" that everyone seems to feel is lacking from him, and actually just said "That's it Mike, you can't argue with me during service, you're done for the night. Angelo take over." Getting "fired" halfway through service would make for an interesting twist at judges table.

                                                                      I'm not sure it would be allowed for one contestant to actually prohibit another from taking part in the challenge, but it sure would have made for some fireworks.

                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                      1. re: 10foot5

                                                                        I noticed Angelo's comment and while A. did seem to cut Marcel more slack in general, I think Mike went in with a bad attitude and might have been overly difficult. As a non hater of Marcel, I just felt like the guy really doesn't know how to deal with people. When they were trying to make the menu, it seemed more sad than annoying to me.

                                                                        I kind of felt bad for the top quickfire people. Not only do you have to do the regular quickfire, you have to cook before the real elimination. From the sound of how things go and everyone being sleep deprived and what not, seems excessive even for immunity.

                                                                        I thought Dale was a total dick to the waiters. No reason for it at all.

                                                                        1. re: Joanie

                                                                          "seems excessive even for immunity."

                                                                          But Dale got immunity PLUS he got to be leader of his team in RW. So it was worth the effort, no?

                                                                          "I thought Dale was a total dick to the waiters. No reason for it at all."

                                                                          It seemed to me like a momentary "oh shit" moment when nerves start to get the better of you. I get the same way when pushed like that when working - get out of my way! Give me space! He got it under control rather quickly. I thought it was perfectly understandable. Not cool, but understandable.

                                                                          1. re: lisavf

                                                                            ""I thought Dale was a total dick to the waiters. No reason for it at all."

                                                                            It seemed to me like a momentary "oh shit" moment when nerves start to get the better of you. I get the same way when pushed like that when working - get out of my way! Give me space! He got it under control rather quickly.

                                                                            I thought Dale's reaction to the waiters was completely understandable and even justified in a small way. His dishes weren't ready. They were crowding the table and trying to grab them before he was ready to let them go, while also trying to clarify what they had written on the orders (wrong proteins being written down). Back off, fellas.

                                                                            In this regard I thought Eric Ripert's going on and on in high dudgeon about this incident in his vblog seemed very excessive to me.

                                                                            1. re: lisavf

                                                                              Hmm, and I'd venture once again that if this were Marcel screaming that, he would have been massacred but for Dale (and everyone else), it was okay.

                                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                                I don't think it was okay for Dale at all, yelling obscenities repeatedly at the waitstaff was completely uncalled for. I haven't liked Fabio much this season, but I was really glad that he stepped in.

                                                                                1. re: Joanie

                                                                                  For Dale, it was like a regression to his old pre-anger management days - not excusable, but doesn't feel anymore like it's an every day occurrence. Marcel doesn't seem to have matured at all. This interview is cringe-worthy, to me: http://bloggingbravo.mypodcast.com/20...

                                                                                  1. re: Joanie

                                                                                    Had Dale not backed off, I would have been disappointed and said he needed to go back to anger management. Fabio did a great job diffusing the situation.

                                                                                    At the same time, when Marcel went off on Dale last episode, Marcel fans did not speak up against it, either. It goes both ways.

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      I agreed that Marcel acted like a complete dick.... but I will also say the the situation is completely different. I can't see how you would even compare the 2 instances
                                                                                      Marcel had a legitimate beef against Dale and they know each other and had been living with each other on top of each other and in competition with each other...tempers are bound to flair... but Dale was being rude to his servers which is not only obnoxious, but not smart in a professional situation.

                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                        Marcel clarified something in his recent interview. He said that Dale said that the only 'decent' plates he prepared in thexdim sum challenge were for the judges, not the 'only' plates that some here are assuming was the case. I take that to mean he took exceptional care in plating for the judges, not so much for the diners. N my mind that means he busting out his food, not slacking off shining his shoes.

                                                                                      2. re: chowser

                                                                                        I beg to differ, I think *everyone* agreed that Marcel looked like a total douchebag in that altercation with Dale. And as NNel says, it's different to randomly go off on the poor service people.

                                                                                        1. re: Joanie

                                                                                          That's fair--I think Dale looked like a douchebag in front of the servers but I gave him a pass because he calmed down. I don't think "everyone" agreed that Marcel looked like a douchebag and have read others who've thought he was just socially awkward, so forgiveable.

                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                            mmmmmm... waaaaaaaaaay beyond "awkward," to my eyes and ears.

                                                                                  2. re: Joanie

                                                                                    Mikey was deffinitely going in with a chip on his shoulder. Biggest reason he won't win TC. I am liking him much more this season than in Vegas, but he can be a hot head. Could be Dales downfall also, perhaps he can schedule a quick refresher cours with the Anger Mgt clinic.

                                                                                    I could have sworn during the pre-commercial breaks that Angel had said he woudl have sen tthem both home. In the actual show tape he only pointed the finger at Mike. I guess that's the Elves having their way with misleading us about the outcome.


                                                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                                                      I heard the same ... And the Angelo comment about trying to calm things done seemed to me to be him saying not that he was cool with Marcel but that Marcel was executive chef and therefore you follow his lead as a matter of restaurant protocol.

                                                                                  3. hallefreakinglujah...i don't think i could have taken another week of him. Tiffany was a disaster - i was particularly worried when she said she decided to leave her dish in Angelo's hands! when. will. they. learn???? fortunately Etch was a Titanic failure overall, and its captain drowned in a sea of his stupid foams.

                                                                                    loved the QF and loved the Bodega concept. great episode!

                                                                                    now can we please get back to *individual* chefs cooking by themselves? i'm really sick of team challenges.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                      As soon as they announced there would be 18 contestants this season, I knew there had to be tons of team challenges because there is no other way they could accommodate all those people. Actually glad they did the two double elims, so they could get the numbers down. I assume with seven left, they'll get to individual challenges now.

                                                                                    2. I'm sad that Marcel seems to have turned out to be what people on the show have described all along. I've defended him before when he was previously on (I think he took undue abuse) but now I think no longer will I miss whatever it is he brought to TCAS's. He became boring and foul.

                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                        some thoughts.

                                                                                        Marcel and others don't work well together. Maybe it's because this is a competition since I've never heard that Marcel can't work with others in a professional environment. (This is not a professional environment, it's a contest for fame and money.)

                                                                                        Marcel's teammates may have sabotaged him. At JT, everyone was roundly criticized. Did they all suck at the same time or did they intentionally not work very hard? Mike I. was called out for sandbagging, and there's no way to know whether he did or not.

                                                                                        Marcel is stuck on foam. His team knows he's got this foam addiction and tried to intervene without any success. This tells me Marcel is stubborn, arrogant and not a team player.

                                                                                        Marcel cannot physically make others do what he wants. Blaming the captain is absurd when he didn't choose to be a captain and he realistically can't compel nor punish anyone.

                                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                          Blaming the captain is absurd when he didn't choose to be a captain and he realistically can't compel nor punish anyone.
                                                                                          he may not have chosen to be "captain," but he did choose his team. then again, i don't think he would have fared any better trying to lead the other team because it appears that none of his fellow chefs really respect him...and that's his own fault. regardless, he didn't go home *just* because he was the EC, he went home because he was a crappy leader AND because he served two crappy, foam-topped dishes.

                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                              "he went home because he was a crappy leader AND because he served two crappy, foam-topped dishes."

                                                                                              yep, right on GHG

                                                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                              Both Bourdain and Colicchio's blogs point out that Marcel's downfall is his lack of self-awareness. I've worked under bosses who say "I'm the boss, so do things my way." Not nearly as inspiring or effective as bosses who have earned my respect, listen to my input, recognize my strengths and try to pull my best out.

                                                                                              If Marcel were more self-aware...he wouldn't have been "honored" that Dale chose him as the opposing team's EC. He could have recognized that EC's are in the cross-hairs in RW, and deferred to Angelo (for example) as someone the others would rally behind easier. (If Angelo had been in charge of that train wreck, even if it was still a train wreck, he would have been more engaged for one, and then he would have been accused of sabotage (as usual ;-) and Marcel might have gotten rid of everyone's biggest competition.) Dale and Richard worked together, really, as leaders of Bodega -- Dale recognized everyone's strengths -- Richard's "technical consulting," Fabio's FOH, etc.

                                                                                              As for Marcel's food, he reminded me of why Richard and the Volts were so enlightening (for me) in the area of MG. Marcel may have helped get it into the popular vernacular, but the other guys "get" it -- they use it to enhance flavors, not to show off techniques.

