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  1. I'm surprised you didn't have a variety of sauces at Dinosaur. Each time I've been there, I've had a small caddy of about four or five different kinds at the table.
  2. I lived in Rochester for years. My record is two and a half in one sitting, all of em cheeseburger, and that's after not having had lunch or dinner the previous day. HEAVEN.
  3. Oh, there'll be a season 3, all right. Open casting call this Sunday at the French Culinary Institute in NYC. Despite what we think of Season 2, Bravo knows it's got a hit, or we wouldn't all be discussing it for this many pages.
  4. Oy, this episode. Sam: how can you talk smack about Marcel's flavors and methods in the beginning, ye of the "watermelon and cheese" dessert? Ilan: straight up ITCHING to start shit from the plane ride out. Elia: I think she's been watching past episodes and buying into the anti-Marcel fervor. *** I actually started off the episode thinking Marcel would make the finals. To see him working with other folks in that apartment tells me a couple of things: 1) he's actually devoted to trying things out and bettering himself, and 2) if he was such a dick, no one would be wanting to work with him. And for him to be able to bring his own equipment and such with him...he truly seemed ready to rock out. So I had a hunch he'd be in it to win it. *** I knew Sam or Ilan would be out, though -- and not everyone would have caught on to this, but when they keep touting Tom Colicchio having a live online chat with a cut chef? Well, if Tom's in NYC, and we've got two chefs from NYC up for potential elimination...bum bum BUM! BravoTV.com, thank you for whittling it down for us. *** Without getting into most of the episode (since it's been rehashed), I really do think they all did a great job. Elia's last minute "he cheated all through this competition" -- WHAT? Props to Marcel for standing there, and taking it, and being like, "Really, what the fuck." And further points to him for not rubbing it in when Elia got eliminated immediately afterwards. Ilan vs. Marcel. Hard to say; on the one hand, if Marcel goes too "scientific," it may hurt his chances. I couldn't call a potential winner yet.
  5. News via Eater LA and Gawker is that Ilan has quit his job at Casa Mono in NYC. One theory is that it's because he won Top Chef. The other big one, according to Eater LA, is that he does something a tad more vile than Cliff -- though there's no spoiler I can find to corroborate this theory.
  6. I don't entirely agree with everything you're saying here. I've learned after watching the first season (and most of the second) that you have to take Top Chef's episodes with a grain of salt, no cooking pun intended. Time and again, the footage has been edited to give the viewers a certain preconceived "opinion" to agree with. Hell, they're also running those polls -- it was noted earlier that the last poll was about "who hates Marcel more." Wha? I'm sure Marcel has pissed folks off, but I'd lay money that there was plenty of Cliff being difficult (which we saw a bit of) and Ilan as well. And like Betty wasn't a snarky pain in the ass? Yes, Bourdain touts how he was into drugs, sex, and general mischievous behavior (as noted in Kitchen Confidential and other books) -- I'm not sure, however, that means we're all hypocrites for being a tad shocked when someone wakes up Marcel from his sleep, just to put him in a half-nelson. I have my doubts that Bourdain would actually be FOR something like that. I don't know if Ripert was appalled, nor do I think it really matters. Colicchio was appalled, and not because French kitchens have that kind of attitude at times. If anything, I'd be appalled because the behavior was fucking stupid. I don't know of ANY reality show where they allow that kind of behavior, and it's the last thing you want to do, especially when you have so much at stake. That's a no-brainer right there. If Cliff wanted to wrestle an unwilling partner, he should have decided to do it when the loss of $100K wasn't a possibility. To end my thoughts on the wrestling/shaving incident, I'm curious how you figure the producers encouraged the behavior. Given that Cliff was definitely one of the better cooks, I think it would have been an odd choice for the producers to think, "Okay, let's give them some alcohol to fuel the fraternity behavior and see what happens." It not only put Cliff at risk, but the production company as well. I don't think the producers necessarily encouraged any kind of behavior, and instead let them do their own thing. They gave the folks in Season One alcohol, and we didn't see any behavior along these lines. *** Re: Marcel in the kitchen. I was very confused by Marcel in the kitchen this past week, because he didn't say, "No, I won't help you" to Sam -- instead, his explanation was that he had a lot to tackle, and wouldn't be able to assist because he was behind. Even moreso, we saw that Ilan was using practically all the available burners, which definitely put Marcel behind. Does this mean I like Marcel, necessarily? No, but obviously if he has a lot to do to meet the cutoff time imposed by the show, he can't be plating and tackling his own food at the same time. This is not me being sympathetic, necessarily, but understanding that if it is a team effort, the other team members understand that he's got a lot to do and a tight margin to do it in.
  7. Some of the contestants wax poetic re: Marcel. http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2007/01/top_c..._doesnt_lo.html
  8. I'm not sure if it was the editing or what, but didn't it seem like the two teams had a very short time to get everything together -- and up pops Colicchio? The producers had to have been LOVING the way that came together. I literally yelled out "Jesus Christ!" when he showed up, like, c'mon man -- don't ask how things are going when it's painfully obvious they're trying to get stuff done.
  9. Indeed, he did say that -- however, at the Judges' Table, his reason was not that he did it in his restaurant, but that he "...wanted the challenge" or something along those lines. Either it was that he wanted the challenge, or was "up for the challenge" -- either way, if he did it in his restaurant, and this was a 24-seat joint, how challenging could it really be?
