Top Chef Finale: Marcel gets cut, literally.

by janet on February 7th, 2007



The Top Chef finale has come and gone…I was really rooting for my boy Marcel, but it was not to be. Ilan wins, deservedly so, I suppose.

The episode opened with an awkward walk on the beach for Marcel and Ilan. They fished uni (sea urchin) out of the ocean, opened them up, and ate them for breakfast. This made me go MMMMM but made James go Ewwwthat’sbarbaric.

It might be biased editing, but I think Marcel is hated for very little. From the beginning, Ilan was all fired up to kick Marcel’s ass, saying shit like “I would have liked to pee on Marcel,” “I’m ready to beat the shit out of Marcel,” etc. What did Marcel do that was so terrible?

Anyway, they brought out Elia, Sam, Betty, Frank, Mikey, and Cracky McCrackerson. They each said which chef they wanted to work for, and then Ilan and Marcel chose. This ended up just being really sad for Mia (Cracky) and Frank who came all the way to Hawaii only to be dissed and sent home with little fanfare. Quite hilarious.

Ilan chose Elia and Betty, of course, and Marcel chose Sam and Mikey. The two chefs went “shopping” at a “Farmer’s Market” meaning they went up to some picnic tables set up with food from local farms. Lame.

Ilan’s menu: Angulas (Spanish baby eels brought from home by Ilan) on top of Spanish toast; pan seared Moi with gazpacho of mac nuts; grilled squab and whole shrimp and foie gras in lobster sauce; braised beef short rib with honshimeji mushrooms; and assorted fruit with surinam cherry sorbet topped with a battered and fried bayleaf.

Spanish Spanish Spanish. Blah blah blah. Booooring.

Marcel’s (planned) menu: Uni in vanilla Meyer lemon consomme gelee; salad with isomalt teardrops with yuzu vinaigrette; poached Kampachi wtih sea beans, honshimeji mushrooms and hearts of palm; seared beef with taro balls; blini with Kona coffee caviar and chocolate mousse. I was impressed by his isomalt teardrops, which were gorgeous tear-shaped sugar casings with the salad dressing inside.

A true champ brings it when the pressure is on. For that reason I think Ilan deserved to win. Even though he took few risks, his dishes were not as gorgeous as Marcel’s, and he stayed within his comfort zone, each dish was completely solid. I loved the idea of the battered bayleaf that you just scrape the batter off of with your teeth.

Contrast to Marcel, whose team dropped the ball and forgot the Kampachi. He ended up (with help from Sam) putting together a rockin’ dish that impressed the judges, but still. He also couldn’t bring it with the isomalt teardrops when it came down to it (blaming it on the humidity – hello mayor of excuse village ((I stole that quote from one of the gays on Top Design))). I felt bad, since this was his chance to impress his hero, fellow molecular gastonomist Wylie Dufresne (who looks like he should be a computer programmer). Everyone loved his dessert, though – a twist on the classic blini and caviar combo.

What impressed me most about Marcel is that this was the first time he had created any of these dishes; allowing himself to be inspired by the ingredients and coming up with dishes on the fly. He took risks (gambling on the salad coming out with the teardrops) and sometimes it didn’t work out, but sometimes it was M-azing. For this I think he could have won, but I think Ilan was the right choice in the end. Whatever. At least I don’t have to see Padma again for a while. Hopefully ever, actually.

But let’s return to the question of why people hate Marcel so much. Did you KNOW that Marcel got a bottle smashed on his face by a crazy viewer???!?? 30 stitches!!! You should read the article – it’s excellent. Michael Toole is spot-on with his brilliant description of Marcel: “slightly built, saucer-eyed cheftestant with the tall hairstyle.” Brilliant, I say.

So Season 2 comes to an end…The real story is Top Design’s Todd Oldham and how awesome he is. He’s just like Tim Gunn – sweet, intelligent, and someone you’d want as your big brother. I heart Todd Oldham!

Marry me, Todd.</center>

2 Responses to “Top Chef Finale: Marcel gets cut, literally.”

  1. I C says:

    If this shows about chefs and food.Nuh!!!! Their claws & bitches(like hairdresses)mow!!!!!!That’s all I saw. It was crap. Marcel should have won as he was above the others inmature bullshit!!!!

  2. [...] Hmm. I recall someone becoming (in)famous because of their foam obsession…someone like…MARCEL VIGNERON?!? My (and no one else’s) favorite cheftestant from Top Chef, evar? Yeah! There he was, right [...]

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