                                                                                              1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                When I saw that Dale chose Marcel, I thought he was being very clever. It looked to me as if Dale was setting Marcel up. After all, since the ECs are in the crosshairs, as you say, Dale had immunity and he was never going to have to PYKAG even if Bodega failed. It was extremely Machiavellian to me.

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Dale even said he was picking Marcel because he didn't work well with him. Whether that was a set-up or not is anyone's guess, at this point. Now, had Marcel known himself better and been a more humble person (yeah, I can't see THAT ever happening either!), he would have asked Angelo or Mike to do the leading/planning so he could concentrate on cooking.

                                                                                                  1. re: phee

                                                                                                    Yes, but what Dale said and what he really meant to do could be two very different things!

                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    I would expect him to chose as leader of the other team whomever he saw as being the least effective leader, and clearly, that was Marcel. Honestly, it seemed more like an obvious choice than a clever one, to me. This is a competition after all.

                                                                                                  3. re: momjamin

                                                                                                    "...and then he would have been accused of sabotage (as usual ;-)"
                                                                                                    Indeed. Which, to me, is at least one reason why he didn't "step up" to take charge. Colicchio faulted him for not doing so, yet he saw fit to question Angelo's motives when he added his efforts to Spike's and Tre's dishes in that Tennis episode, even openly asking Tiffany at JT if he (Angelo) had sabotaged others. (Dear Colicchio, you can't have it both ways.)

                                                                                                    ETA: Angelo did intervene at times, stepping between Marcel and Mike, taking over finishing off Tiffany's dish, trying to support Marcel, etc. Colicchio did not see all that, at least on JT (although he presumably saw all that on viewing the broadcast yet made no comments in his blog compensating for his misguided faulting of Angelo for not taking over)

                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                      "Blaming the captain is absurd when he didn't choose to be a captain and he realistically can't compel nor punish anyone."
                                                                                                      Well, when he was nominated by Dale to be the opposing captain he seemed to utterly RELISH the idea and the appointment. He was visibly hopping up and down and smirking in delight, even smacking his lips [that was disgusting] when starting to choose "His" team. In fact, the tics he demonstrated to me were reminiscent of Seth in that ice-cream QF challenge in TC:JD.

                                                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                        I agree that not everyone is not cut out to be a captain, and not being able to lead a team doesn't mean that you're not a talented cook. But to be a "Top Chef" it seems like you should be able to lead a team.

                                                                                                    2. Various thoughts:

                                                                                                      I loved the quickfire this week. I always dig technical competitions like breaking down fish, and then the surprise element - use the waste parts - was a very clever way of testing what I feel is the most noble of chefly skills - making something great out of very little. Big thumbs up.

                                                                                                      As opposed to the judges, I didn't get the impression that Angelo hid in his team. His edit made it seem like he tried his best to keep the others from falling apart. I was surprised by how competent he came across - he looked like he would have made a good leader. Antonia, by comparison, was totally keeping her head down. In reality, as a team member (not designated leader), there's only so much you can do when everyone else is hell bent on self destruction.

                                                                                                      Likewise, I also thought that Marcel tried to step up as leader, and did so often. Unfortunately, he was terrible at it. He barked orders and made demands like he could fire his team members if they didn't obey. That's the difference between Top Chef and a real kitchen. That cold, disciplinarian style leadership is questionable in the first place and doesn't work at all when there are no real consequences for disobeying.

                                                                                                      There was an absolutely great shot of Tom's face as he was about to eat a spoonful of Marcel's latest foam laden dish. So bemused, and wary, and utterly resigned all at the same time. When I was a child of maybe 11, my grandmother had me and my younger brothers dress up for a professional photo wearing the lamest of matching sailor suits - the look on my face in that photo (still hanging forlornly on my grandma's wall among pictures of cats that have been dead for 40 years) was the same expression I saw Tom make for that shot. I hope someone else caught it.

                                                                                                      Linda, thanks for posting after a tough day. You're an ass-kicking rockstar, in the style of Fabio and Carla - no stitches for you. Hope tomorrow is better.

                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                        Linda, thanks for posting after a tough day. You're an ass-kicking rockstar, in the style of Fabio and Carla - no stitches for you. Hope tomorrow is better.
                                                                                                        amen to that!

                                                                                                        and yes, i did catch the look on Tom's face, and it was priceless :)

                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                          I really enjoyed this episode!! I love how Blais feaks out for every challenge. That is a kindred spirit.. .

                                                                                                          I am surprised that no on has discussed Chef Ludo being the guest judge, especially with his infamous "showings" on both Top Chef All Stars.

                                                                                                          He is perfect for judging pop-ups, though. Ludobites is a GREAT pop-up! And, he loves the presentation of food, so I knew that Bodega would win points.

                                                                                                          1. re: SouthernFoodie08

                                                                                                            I thought Ludo did a great job. His attitude in TCM left me ambivalent about him, but it was priceless when they asked Angelo what his crudo had to do with Mediterranean, and he tried to say that peppercorns were grown in the south of France. Ludo's heavily accented "Not really" left no room for argument!

                                                                                                        2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                          "Likewise, I also thought that Marcel tried to step up as leader, and did so often. Unfortunately, he was terrible at it. He barked orders and made demands like he could fire his team members if they didn't obey. That's the difference between Top Chef and a real kitchen. That cold, disciplinarian style leadership is questionable in the first place and doesn't work at all when there are no real consequences for disobeying."

                                                                                                          Possibly the best insight I've read on the sad, sad topic of Marcel. Nice work!!

                                                                                                          1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                            +1 on this. It occurred to me during while watching that had Marcel been leading subordinates who respected him he might have pulled together agood event? Maybe. He has knowledge and ideas and knows that you need to provide direction. Leading people who are equal or better than him, who have no respect takes much greater self awareness and humility than you can find in an Everest sized pile of Marcel foam.


                                                                                                          2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                            Aww, thanks cowboy and everyone. :-) Today will be rough again, but once I get past it, I'm hoping the weekend is better.

                                                                                                            As for Tom C's face...in addition to that, when Team Etch was up in front of the judges, he looked at Marcel and said "Marcel...foam again? REALLY?" The comment goes right along with his utterly resigned face.

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              btw, Linda, I just wanted to thank you for your great synopsis every week. I feel asleep on the couch right after the episode was over, and then woke up around midnight. Even so, before I went to bed I booted up my computer so I could read what you had to say about Marcel leaving :-)

                                                                                                              1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                LOL Janet! Transparent about Marcel, aren't I? ;-)

                                                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              Linda, thanks for posting after a tough day. You're an ass-kicking rockstar, in the style of Fabio and Carla - no stitches for you. Hope tomorrow is better.

                                                                                                              hell... +1000. :)

                                                                                                            3. GREAT episode. Loved the QF, loved the EC. I wish Bodega was in my neighborhood - I would go all the time.

                                                                                                              Note to Marcel: If you have to TELL people that you're likable, you're probably not.

                                                                                                              1. *think* next week (January 26th) is actually a repeat, according to TV Guide, so this new episode won't be until February 2nd."

                                                                                                                Wish it were a new episode, but you deserve a break! Hope tomorrow is a better day!

                                                                                                                1. Linda, despite your terrible day, you've done it again - a great job - and we all really appreciate it.

                                                                                                                  I was worried about Tiffany - the editing and comments made it seem that the judges really, really hated her asthe FOH person. And her dish sounded horrible, really. But in the end, neither were as bad as not being able to lead a kitchen of very talented, experienced chefs, and of making two out-of touch dishes.

                                                                                                                  I, too, give credit to Angelo for standing behind Marcel when he felt Mike was in the wrong. Angelo just seemed like he was trying to keep it all together for the sake of the team. When Tom asked who should have taken over leadership, no one spoke, but I think Angelo was kicking himself for not doing so. But he was not wrong to do so in this instance, as it's a
                                                                                                                  competition, and he might have been in Marcel's position if he had taken over and failed as miserably as Marcel did.

                                                                                                                  It really is going to get tough now - they are all so talented. Carla probably has the least amount of experience/chops, but she continues to surprise. Dale keeps topping himself, I'm glad to see him doing well. And I'm hoping Richard gets his confidence back and shoots ahead as the star he is.

                                                                                                                  Thanks again Linda, and I hope you have a peaceful night and feel a bit better tomorrow. thinkin' boutcha.

                                                                                                                  1. One thing i missed - how did it get decided that Marcel and Dale got to pick teams for the EC? I mean, I expected Dale would pick one, as winner of the QF, but why Marcel, why not Richard or Mike?

                                                                                                                    ETA - oh wait, just read Bourdain's blog - Dale got to choose who the other team captain would be, and he, smartly, picked Marcel so he wouldn't have to work with him!