  10. I'm not sure what's more startling to me -- the selection of this week's ejectee, or the preview for next week. I don't think Michael should have gone. I can't believe that they turned that into some let's-bash-Michael fest, ESPECIALLY after Colicchio gets done saying on his blog that the contestants are booted only for their work on each episode, not due to track record. Michael KILLED that last episode. He busted his ass this week, cooking until Sam kept jumping in and throwing him off the line -- and to blame Michael for not buying dishes for olive pits? He wasn't blaming the list, as the judges said -- he was going off of a group decision on what to buy. I mean, really: shouldn't there be a bigger issue with Sam and Ilan NOT BUYING RED WINE FOR AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT? I think it was a poor decision by the judges. To boot, I was reminded why Gail doesn't do anything for me on this show. I liked having the guests instead. Then again, it could just be the editing. *** Next week...here's my prediction based on the preview. Marcel gets royally fucked with; they obviously do something to him while he's sleeping. Something with his hair, most likely. And when the other contestants come in? I bet they screwed with their own hair to "apologize." The whole "wait til you see them" comment from Padma. Some of these guys need to grow up, it seems.
  11. I was really amazed by this episode. Michael winning both challenges = awesome. And even Colicchio was in shock, obviously. Marcel...I think the whole Marcel effect has been built up over time. It's like the ball was rolling from episode one, and by now, yeah, everyone's had their fill of him. However. Sam? I don't care if you're part Sicilian or full-on Don Corleone. You're in public, you're representing yourself AND a television show. Losing your temper doesn't help your case. Ilan? Frankly put, I know he's a nice guy and all, but his attempts to bait Marcel into some sort of confrontation...they were actually pretty weak. He doesn't seem to be terribly good at the whole fighting/calling out thing. And so, it looked lame. Betty? Christ almighty. Every time I see her in the opening credits, she's aggravating to me. Granted, so is Marisa with with her cocky smirk -- the same one she used on Otto during that elimination. Now they're both gone, and I can always fast-forward through the credits. I understand all of these contestants are under duress, under pressure, with no contact from family members and all that. It's incredibly trying. I get that. However, they need to learn to rise above it, because it's only for so long, and it'll help them get that much further ahead. I mean, for all the shit Michael's taken, he doesn't really get into it with anyone, keeps his head down and tries, and he's still here. Honestly, how many folks thought he'd make it this far?
  12. Actually, I'd like them to go the opposite direction and have a completely fucked-up challenge. Padma: "For this next challenge, you're going to create a seven-course meal...influenced by Dante's Inferno. Which you must now skim. You have 20 minutes."
  13. Thoughts on the "holiday catering episode": - Good to see Sam and Cliff as finalists in the Quickfire, after being on the chopping block in the previous episode. - Definitely surprised to see Betty and Marcel working well together. Points to Sam for straight out telling them they need to stop "...this thing" (or however he exactly worded that). Good deal. Betty still bothers me when she lays it on thick to the people she serves food to. - I can't understand how a team can have $1500 and only put out 800 or so canapes (unless I missed something in the episode). ESPECIALLY given the amount of food that the other team put out, Elia's team should have been able to rock that. - During the Judges Table part, it was interesting to hear Mia go off -- that sounds more like most conversations I hear. If nothing else, Mia pulls no punches. - Maybe she should have waited, however, to hear who'd been selected before she gave up to save Elia. Especially since the judges were calling attention to Michael; after last week's removal of Frank (versus Sam and Cliff), the possibility was there that they'd surprise us and can Michael. - Ilan's two watches: any idea what the point is of that? Timing dishes?
  14. My gf thought this was hysterical, like Marcel was trying to be all high-end. Personally, I've heard this term used many times over, especially related to cooking -- it almost seemed like more of an inside joke than Marcel trying to be highbrow.
  15. A few thoughts on last night's episode. I was surprised, and to be honest, impressed with Marcel's dish. I think Top Chef's production staff has done a good job making Marcel be "the hated one"; however it seems more like Betty's the biggest pain in the ass. Marcel's young, and not altogether mature, but points to him for making it this far. I'll give him that. Betty -- good christ. ENOUGH. The challenge -- actually, I thought this was a pretty good challenge. I think in the way it was initially worded, the chefs had to figure (and Cliff did, somewhat) that the kitchen setup was either going to be everything or nothing. It's not as if all the chefs couldn't come up with something good -- Elia, obviously, was creative and flexible with her ingredients. Hell, even Michael stayed in the middle. It was surprising to see Sam and Cliff up for removal, but those two against Frank...methinks the elimination was not based solely on that one challenge, but based upon overall track records. Gail. Gail Gail Gail. Grub, you were right with the jaw thing (I HATE WHEN SHE DOES THE JAW THING, combined with the head nodding and wide eyes which insinuate yes-Gail-you-are-right): but I don't think it was in defense of the challenge. I learned last night that Gail does not like poorly cooked eggs. In fact, I dare say Gail HATES rubbery, brown eggs. She will not eat them, Sam I Am. Having reminded us about eight times of how she didn't like those eggs, I am now hoping that a future episode has an egg challenge. Just to make her crazy again.
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