Jan 30, 2007

Top Chef 2: The Sound of Mucus

Well, dear readers, we're down to the final two. Oh, ick! But won't let my prejudice against both cheftestants rule this post. We'll let esteemed guest judge Anthony Bourdain speak about Ilan aka Chuckie the Evil Kewpie Doll, and Marcel aka Marcel Jekyll and Marcel Hyde.

I quote Chef Bourdain verbatum in the good, the bad, and the fugly sections:

Ilan aka Chuckie, the Evil Kewpie Doll

The Good
I suspect, he'll go all the way.
That his food was derivative is no dishonor. Smart chefs must first know what their strengths and weaknesses are. And who to steal from. He did both well.

The Bad
He DID manage to get others to do his dirty work (if ineptly). Also a useful skill. If not the most admirable of young men--it is certainly well within reason to imagine him as a successful chef who serves good food at a prof.
If Ilan has a fatal flaw, it's that he let Marcel get up his nose so easily and predictably.
And that when he (again and again) conspired to sabotage or screw over his enemy--either directly or through surrogates, he was both obviously behind it--his fingerprints all over the place, and worse--FAR worse--unsuccessful! it.

The Fugly
And he's a manipulative, conspiratorial, vindictive, weasely little shit....(Hardly impediments to a career as a chef). These are classic assets.

Marcel Jekyll and Marcel Hyde

The Good
He deserves to be in the final two.
If he can ever pull his head out of his ass, there's hope.
He consistently took more chances.
He's got BIG balls.

The Bad
His Chef potential? Presently zero.
Marcel would likely be too busy celebrating his own perceived brilliance on the plate.
Marcel strikes me as the sort of knucklehead/creative "genius" who insists on "educating the public" instead of finding new ways to please and delight and surprise them.
There's nothing pleasing or surprising about foam anymore.
His tormentors were right about one thing: he needs to get laid.
And the Astro-Boy haircut is a liability in the kitchen; co-workers and subordinates will identify him as a fucktard from Day One.
Any chef will sporting a Wolverine-Do will be the object of behind their back derision and mockery. Marcel has a LOT of growing up to do.

The Fugly
He's petty, vindictive, immature, a loudmouth, not a team player by any stretch of the imagination. It's all about Him.

A fan's comment on the Ruhlman blog:
Upon reading it again, I am more appalled - lots of harsh words regarding the personalities of snaky smarmy Ilan and "petty immature loudmouth" (in quotes because I do not agree with m. bordain) Marcel but no call outs for Betty the shrill shrew or Elia the cyrbaby, backstabbing queeter. WTF is up with that?

M. Bordain - if this is going to be a character assisination at least give equal due to all contestants.

Posted by: Former fan redux January 30, 2007 at 06:30 PM

Ms. Place's suggestion for these two immature but talented chefs?

Kiss and make up, you weenies. Life's too short to be a fucktardy selfish crybaby with balls too big for your britches. There, I said it. Ooooh, I feel so much better!


Anonymous said...

i didn't care for the personal attacks on each of the chefs. i noticed that marcel had the most attacks about his character such as his hair and virginity. what does this have to do with the food? i thought it was a cooking competition not a popularity contest.

jinxy said...


The competition has gone to hell in a K-mart handbag. Seriously, the talent has left the building. Don't get me wrong, Ilan and Marcel are talented, and both have the potential to be Top Chef quality (if Marcel's peers let him live that long) but neither of them are at Harold or Tiffany level.

There is a certain sort of injustice in Tiffany losing last year and one of these boys making it. Tiffany, while a bitch, was uber-talented.

The only chefs that could have lived up to this in my opinion were Josie and Sam.

Betty was too centerd in comfort food. Mia was also gravitated a little too much toward comfort food.

Frank was a hot mess. Just because you have been doing it for 30 years, that doesn't mean you have been doing it RIGHT for 30 years.

Mike's attitude sucked from day one, and it bit him in the ass with the judges.

Cliff must have been driven mad by his color-blindness and totally lost his mind.

Emily was a food snob who cared more about cooking for herself than she did for other people.

Poor Carlos got tripped up by being too nice. It should be about the food, but alas, this is a reality tv show and competition, and so much more comes into play.

Marissa was inept, and deluded.

Otto fell on his own sword, but he was not equipped for the type of competition this experience called for.

And Elia... honestly Elia deserved to be in the final four, but that's as far as she deserved to go. She is not on a Harold or Tiffany level yet.

Anyhow, at the end of the day, this finale has failed to get me excited because of the judges' selections. And that makes me sad because I loved this show so much last season.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, on the one hand I agree with you, on the other hand, A. Boudrain shows so much more passion when talking about Marcel. The good parts about his personality are better than Ilan's, who's merely described as ok, capable, and derivative. But read Boudrain's language closely. He uses much stronger verbs and nouns to describe Marcel and spends much more time on him than any of the others. I think that's saying something.

ms. place said...

I am in almost complete agreement with your assessment, Jinxy. Well said.