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                      Dale got to pick who would be the other team captain, so he picked Marcel to ensure that he wouldn't have to be on the same team with him. Very smart.

                                                                                                                      1. re: aching

                                                                                                                        And very characteristic of Marcel to misunderstand Dale's choice. Marcel's voice over was delusional.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                          That's the word I always use to describe him. He's completely out of touch with what people really think of him. It's actually kind of troubling.

                                                                                                                    2. I have a question. I know the diners picked the winning and losing teams, but did the judges pick the ultimate loser, Marcel? I worked really late tonight, and did not catch everything on the show, nor in the comments.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                        Yes, the judges picked Marcel to go home.

                                                                                                                      2. Did anyone else notice that Marcel doesn't seem to know what 'diabolical' actually means? (Re Marcel's exit interview).

                                                                                                                        I would bet the only time Marcel has seen the word used was on Scooby Doo and Batman when he was describing the Penguin.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. Just so everyone's not wondering what the hell is going on, I had to say goodbye to my cat, Jaspurr, last night - he had lymphoma cancer and failed very quickly (over the past few months he lost about 5 lbs.). This happened only 5 months after saying goodbye to Scooter back in late July. Total suckage to lose both so soon after one another.

                                                                                                                          As I said last night - having mindless American Idol followed by a stellar Top Chef episode helped me make it through the evening, rather than dissolving into a puddle of blubbering mess.

                                                                                                                          So thank you for all of your thoughts. I *will* get through this. And will eventually get another cat (or two!). It's the first time in 25 years I haven't had a cat in my house to greet me when I get home. And I don't like it. So sooner rather than later is likely to happen.

                                                                                                                          But let's keep this on Top Chef vs. me, the cat lady. :-)

                                                                                                                          21 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Oh no - so sorry Linda.. I am a cat woman myself so I do understand. Please be strong.

                                                                                                                            I'm sure you know how many cats need a home, so I am sure you will soon find another loving companion....and a new personality to get to know..

                                                                                                                            Anyway Good episode tonight....
                                                                                                                            I quickly read through the posts, and surprised no one mentioned MY favorite line of the night - Mike I saying: "Marcel can be a dick sometimes"

                                                                                                                            But, in the end, I still feel bad for Marcel, I feel like he just doesnt know how to act, but deep down he is a nice guy, and he does have a great passion for what he does, and I would like to taste his food....
                                                                                                                            I kind of feel bad he's gone, I was hoping he would somehow redeem himeself to everyone.

                                                                                                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                              I think Marcel is well-intentioned, but socially awkward. Totally hypothesizing here, but I think he may have issues with alcohol which makes him act like a complete ass. He's been arrested for drunk driving. His pathetic psuedo-rap last week happened with him taking swigs from a gin bottle. Tiffani has stated in an interview that when Marcel is jittery he's probably drinking -- and he seems jittery quite often.

                                                                                                                              Linda, my condolences for your loss. I think it's amazing that you're able to do what you did under those circumstances.

                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              My condolences, Linda. You'll never replace Jaspurr ( cute name!) but I know you will find another cat (or two) to love and love you back!

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                Was Jaspurr ...white... by any chance? Condolences, and thanks for recapping.

                                                                                                                                (I've got a friend at http://www.billericacatcarecoalition.... when you're ready.)

                                                                                                                                1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                  Jass was a Tuxedo cat - white and black, with a little black moustache like a certain German dictator from about 70 years back. When he lay down and curled his paws in, he looked (and was called such!) like a big black meatloaf. (Food reference, Mods - and I promise it's the last comment I'll make about Jaspurr!)

                                                                                                                                  And thanks for the link - always willing to check sites out (usually go to a place in Salisbury up near my Mom's, but this is close as well - thanks so much!)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    I am so sorry about Jass and wish you all the best in a difficult time. I am absolutely staggered and impressed that you've been able to function. I had a tuxedo girl who was not a kitler, although she did wear quite the go-go boots and she also curled into meatoaf. Also, she loved buttered toast, popcorn, and was so crazy for Pounce that she'd rip my flate apart in a binge frenzy. Sorry to move into my own memories, but I hope it won't be long before remembering Jass doesn't hurt too much.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      Sorry to hear about Jass. I inherited the family cat when my parents made a big move when I was 25. When he got quite ill, I had to have him put to sleep. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. The cat was 20 1/2 years old, almost as old as I was. To make it food related, Gray loved ice cream. One time when my mother brought out an ice cream bucket to the kitchen table he saw it and came running, jumped on the chair to get his little bowl except that it was potato salad and not ice cream. My mother felt bad and got him some anyway.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                        My mother felt bad and got him some anyway.
                                                                                                                                        They're worse than kids sometimes the way they pull at the heartstrings. ;-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                          that made me laugh out loud! great story. they ARE amazing, aren't they.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      Oh Linda. just reading that made me cry again, and it's been almost 3 years since Julia Child Kitty went to Kitty Heaven. Still haven't gotten another. She's irreplaceable.

                                                                                                                                      Sending you hugs.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        Sorry for your loss, Linda. I know exactly how you feel, having been there.

                                                                                                                                        Nice recap of TC:AS as usual, especially under the circumstances.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          So sorry, Linda. I too am a cat lady, and it is heartbreaking when it's a pet's time to go. You have my sympathies.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            oh Linda honey, i'm so sorry! i've been there, and i was MESS...i honestly don't know how you did the recap AT ALL last night, let alone such a terrific one. you amaze me, woman. sending you hugs & healing thoughts, and hoping a new feline friend finds his or her way to you when the time is right.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              Very sorry to hear that have been through the samething myself.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                So sorry Linda. Last July 5th (yes, I remember the date, it was that traumatic) I had to put my 21 year old Alfreda (aka Fraidy Cat) down. Such a hard, but humane, choice.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  So sorry about your cats, Linda. I lost my 16-year-old and within a month my 19-year-old about this time last year, and it truly hurts--though I have a third who I must say is now much happier without competition from the "alpha" Schatzi (I described her as affectionate, jealous, and demanding). It leaves a hole in your life--so tough their lifespans are so much shorter than ours. Here's to the next feline soul you will be giving a home to, though.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    Oh Linda...I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. A dear friend of mine lost her favorite feline about a year ago and finally found a new friend at the local Humane Society last week. This one is just the cutest terror ever, and I think my friend smiled her first real smile since her last cat got sick. Just wanted you to know that you too will love again. :o)

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks so much for your hard work and dedication. I really do look forward to your synopsis as much as I do for the actual show. Hugs!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Linda, I am so sorry. There is nothing harder than saying good-by to a beloved pet. And we forget that we almost always outlive them. Thank you to digging in and providing us with your wonderful synopsis.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        Oh no Linda. So sorry for your loss.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          Linda I'm so sorry! That is so sad. Thanks for taking the time to keep posting.
                                                                                                                                                          I'm also a cat lover and I know how hard it is to lose one...:( My condolences.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            Ohhhh, nooo, just saw this. I have a Jaspur with one R, and have had to say goodbye in the past two two elderly cats a month apart. So sorry, I know how weird home feels when they're gone.
                                                                                                                                                            I love your recaps, too, so thanks from me, too.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm sorry to hear about your babies, Linda. I know it's especially hard to ease their pain to end a terminal illness. But you did the right thing. Time will heal.

                                                                                                                                                            As for the epi- I was in love with the bacon egg and cheese. Who was that stupid detractor diner- eww, it's just eggs and bacon, too simple. What a ma-roon!

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: julietg

                                                                                                                                                              "Who was that stupid detractor diner- eww, it's just eggs and bacon, too simple."
                                                                                                                                                              Was he also the guy who said that it should be a brunch item? Sigh. I wish more people could get past the fixation on certain kinds of food being suitable only for breakfast or dinner or whatever and not for any other...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                "Sigh. I wish more people could get past the fixation on certain kinds of food being suitable only for breakfast or dinner or whatever and not for any other..."
                                                                                                                                                                yes! (i can't believe how much you & i are agreeing this week.) fortunately not all of the diners were as close-minded. that was really the biggest risk in terms of the Bodega concept - there's always a chance that the customers won't "get it" or don't appreciate your vision. but really, haven't we ALL had cereal for dinner at some point in our lives? :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                  I love cereal for dinner. Or scrambled eggs and bacon and toast. Or pancakes. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    And a bacon egg and cheese is my fav at 3am or 3pm!

