Top Chef: All-Stars Recap

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

January 25, 2011

Just because we hate him and want to kick him on his way out, here's Marcel's mug shot.

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More shenanigans ensue as the prospective menus are debated. Marcel immediately and permanently misses the point of pop-up restaurants by vaguely suggesting a Mediterranean theme. Everyone else starts mentioning bold flavors and themes that would be more appropriate for such a setting. Marcel is the captain, however, and so the decision is ultimately his. We hope this is an instance wherein the captain goes down with his ship yet we are all too aware of the fact that as the front of the house representative, Tiffany is most likely to get caught holding the bag if (when?) Team Marcel spits the bit.

Even the team names discussion reinforces the differences in team chemistry between Dale and Marcel's groups. The latter gentleman very much wants to name his pop-up restaurant Medi. Mike Isabella casually crushes this idea by notating that maybe because he's done this a lot, he better appreciates the problems created by concepts that don't make sense. "Medi/Mediterranean just means an abbreviation to me." Eventually and largely independent of Marcel, the other four members of his team settle upon the name Etch. Conversely, the discussion on Dale's team is basically, "How about Bodega?" "That's perfect." The editors are having a field day with this episode. The Bodega group is working together so well that they are a singalong song away from being Disney dwarfs befriended by the fairest maiden in the land.

When Tom shows up, Marcel is so far in the weeds that he actually tells Tom to leave. When asked to describe a dish, Marcel refers to it as a reverse amuse. Tom appears ready to smack him for this, especially when the chef cannot even describe what such a dish would encompass. Marcel's vaguely titled restaurant appears to have a vaguely considered menu. Cut to Bodega. Tre's dish is so delicious that he thinks he will win the $10,000 prize that goes to the Top Chef of Restaurant Wars.


Simultaneously, Fabio is demonstrating his expertise at the front of the house as a schmoozer, just as he did in the Night at the Museum competition. Fabio's personality is a lethal weapon when the eating public gets a vote. The customers are already pleased with their meals before they ever take a bite.

Cut to Team Etch. Marcel is offering advice to Tiffany. How useful is the advice? And how well received is it? You be the judge from this passive/aggressive quote: "Yes, chef. Teach me how to cook an egg." Marcel does seem to have a point since the eggs are so badly botched that the team has to switch to another dish. Of course, Marcel's dish is earning equal ire from Angelo. The former chef has YET AGAIN chosen to create a foam, something he had been asked not to do. Angelo throws a well justified tantrum that they will not have time to do this dish justice once the onslaught of customers arrives. Unless this is the most manipulative editing ever, Team Etch is about to get destroyed.

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