Top Chef Week Six: We missed a QuickFire, Anthony Bourdain at an avant garde Thanksgiving, and Carlos goes off to drink margaritasNovember 23, 2006
Well, we have a confession, we only saw the second half of the show. We were in transit to our holiday destination and if you were on I-95 between DC and Richmond yesterday evening, you know what I am talking about. So we finally settled in and got to catch the second half. Le sigh. That means we only saw half the show’s snarkiness, therefore our snarkiness is at half-power. Sorry.
We missed the QuickFire and plunged right into the Elimination Challenge. Through our powers of rapid deduction, we gleaned that half the contestants were sitting this one out and the other half were compelled to make a “cutting edge” Thanksgiving meal in their dorm-like apartment kitchens. Those who were sitting out bided their time drinking, ripping on Marcel, and trying to create drama by telling Frank (a.k.a the “snorting wildebeest”) that he should be really ticked that Marcel dropped his toothbrush on the floor. The wildebeest, sporting a wine glass, pointed his finger at Marcel and talked very loudly. Great drama.
Meanwhile, the cooking. Let’s sum up: In four hours, Carlos made a butternut squash salad (judged as lame). Michael made a turkey canapé (good), potatoes two ways and cheese-wrapped corn (tasty and puzzling), and a cheese plate (who doesn’t like cheese?). Elia made a delicious mushroom soup (er, do other people eat this at Thanksgiving? Is my family missing out?). Marcel made a turkey roulade and cranberry gelee (apparently daring, but dry). And finally, Betty made a pumpkin crème brulee, an espresso and something I can’t remember (OK, but not cutting edge and not crème brulee). Marcel and Elia were judged the best, and Elia won because hers actually tasted good. After more finger pointing, Michael said Carlos should go home, Carlos said Betty should go home, and Betty practically screamed that Carlos should go home. And ultimately, perhaps due to Betty’s decibel output, Carlos was kicked off for preparing a mediocre salad in four hours.
The highlight of the show was actually Anthony Bourdain, who graced the table as a guest judge, inserting a biting wit and humor that made you realize that the show is usually really lacking in that department. So it was a great move, Top Chef, but also a bad move. Unless you bring him back next week… What do you say?
Anthony Bourdain was a quote machine. A sampling of his great lines:
“Its limp and unattractive…”
“What type of crack house are you running?”
“Complete failure of imagination!”
“Just thinking about it puts me into a coma.”
“So perverse that I’m starting to enjoy it.”
“Betty Crocker and Charles Manson had a love child and it’s cooking for me.” (About Michael. Natch.)
“Despite its pure Flinstonian Execution…” (About Michael. Natch.)
“On a cruise with Kathy Lee yodeling on the leto deck…”
Is Betty having a meltdown?
Husband: Yes. I think we’re seeing our kind champion from the first few weeks turn into a Whitney Houston-like diva, sans the drugs.
Wife: I declared that she was having a meltdown during the show. The signs: Shouting that Carlos should be kicked off (at a volume that alarmed the poor, skittish judges), and repeated immature confrontations with Marcel. I think she may look back at some of these episodes and cringe. I hope she gets it together, or it could be a tearful goodbye. In the meantime, a word of warning to Marcel: You don’t want to antagonize a woman on the edge who’s wielding a chef’s knife.
What product placement opportunity do you think they are missing?
H: Aspirin or one of those over-the-counter hangover remedies that you see at gas stations.
W: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Marcel’s hair products. Is it mousse? Gel? Dippity-do? Dapper Dan? I’m burning to know.
Predictions: Winner? Next off?
H: I’m still sticking with Cliff since I didn’t see anything he did this week. I WILL NOT pick Michael to be kicked off. I’m ignoring him. I’m going out on a limb and saying Frank might go. His drunken dressing down of Marcel seemed a precursor to a meltdown.
W: I’ll pick Sam to win. Just to vary from picking Ilan again. And I dig Sam’s Samurai ponytail thing. Hmmm…. Hot diabetic samurai. Sounds like a Quentin Tarantino film. Off? Marcel? Why not?
Your thoughts? Your winners? And what did we miss so we don’t have to download it on iTunes while snarfing down turkey and pie?