                                                                                                                                                                    see? I'm in love


                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      Certain "breakfast" foods I actually prefer at lunch or dinner. I'm not ready for a heavy omelet or pancakes in the morning, but for lunch or dinner they're perfect. Eggs with bacon or scrapple are fine for breakfast, but really make a great, fast dinner as well.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I love how Bourdain asked Marcel - Why foam....Why now???
                                                                                                                                                                  I must have a shirt with that blazened across the front.

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bookwormchef

                                                                                                                                                                    Was it Bourdain who said that (it *would* make sense that he would say it!)? I thought it was Tom Colicchio who said it, thinking it went with the resigned look on his face when he had the plate put in front of him. I'll see it again tonight in the OnDemand repeat.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      If I'm not mistaken, Bourdain makes this comment at Judges' Table.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: bookwormchef

                                                                                                                                                                      yes! nomination for reunion show t-shirt quote.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bookwormchef

                                                                                                                                                                          His blog was a riot, too:

                                                                                                                                                                          "a mushily textured monkfish from Marcel that suicidally included -- yet again- - FOAM (!!!) ...and the death blow: the final insult, a "reverse "amuse" dessert from Marcel that (wait for it…) included, yes… more FOAM. Served on a ludicrous bed of smoking dry ice. A "duo of peaches" with coconut "powder" and foam... on dry ice. Has foam ever worked on Top Chef? More to the point, has it ever worked for Marcel? Did it, in any way, make anything better? Marcel seems incapable of asking himself these questions and rushed to the gallows, fiddling with the instrument of his execution to the detriment of service. "

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I may be the only one, but: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. I wish it was Tiffany (even though I like her).

                                                                                                                                                                          Linda, sorry to hear about your kitties. So very sad.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Thanks for the recap, Linda. I'll skip over the inane personal attacks on everyone's favorite whipping boy from the thread....

                                                                                                                                                                            I think it was pretty clear that Marcel was hosed by his team and his ego.

                                                                                                                                                                            From jump, we got to see him trying to lead and get people to work together making the menu. He was run over and ignored in those discussions. Dale played it perfectly putting him in as the EC. (Who didn't see that coming?) He's not a natural leader, and it's clear his personal relationships weren't of any help.

                                                                                                                                                                            To the earlier points about the team, I think it would have been interesting to see him shuffle Mike off the line after his comment. I'm pretty ambivalent about Angelo, but I thought his comments about sending Mike home at that were spot on. But Marcel doesn't have the authority in the challenge, I suspect, nor the presence of mind to pull it off.

                                                                                                                                                                            His food, though, was all about ego. Loved Bourdain's foam comment. I had to pause it because I was laughing so hard. We need more of him. The food was a wreck, just like the team overall. I half thought Tiff might go, but I think the right choice was made. Team leaders in RW get hung out to dry, and with Dale having immunity, Marcel was most likely to go from the start.

                                                                                                                                                                            Loved the Blais won, and thought he fully deserved it. I've been surprised that he hasn't been stronger this year, and hopefully this will get him back on track. His McD's riff was priceless.

                                                                                                                                                                            27 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                              How about Marcel cutting off Tom C. when he checked in with the team? He really does speak without thinking....or he just likes being a jerk.

                                                                                                                                                                              And Dale was right on about Fabio being a "draft pick steal"....no one does front of the house like him!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                I know it has been stated earlier but I think it bears repeating that Dale played RW perfectly in every way to his advantage. I have new respect for him - he is quiet and not a showboater, but very very sly and much smarter than he lets on. I also have alot of respect for him just getting up and walking away from Marcels apparently drunken rant at him. Looks like he didn't get mad, just got even.

                                                                                                                                                                                Don't forget that Marcels scapegoat tendency has backfired on at least one chef in the past.

                                                                                                                                                                                In addition, it seemed clear that he was able to be an effective leader in comarison to Marcel. He was for the most part able to use his team members strengths to the team advantage
                                                                                                                                                                                (Fabio as FOH, CArla on dessert, etc.) and keep the focus off of himself. The only exception was the hoohah with the servers, but all things considered - a big difference in leadership.

                                                                                                                                                                                I also thought Fabio was fabb-o, especially compared to the other team FOH. He really seemed to know what he was doing and seemed very professional. Maybe he and Blais will continue their bromance post TCA and open a restaurant together.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LJNew

                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree--Dale played his hand brilliantly. And, Marcel still doesn't know what hit him.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I loved Fabio in the FOH. It goes tos how that it's not the kiss of death. And smart of Dale to see that he would do great.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LJNew

                                                                                                                                                                                    After the past few episodes, I now think Dale is a contender to win the whole thing. Also Blaise and maybe Angelo. Carla may be a dark horse as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                    Agree with BOTH comments, lawgirl. Marcel was a tool to Chef Colicchio. I do think he just blurts things out without thinking. His social skills are virtually nil. Bet his 2nd grade report card had the notation "Does Not Play Well With Others." :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    I grinned at Dale's "draft pick steal" comment - spot on.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                      Fabio gives a bunch more detail on his role in his blog today: http://fabioviviani.com/blog/fabio-on... --I love how his writing is exactly like how he talks!
                                                                                                                                                                                      He also breaks the news that it's over with Stefan, because of his new bromance with Richard.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                        SERIOUSLY funny! I love this paragraph:

                                                                                                                                                                                        "As we are working a busy kitchen Marcel send Tom Colicchio at Bay, Tom is not happy about it and he get all weird out, I’m introducing myself to my server, front of the house is as important as the food and I like to run my restaurants with a very tight organization, everything is perfectly organized, i run a tight ship, frog’s ass tight."


                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                          Best line:

                                                                                                                                                                                          "At the end the team ETCH is sending out a plate that smoke, I bet Bourdain and some other diners would’ve prefer a bag of weed, at this point I think ill pick that one too instead of Marcel dessert !! I’m kidding, please don’t use drugs, an awful dessert is still better than any good drugs…."

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                            I totally forgot about the banana and Nutella combo. Blais is spot on with that. The only thing I've had better is a Nutella and PB sandwich. Wicked good.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, thanks for that link. Fabio has a way with words - "We WON !!!! Fabio take the Princess-Service-Front-Of-The-House Home as I’m producing also a kick ass dessert as well, all the rest of the dishes are complimented the whole time at Judges Table !! "

                                                                                                                                                                                              And the little Blais love pictures - too funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                                oh god oh god oh god, there isn't ONE SENTENCE in that blog that isn't funny as shit. every line is a GEM! ". . . witness him clean fish is like to witness a pianist play a symphony for his own mother, my eyes got teared."

                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks so much for posting that link!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fabio's twitter feed is pretty entertaining, too: http://twitter.com/#!/fabioviviani
                                                                                                                                                                                                  In fact he just posted:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Who eats alone choke alone its an italian proverb that should be inspiring for always look for someone to share your meal with... ;-))"

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That blog is freaking hilarious. Better than the show itself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agree with cowboy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bet Bourdain and some other diners would’ve prefer a bag of weed, at this point I think ill pick that one too instead of Marcel dessert !! I’m kidding, please don’t use drugs, an awful dessert is still better than any good drugs…

                                                                                                                                                                                                  hahahahahahaha good belly laugh

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AdamD

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe a nice bag of weed would have helped Marcel. His dessert may have tasted great then and the foam would have been THE COOLEST THING EVER!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                      doubt it
                                                                                                                                                                                                      bourdain nailed it
                                                                                                                                                                                                      the bodega had the stoner food dialed in

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I finally had a chance to read that--thanks for posting it. He's really funny. I love that he gives credit to all the chefs who do well, and that he tells Blais to chill. So true,

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Nettie

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm LOVING the interaction between Fabio and Richard - they are hilarious together!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me too. It looks like they really like each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: lawgirl3278

