I’m not a long-time Top Chef fan, nor have I even watched every episode from this All-Stars season, but I do watch now and then (mostly when I’m at home during breaks from school), and when I watch, I enjoy it. This season has been especially fun, combining all the different personalities of former contestants that make for the best TV, and seeing what happens.
I’m not really familiar with the Restaurant Wars concept from past seasons, but I got the idea pretty quickly last night. Each team captain picks his or her team and they have 24 hours to put together a pop-up restaurant, with a full menu and wait service. Which team you’re on is very important, since any clashing styles can quickly kill the entire experience, as we saw with Marcel and Mike.
That said, I would have been very surprised if Marcel didn’t go home last night. He hasn’t been made to be the nicest guy (he did an interview with E! last week claiming he got a “bad edit”), and this episode just hammered that point home. His line about using the fish extras in the Quickfire Challenge (“to throw away a life is very wasteful”) came off as pretentious, and his whole demeanor as team captain for Etch was grating (“How many times do I have to tell you…” “I don’t want to be rude, but…”). It was pretty obvious throughout the episode that he would be packing his knives, but the bickering at the Judges’ Table sealed the deal and I was glad to see they didn’t throw in a surprise elimination at the end. Marcel wasn’t annoying-but-fun like Angelo can be; he was just annoying, and I can’t say I’ll miss him.
As for the rest of the episode, the Quickfire didn’t do much (except give Dale immunity, which he wisely used to put together a winning team), but the Elimination Challenge was a lot of fun. Bodega looked delicious, and the competition wasn’t even close. It was good to see all the elements of a real Top Chef’s job in one place — prepping, cooking, plating, expediting, serving, hosting, etc. The show often makes it look like it’s all about the cooking, but without the presentation, the best food is nothing.
So congratulations to team Bodega, and to Richard for winning the $10 K (furnished by Buitoni!). And goodbye to Marcel… at least you won’t get any more “bad edits.”
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