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Am I the only one who thought his "I don't mean to be rude but I have to get working or be stuck in the weeds" (or words to that effect) wasn't lame at all? The team was a mess and the more he shot the shit with Tom, the worse things were gonna get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As viewers, we have no way of knowing how long Tom had been there, but it seemed like it was just a few seconds, and from what we saw, it wasn't small talk - when Tom visits during prep, he often gives advice that, when not followed, comes up again at Judge's Table. If it was me, I'd be all ears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                          True. But I've actually wondered about this before, they're always rushing to get things done and Tom comes in which often must be hard to make time for. I feel like Marcel just didn't have time for him (besides a brief hey, we're screwed).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one other chef do that in the past. Here, fix an entire nine course feast for 500 in 20 minutes, and by the way, let's chat about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                            No. When Tom visits he chats a decent amount, always gives thoughts/advice, but we are only shown that when it turns out to have some impact later on -- i.e. the producers/editors build in those moments when they have a payoff later in the episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In this case, it was used more to continue the "Marcel is a terrible leader/chef/person [your choice]" story arc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was ok with it. Surprised it doesn't happen more, actually. The editing did make it look like he hung around a bit with Marcel, but then breezed past the other team. I'm guessing that wasn't the case, and he spent about the same with each. But who knows?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't think it was rude, either, and don't think Tom took it that way either. I think he said something like, "I'm already stuck in the weeds..." Tom seemed to smile understandingly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I seem to remember Tom being somewhat apologetic during his sniff-and-sneer rounds when he can tell someone's in the weeds. He's sensitive to that and probably wouldn't take Marcel's dismissal personally. (I didn't think Marcel's request was uncalled for.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Some random thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          - How obnoxious of Marcel to tell Tiffany how to boil and crack eggs. If I were Tiffany I would've shot back something like, "This how is you make foam ..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Is it me, or does it seem like Angelo is making the SAME crudo dish every episode now? I swear that crudo dish he served last night at Etch was something he plated during the QF with Tom C., and on the finale of Season 7 in Singapore

                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Why subtitles for Justo but not for Ludo?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Does anyone else think at octopus and pork belly is an odd combo? Not exactly an appealing Surf N Turf combo, but maybe that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          - I wanted Fabio to make dessert gnocchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks again Linda for the recap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mmmm. I'm thinking about how awesome dessert gnocchi would be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've seen seafood and pork combinations in southern Spanish cooking a lot. I've heard that it dates from the times of the Spanish Inquisition, when Jews and Muslims were driven underground, and dishes with both pork and seafood became popular as a way to prove how Christian you were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I actually loved the sound of the pork belly and octopus!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              But then I love both anyway, but the dish sounded very tasty to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                totally agree - kind of like mussels and chorizo - kind of a classic combo, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i forgot about egg-peeling 101. i wonder if in his next interview Marcel will mention that Tiffany was oh-so-grateful for teaching her?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Angelo makes crudo even when he's specifically instructed not to. he bores me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i wondered about the subtitles too - they did it for TCM, and his accent isn't any less thick now than it was then!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i like the pork belly/octopus combo a lot. it makes total sense to me - octopus is so lean that it would really balance the fattiness of the pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL on the dessert gnocchi...i think at this point even Fabio realizes he can't get away with another gnocchi or pasta dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What WAS the deal with those eggs? I assume they were too soft; Where the yolks then embedded in a sugar/salt mixture? When I saw the peaches in the desert, I thought THOSE were the eggs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - How obnoxious of Marcel to tell Tiffany how to boil and crack eggs. If I were Tiffany I would've shot back something like, "This how is you make foam ..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Might have been more effective if she had actually done the eggs correctly. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, but I don't believe he knew that there was a problem with the eggs at the time that he told Tiffany how to boil and crack eggs. He would have had to have had x-ray vision at that point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There was something about this whole sequence that was wierd. He shouldn't have had to tell her how to cook an egg, but as it turned out he did. She butchered that dish. I am no Marcel fan, but I am begining to think they may have sabotaged him. She did have a comment that if he had let her cook the egg the way she wanted to it would have been fine, but who knows with editing where that came from or what it was about.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marcel, from what I recall, was not telling Tiffany how to prepare a 6 minute egg, but just how to peel them by running them in cold water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Totally agree, just found it ironic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marcel shouldn't give advice when he has trouble cooking his own food. That is one thing that bugs me about Interview/blog below. He doesn't think he went home because his food was bad. He believes he went home ONLY because he was a bad leader.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JonDough

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or rather, not that he was a bad leader, but that he picked a bad team. "I definitely made some flaws in the Elimination challenge, but I think my biggest flaw, as I said, was choosing my team. The fact that nobody would listen to my concepts or me, as the team leader, totally sucked."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, let's think about it. Given the 8 people he had to choose from, let's say his only criteria should have been "choose someone who will support my leadership." How different would his choices have been? Angelo, Tiffany, and Antonia are relatively mild-mannered and don't get in anyone's face. (Richard also non-confrontational, but they were in the bottom together last week.) Marcel thought Mike was his buddy and was surprised when he wasn't completely behind him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you had braised pork belly in soy sauce w/ cuttlefish or squid w/ boiled eggs? I love that dish. I thought octopus and pork belly would be along the same lines. Pork belly makes everything better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gotta go with chowser on this one...When done correctly, pork belly and octopus go together like peas and carrots. There are a couple restos here in Seattle that serve Octopus/pork belly diishes, but they didn't look as anemic as the one on this episode...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              By the way, I found this great blog post by one of the actual diners of this restaurant wars.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks. Great blog entry from a voting diner. The thoughts of the blog author seems to mostly match the episode edit. It was nice where the impressions differed with the judges. And it was extra interesting it seems it was one of those who voted for ETCH (restauarnant Marcel).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with dach - GREAT blog by a voting diner. Loved this line:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Marcel's Roasted Monkfish-I remember almost nothing about this dish other than after one bite I willingly passed it off to the other diners at my table. And of course it came with FOAM! When the plate was presented to us we all said "Must be Marcel's." Dude, you have totally played out the foam thing. Move on. Or pair it with Jamie's scallops."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tee hee! And it was this blogger who was the diner who commented about desserts being the kiss of death on TC's Restaurant Wars!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some the the recipes must have been tweaked between 1st and 2nd sittings. I noticed the diner's blog says they found, at first seating, Tiffany's runny egg salad as way too salty, to the point of inedible. When The judges tried ETCH at 2nd seating, they criticized the same Tiffany dish as nearly unsalted and underflavored!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting to guess what other on-the-fly recipe adjustments made between sittings. It should actually give the 2nd sitting restaurant an advantage, as far as judge's impressions, as they have time to get kinks out of their work-flow and flavors. Though in this case the 2nd restaurant judged was losing Etch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dach

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Salad greens are generally dressed and seasoned to order, not in huge batches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I thought this was the smoothest Restaurant Wars ever. Dale's team really came together & worked the challenge to their advantage. Fabio is a natural at the FOH, he is utterly charming, yet he directed the whole thing with ease. Richard as the technical advisor seemed to elevate the dishes to a new level. Dale played his cards well, especially choosing Marcel as the captain of the other team.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As for Marcel, I just wonder what goes on in his head? Is he really that delusional to "be honored" that Dale chose him? Dale was playing the game, and it obviously worked to his advantage. Marcel could have let Angelo or someone else lead the team, but his ego wouldn't let him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I loved the scene where Richard was eating Nutella & a banana. That's one of my favorite combos. Reading Fabio's blog, he mentioned making a sandwich, another favorite of mine is Nutella & banana on whole wheat. Looks like I'm in good company!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Side note: Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's very hard to lose a much loved member of the family. I'm sure you did the best you could for your kitties and now they are on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge waiting for you. I bet they are busy playing, chasing butterflies and being free of their pain. My O'Malley & Sasha will show them the way. :) Hang in there, sending big hugs your way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fabio at FOH was fantastic. Loved the kissing of the ladies' hands. :-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Didn't AB say that something to the effect that someone's food was "perfect stoner food, and I mean that in the best way." at JT?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am so glad Marcel is gone! And his interview was more "woe is me, everyone picks on me, I'm a nice guy, etc" Enough already!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Linda, I'm so sorry about your kitties! It really is like losing a member of the family. When you recover some, I hope you do get 2 new cats from a shelter or something. I got my current cat from a friend's brother who was going to take them all to the Humane Society. Now I regret that I only took one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for a wonderful recap! I came in to read it as soon as I finished watching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I believe AB said that to Dale. Had me laughing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: phee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that was an AWESOME line. and Dale's dish sounded soooo yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought his kissing the ladies' hands was a little too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. If you haven't already done so, go to Bravo and watch the music video montage of Marcel. ("Marcel + Auto-Tune = INSTANT CLASSIC")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Something I noticed last night was that neither Marcel or Dale chose Carla for their teams. As discussed last week, is this because the other chefs don't really see her as competition and see her as more of the underdog?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dorilou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I meant to say something about that too - not only was chosen last, but the judges said hardly anything about her dish (it was something like, "Your dish, like all the others, fit perfectly into the menu" - which is nice, but not the same as "Wow, that pie was amazing!"). She seemed to disappear this episode. She was such a strong competitor in her own season and has two EC wins under her belt this season - I wonder why she doesn't get more attention?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps she is being punished for being so visibly happy last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: dorilou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think she's an underdog. She's like the girl w/ the little curl. When she does well, she excels but too often, she fails miserably. And she fails miserably, as in the fish in the QF or the quinoa undonetay more often than she does really well. I like her but don't think she compares to the remaining chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When she was good, she was very very good; and when she was bad she was awful ;) (re the little girl)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              horrid, right? rhymes with forehead? My grandmother used to tell me that one when I was misbehaving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: julietg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How dis I get that wrong after hearing it so often growing up? You're right, of course, horrid (rhymes with forehead).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was remembering during this episode that there was a similar challenge with, I think, Eric Ripert to fillet fish during Carla's season (the QF that Stefan won by nailing the eel to the board in order to skin it). Carla did really badly on that one as well, and apologized to Ripert for the job she did with the anchovies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: dorilou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also noticed this. I suspect that she is having the same problem that she had during her original season. Her competitors think her food is too conceptually simple and therefore discount her as a rival. If Richard Blais is seen as innovative and cutting edge (and I think that's most of the reason for the Blais-love among), Carla is seen as the opposite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kahudson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And yet - her two winning dishes this season were very unusual and, judging from the recipes, appear to be very complex!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kahudson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  During her season I don't think she emerged as a contender until relatively late in the season. It seemed like she got a lot of comments for having really, really good sauces. It didn't sound to me like her food was simple, but more that she is grounded in classic French cooking and she's not terribly comfortable when she gets away from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow. I like him even less after reading this. He doesn't seem to take much responsibility for things here, other than picking the team. I love that he fails to bring up his horrendous dessert. He's only an asshole when it' warranted? So, the tirade thrown at Dale after dim sum was warranted? And the 60 of 80 diners at the tennis challenge responded to him about Angelo's win? That rings false to me. First, to think that 3/4 of them would have preferred his dish; that's a pretty high percentage. More surprising? That 3/4 would actually feel so strongly about it that they would go to him to comment. That seems quite unlikely to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In general, this post makes him seem even more childish and delusional than he did before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That blog is a very sad picture of someone totally delusional. No sense of himself or his impact on others. Leadership has nothing to do with people doing what you tell them to do. Leadership is inspiring people and moving them to go in a certain direction. Mike was certainly the most obvious example, but Marcel's team wouldn't have followed him into paradise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He is (in my husband's words) someone with a very small d***. He occurs for me as frightened, angry, defensive and combative. Nothing has shifted for him since his last season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He may not be "like that" in the rest of his life, but with the possible exception of Angelo in this episode, the reaction of other cheftestants to him has been pretty consistent. I hope he gets some help - and is willing to accept it,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I 'm with debbiel and chicgail. I can't get over how full of himself he is and how he thinks everyone else is childish. I love how he goes on about the great critiques he gave and how no one listened but he also didn't listen when EVERYONE constantly told him not to foam. That was one of his big downfalls. I'll take Dale's being "two faced" and okay to your face over his embarrassing tirade about the dimsum to Dale's face/ Overall, I think Tom Colicchio and Anthony Bourdain had the best descriptions of him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "I don’t need people to portray me in a light that damages my reputation. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, this interview will help that. He doesn't need fancy editing to show that he's a delusional jerk. ;-p

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tom and AB have met him and, I think, are well positioned to judge him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unless you have met him, you are not. Just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, they've met him. And their blogs say exactly what chowser, I, and many others have said about Marcel. Some pertinent points from Colicchio:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Some people have natural leadership ability –- they are simply people others wish to rally around. Marcel is not someone others wish to follow. He wants to get in your face, be controversial, and show how much he knows. Even at the onset, when he was ostensibly attempting to be conciliatory and listen to options, Marcel adopted a belligerent and off-putting tone with his teammates. And then he wanted to wow with his own dishes. Even there, though, he couldn’t get out of his own way. We’ve remarked on his foams throughout his time on Top Chef, effectively suggesting he give them a rest, but he just could leave them alone. They were the undoing of both of his dishes in Restaurant Wars."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And from Bourdain:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Dale, given the advantage of choosing the opposing team's captain, shrewdly (and at one stroke) rid himself of any possibility of having to work with his arch enemy -- and rolled a ticking time bomb straight into any team he might face by picking Marcel, notoriously the worst leader of the bunch, a man with truly awful -- some might say pathologically bad -- people skills."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "A chef is a leader. But a chef is also responsible for creating something that pleases. That makes people happy. Chefs, ultimately, are in the pleasure business -- not in the business of proving -- above all other things -- their unique brilliance. Marcel's seeming inability to understand that simplest of equations -- that his first responsibility is to make food that makes people happy, drove the final nail into his self constructed coffin. His equally destructive inability to understand or get along with or inspire others -- his obliviousness to the human factor -- made his elimination an easy decision. In the end, his team turned on him, joyously, a pack of gleeful attack dogs, finally let loose from their cage. Having poked them with a stick repeatedly, he handed them the key, rolled himself in meat juice for good measure, -- and let loose the dogs of war. This is a very skilled cook. Chef? Not judging from what we saw tonight."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom and Tony have met and judged him; the other chefs have lived with and worked with him. I'm willing to take everyone's screen personality with a grain of salt and nod to the editors. I'm historically exceptionally good at rationalizing other people's behavior in a positive light.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But consistently throughout Marcel's own season, this season, and a couple of specials, he has gotten everyone's hackles up, even low-key non-abrasive folks as far back as Sam in his own season. Even Harold in a S1vS2 special, within a few minutes of meeting him, was calling him to settle down and grow up. Boy doesn't give us much to work with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So what does it say, then, that Tom and AB have very similar assessments of Marcel as many of his detractors on this board? While there is plenty editing happening on the show, editors can't manufacture sound bites. Too often Marcel has said things that are arrogant in nature or delusional for it to simply be pure editing. At some point you have to recognize that he has trouble interacting with other people, thinks way more of his food than seemingly anybody else and is consistently portrayed with an abrasive attitude. Clever editing can only take it so far. Marcel is providing some of this himself. The opinions of the judges seem to back much of it up as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And in terms of being in a place to judge people, I seem to remember you going above and beyond the call of duty to call out Carla as classless and childish based on a couple scenes spread out over the course of one and a half seasons. You make the point that none of us can truly know what these people are like, but you go right ahead and dislike Carla (based on the show I assume) anyway. How is that different than someone disliking Marcel based on the show? Carla says and acts in a way that you do not like and that comes through in some way on the show. Heavily edited I might add. You judged Carla, why can chowser not judge Marcel similarly and based on an equal form of evidence?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think there is a big difference between saying "I don't like Marcel" and "Marcel was out of line in that situation" (which is the equivalent of what I've said about Carla) and "Marcel is a deluded egoist who needs professional help", which is the kind of thing being bandied about on these boards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dislike the guy. That's understandable. I'm not particularly fond of him either, although I'll admit to being amused by him. But that is a far cry from what's happening here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "My issue isn't with her food. I don't like her. I find her "charm" to be a bit manufactured and a lot over the top."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That was you. You actually said "I don't like her." Please don't pretend you are above the fray.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I repeat, while editing can do wonders to turn someone into a villain or a hero, the editors cannot put the actual words in the chefs mouths. Marcel has a long history of saying things that seem both arrogant and delusional, especially when compared to the accounts given to us by the other chefs and the judges. It's happened far too often for it to simply be a coincidence. I wouldn't go so far as to say he needs professional help, but I think there is something to the belief that he has an inflated sense of self.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe you didn't read my post fully. "I don't like her" is not "She is mentally defective and needs help," which is the kind of comment being made at times about Marcel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So thanks for proving my point. Now, go find a post where I've said something of the nature of the second post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And if you don't think editing can put words in their mouths...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Please don't pretend Marcel has an inflated sense of self. He has a long history, especially when compared to other chefs, of being above the fray."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All your words from above. Just edited.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm just sayin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very funny. You've just cut up multiple sentences and pasted them together. A far cry from even taking a sentence out of context, which is typically the editing style of reality shows. Marcel's words aren't taken from multiple conversations and pieced together to create an entirely new sentiment. His words are cut apart from their context and presented by themselves. That is not what you did above. And the negative opinion of Marcel is further bolstered by his interviews and blog posts after the fact, when the heat of the moment has long passed. Why do the apparent delusions and arrogance sometimes carry over if they are edited so heavily as to not be at all representative of him? Are the Bravo editors infiltrating every public mention of him to frame him?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't say you were accusing Carla of having mental problems, but you did imply that you were above making judgments of chefs based on their portrayal on the show. You are not above that; your opinion of Carla is evidence of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm just sayin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I cut up sentences from one post. Prove to me that they've not spliced sentences on the show. You can't. And I'm comfortable with the assumption they have. So I take it with a grain of salt, if not a salt lick. Is he the world's nicest guy? Not likely. Is he exactly as he is presented on the show? Not likely. Are any of them? Not likely. It's entertainment. It's not real, it's TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I didn't say you were accusing Carla of having mental problems, but you did imply that you were above making judgments of chefs based on their portrayal on the show. You are not above that; your opinion of Carla is evidence of that. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And my issue isn't that people don't like him, my issue is the implication that he has a mental problem. There are people in the country with real mental issues, and making these kinds of statements is ludicrous. Just get some perspective. That's all. Go ahead and dislike the guy. I'd be hard pressed to have interaction with him beyond watching TC. But let's not jump to personal attacks and diagnoses (which has happened repeatedly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hope you can see the difference in those two things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with you. In past threads I was one of those that over-analyzed Marcel but when reading your thread, I realize I was wrong to do so. We can dislike someone but even a trained doctor would not be able to make an accurate diagnosis from a TV show. Marcel can be an ass, that's enough diagnosis for me now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Really depends on how you define mental problem/illness. He deffinitely does not see himself the way others do. That is a form of self delusion and delusion is a mental problem/illness. How severe is his? Does it even rise to any kind of condition that would need treatment? Probably not. He's still delusional, even if it's only a little.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Repeated diagnoses? Where? I remember a few weeks ago someone suggested he had Asperger syndrome. Otherwise, I don't remember diagnoses. Of course, there are hundreds and hundreds of posts for this season, and I may be forgetting some or many.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, delusional. Several of us have suggested that he's delusional. That's not a mental illness. It's a characteristic. It can be a symptom of mental illness but it is not itself a mental illness. I would guess that most delusional people do not have a related mental illness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've actually worked in the mental health field though, and I would tell you that more often that not, being delusional is a symptom of something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd also point out that numerous times people have made comments to the effect that he has "issues," though they may not have known enough about mental disorder classifications to give names to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've worked closely to the mental health field. It may be that your experience and knowledge is leading you to a different interpretation of these words than what is common. Yes, delusion is a psychiatric term, but it also has a broader use. Delusions are not inherently pathological. In common use, delusions are simply false beliefs or opinions, sometimes of self, sometimes of other things. On Sunday, I was under the delusion that the Bears offense was good enough to beat Green Bay. Now, you could argue that the term should be used exclusively to refer its pathological meaning, that the broader use is offensive. But, I think it is inappropriate to assume that people meant it in that way (I certainly did not.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And issues? The connotation of that word is incredibly broad and it is not a psychiatric term. To suggest that folks are using it to imply that he has a mental illness is taking a big leap, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My personal opinion is that I don't even think he is delusional!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any more than any of us are!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  do i think my cooking is awesome? YES!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  does everyone that has eaten my food think it's awesome?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would like to think so.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But who knows what they think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of my best friends at work is a lovely guy, he has an amazing soul..
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But he frequently speaks to people in a condecending manner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  His reputation around the office is that he is an arrogant ass.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He refuses to believe this, he refuses to see how he speaks to people, and he thinks he is the nicest guy in the world.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is he delusional?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...actually maybe he is!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, but I don't think Marcel is delusional, he is just putting up defense mechanisims.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Defense mechanism" Is a good description of how delusions operate. Also there is a difference between thinking your cooking is awesome and refusing to believe or understand why someone else might not think so. The first is good, healthy self esteem, the second is...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Marcel doesn't just believe his cooking is good, that's not at issue here. Of course he believes that. If he didn't he would never have been on Top Chef in the first place. The problem many have with Marcel (and where the delusional comments come from) is that he seems to believe he is incapable of making mistakes. Even when the judges clearly tell him what is wrong with a dish, he seems unable to accept that as a possibility. There is a difference between liking your own work and possessing an unwillingness to take criticism to heart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As apparent in his final comments as he left the show the his ONLY mistake was in picking the wrong team mates. Even Tom and Anthony took him to task for that. If you're not willing to admit errors, you're not wiling to learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, but we have seen many chef's who get the boot who have reacted the same way - Jen, Elia and Casey immediately come to mind, and there are loads of others from past seasons, so your point is moot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes others have felt there dish was not the worst and that the judges got it wrong. Of the ones you mention only Elia approaches Marcel's level of cluelessness. And while the others have on occasion felt there dishes were better than the judges thought, Marcel always feels that way.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JuniorBalloon



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Not even close to the Fuc**ing bottom...Not even close!!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can you imagine if Marcel had been screaming that when he got the boot?!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Holy smokes - he would have been crucified here!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes Jen did that....one time. Marcel is a repeat offender. In Jen's reponse in an interview afterwards she admitted she was out of line. Marcel? Not so much.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's exactly the type of thing most people would expect him to say. It was unexpected from Jen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes - my point exactly!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    People "expect" Marcel to say things like that, when in fact - he has never said anything of the kind!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      well, people don't have expectations in a vacuum. It is expected and he pays off. there are more people on this thread who think Marcel is a not-pleasant person, and they're not just following some group mentality mindset. We have eyes and ears, we can all judge for ourselves from the behavior we've actually seen and have expectations from that. you and a few others have come to a different conclusion, but that doesn't invalidate what most people believe about what they've seen of his behavior. come clean, now, are you really his mom in real life? ( : just kidding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gastrotect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds like "beast of the kitchen" Kenny, from last season. Another one who could not take any criticism without disbelief or being personally offended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Someone also suggested that he had Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I can't remember which.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We are all making judgements based on what we've seen on TV, read on the blogs, etc. None of us were there and yet every week, there are hundreds of posts about the show. Maybe I should rephrase that and say he seems to be a delusional jerk and it's not just the editing on TV since he comes off that way in his interviews, too. Honestly, you've posted your opinions all over these threads and weren't there to judge either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't disagree heis full of himself, but no more than most of the chefs we have seen on TC. I believe the intense dislike for him is incredinbly over the top - and very mean spirited.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The abuse Marcel is receiving might be a bit over-the-top and mean spirited but it is mostly based on facts. "...no more than most chefs..." You don't really believe that, do you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yes, I do!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never saw him be mean spirited - just a bit dicky, and socially awkward, which IMO is sad and nothing to pick on someone about...maybe that's just me, I always feel bad for those who don't seem to know how to act, and end up getting picked on as it only serves to worsen the situation. Insecurity can make people behave in the exact opposite manner - his defense is to be arrogant and cocky.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And, ALL of the chefs are cocky - they have to be.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              People just don't like Marcels personality so they look for things to pick on - thats my observation, and I stick to it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And allot of the things that have been said about him have truly been mean spirited, when he never has been

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree that some of the other chefs have been mean to Marcel but I believe it is mostly his own doing. Most of the other chefs are not like Marcel. Not by a long shot. They dont really need to look for things from Marcel to use to pick on him. He provides the ammo all the time. We probably only see a tiny portion of his verbal infractions. How can one person engender so much hostility from so many others over so many years without provoking those reactions through his behavior? Certainly there are those that deserve compassion. From what i have observed and read, i dont believe Marcel hasn't earned much of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Obviously they are all jealous of his Foamy personality.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On the TV Guide home page, there's an interview with Marcel. Here's an excerpt:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "What was it like being team leader for Restaurant Wars?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "... I think I unfortunately picked a team that didn't really want to go to bat for me. I had people like Mike Isabella, who from before we even started the challenge, didn't want to work with me. So whenever you're forced into a situation with people who don't want to work together, it makes for a difficult challenge. For me, that doesn't matter. You can be my best friend or worst enemy, but it's all about the food. I feel like other people had ulterior motives. It was sad to not see people trying very hard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyone in particular?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Oh, totally. Mike Isabella was not performing at his best. I cooked my heart out and worked my a-- off and pushed the entire time, and I just didn't see that sense of urgency from Michael. I know he hasn't worked the line in a while, but I've seen him running around in Quickfires and individual challenges with that energy. When it came to the team challenge, he really let me down. And he talked a lot of sh-- in the interview room and never had the common decency to tell me how he felt personally. So, that kind of hurt my feelings a little bit. I wish he would have been more adult about the situation and not act like a child so much."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For those of you who have already listened to the interview blog linked above, you might notice that Marcel is talking out of both sides of his mouth. In the interview blog, he claims that he and Mike are friends and that Mike visited when in CA on business. However, in the TV Guide interview, Mike is just another reason -- not foam -- not mushy food -- not a dessert that was described as a "poke in the eye" -- for Marcel's hearing PYKAG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes Marcel, it's always someone else's fault.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "I wish he would have been more adult about the situation and not act like a child so much."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As they'd say on ICanHasCheezburger:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Loved, loved, loved Dale in this episode. Excellent strategy for RW. Choosing Blaise, then getting Fabio specifically for FOH was brilliant. I'm even willing to bet that Dale knew Marcel wouldn't respect Carla enough to pick her, so Dale simply let her go knowing she would fall into his lap at the end and his dessert would be taken care of. Fabio took absolute control over FOH too, it was something to watch. Glad to see Blais get the win and really glad to see a team fire on all cylinders thanks to shrewd leadership.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But really, the end was the best part. Marcel is done. I will not miss his arrogance, delusions of grandeur or his foam. I'm also thankful to be rid of Marcel apologists if I am being honest. I'm sure he is not the monster the show makes him out to be, but I also suspect he is not the angel his apologists would have you believe. Thankfully he is gone. There really isn't anyone left who simply do not like either, which is nice. I certainly have my favorites (Blais, Dale, Carla), but I don't dislike any of the remaining chefs. I'm talking both food and personality, btw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Another great TC episode, best Resto wars ever, IMO. Another great recap, thanks Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. As soon as Dale picked Marcel to lead the other team, I knew Marcel would be going home. I was curious that he called his dessert a 'reverse amuse'. Hasn't he done enough fine dining to know to refer to a sweet bit at the end as a mignardise or friandise? I suppose those are more often one bite, but 'reverse amuse' is still awkward - yet, funnily enough, accurate, because apparently it did NOT delight the mouth, as an amuse bouche should.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Anyone know why there is no new episode this week?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm going to guess that they are saving the remaining original episodes for February sweeps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I enjoyed Richard's joke about working at Mcdonalds and screwing up the orders and decided that he was actually an avant-garde chef even then. It was funny. I liked it myself . People commented on how great Richard's dry, witty sense of humor is. HOWEVER if Marcel had said the exact something this board would be all over him for his bad attitude being, full of himself. There were numerous times that he was clearly making a joke even poking fun at himself. AND if Richard (or for that matter most anyone else) had made Marcel's comments he would again be complemented on his charm, wit, insight, or honesty. This is not meant to be an attack on Richard but simply pointing out peoples bias toward Marcel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It could also be argued that the same double standard applies to his cooking. He was the first on the show to really utilize that particular style and he was roundly chastised for it. not about the quality of his food but for his gimmicky technique. Others contestants have come on the show since and using the same methods are hailed as being innovators.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps marcel really is as much of a pain as he has been portrayed. I don't know never met the guy. He has become an easy target. (I doubt that if he had Tre's physique he would have received nearly as much criticism.) Without a doubt though he did get a though time of it on his season. But let him sink or swim fairly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the episode never was a big fan of restaurant wars. I hope these team challenges are coming to an end and we will see people simply do their thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You've presented situations in your first paragraph, decided that everyone would act a certain way to them and then convicted everyone based on your assumption. You have no idea what people would or wouldn't do, but have decided that "people" would all respond in the same way. You're saying that people only dislike Marcel's actions because of a bias against him and can't be legitimate?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's not using foam that's a problem, it's overusing foam. Jamie similarly was told she overused scallops. That doesn't mean other contestants haven't used them, they just haven't overused them. When the judges have called Marcel out repeatedly for it, that's something that he should be thinking about, unless you think they're biased against him, too. Marcel has become an easy target because of his behavior. I didn't dislike him until his tirade of yelling at Dale and acting like a rapper. And, I couldn't care less if he had Tre's physique or not, yet another untrue assumption.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As I recall, Marcel used a lot of foam but his first attempt at using sodium alginate to make a sphere holding salad dressing failed in the finale (or second to last show) of TC 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's the manner in which Marcel delivers a "line". It can still be arrogant-sounding. He's just. not. charming. to many of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for his use of MG or foam - it's like Jamie making scallops or soup every time, or Fabio making gnocchi or pasta....he WAY overused it. It was on everything. Even Bourdain said "Marcel, really? Foam again? Why?" Michael Voltaggio used it much more judiciously. Richard used it much more judiciously, although even during his season, Richard did seem to lean heavily upon it at first. But he took what the judges were saying and didn't use it when he realized they were tiring of it. It wasn't a constant on so many of their dishes OR such a large component. Marcel seemed to use foam as a "hey! Look at me! I'm using a cool technique!" and trying to call attention to himself when it often just wasn't needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marcel's character isn't just a character he's playing on TV - this is part of him. And I personally don't like his childish ways and the way he refuses to accept that the judges know what they're talking about when they're judging him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As an aside, I would be happy if Angelo never made another crudo.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL! Ditto that. Another good example of overuse. Crudo and ceviche were/are also overused. Who was the ceviche king from a few seasons back?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think you're fortunate to have spent enough time around any of the contestants to know what they are really like, and which part is the character. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pylon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pylon, look - I'm basing my OPINION on what I've seen or heard from Marcel. And I'm not just speaking about Top Chef. On various interviews he has the same attitude and childish attitude. If you don't want to believe it, that's your prerogative. Many others believe differently. And that is THEIR prerogative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just as I said in my post to which you responded - "It's the manner in which Marcel delivers a "line". It can still be arrogant-sounding. He's just. not. charming. to many of us."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am soooooo tired of people presuming to know what people on the board would say if "Marcel had said..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Who among Top Chef contestants have used foams so frickin consistently as Marcel. Perhaps he used the technique first (I don't recall); he certainly has used it most thoughtlessly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love that we have our own little reality show goin' on in Chowhound-dom...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Top Chef Peanut Galley All-Star 24/7 Obsessive Dissection Squad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ( :
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'm just mad we won't have fresh fodder for another FRICKING WEEK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The TCPGA-SODS?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like a golf match. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When Richard says it, he's making fun of himself and inviting us in on the laugh. If Marcel had said it, he'd expect us to go "wow, how innovative and amazing even then!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Siun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like that we are jumping right into knowing what someone would expect in some hypothetical situation. Of course, if someone makes that kind of comment in defense of the favored whipping boy, they get responses like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "You've presented situations in your first paragraph, decided that everyone would act a certain way to them and then convicted everyone based on your assumption. You have no idea what people would or wouldn't do, but have decided that "people" would all respond in the same way. You're saying that people only dislike Marcel's actions because of a bias against him and can't be legitimate?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    FYI, that's Chowser from above. And I couldn't agree more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. It's magical, magical Top Chef All-Stars Wednesday!! Can't hardly wait, not only for the show but for this week's microscopic and completely fun dissection of the new episode with some of the funniest, snarkiest, and smartest people I've ever had the pleasure to deal with.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit, I do hope you are feeling some good Peace of Heart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hate to burst your bubble Mama, but no new episode tonight :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which means this thread will live for another week of people debating Marcel's personality disorders or lack thereof.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yep, we have to waait another week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        no time to read all these but do we have to wait another week for a new episode? I don't think I can wait :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I dunno - since everyone's so good at speculating I think we should make up a fantasy episode thread for this week. Let's See.... All Stars does Just Desserts or... Ooh an episode I've longed to see Top Chef All Stars Go Low Sodium. Tom goes mental because nothing is 'properly seasoned.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I vote we put Sandra Lee in as guest judge WITH Bourdain for our fantasy episode.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              is AB Alton Brown, sorry but again no time to catch up and read all this

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AB in this case is Anthony Bourdain. And to answer your question above - last night was a repeat night. We have to wait until Feb. 2nd for a new ep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              WHAT? Do you dislike Bourdain THAT much?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You big meanie. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                :) I think the big guy can handle it, and provide us all with amazing entertainment. I would hope for an extra long extended judges table video for the episode, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  funny, maybe many do huh?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  but I like him myself and understand he has a wonderful palette.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the only thing that bothers me about him is his language which is no suprise coming out of me I know. but if he'd just stop the cussin, sheesh, oh well, that's him I suppose, I still like him.................

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For the quickfire challenge the Cheftestants must prepare a tablescape using Gladware and a Cocktail using Bombay Gin in 20 minutes. AHA....but there is a "twist" they must also rap while explaining what they did! Time starts NOW!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mental! What is THAT supposed to mean???


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: gaffk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I HATE it when they do that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You know, I don't like Marcel's personality, but he strikes me as being more narcissistic than delusional. Very self-centered; unwilling to take responsibility;immature; mean. It looks like more a defense mechanism and denial than actual psychosis, but hey, what do I know? I've only worked in a millionsix kitchens with psychos of every stripe and personality disorders of every color.......and yep, there were times when I was a bit concerned by their aggressiveness. Marcel is whiny and awful, but not anyone who appears to be a threat to anything but a good reality-check. : )