Restaurant Wars: Top Chef (S8: E7)
Posted by CJ Cregg on January 19, 2011
Jamie and Tiffany left us last week in a double elimination that involved the chefs catching their own fish to cook.
Now, it’s the best Top Chef tradition…restaurant wars!
But first, a stop at Eric Ripert’s restaurant, Le Bernardin. They meet a famous fish cleaner guy. Who cleans fish really fast and really well. For the quickfire, they have to portion one cod and one fluke up to the standards of Mnsr. Ripert. Oh, and they only have 8 minutes to do it. Fabio cuts himself. Again. But, since, as he says, he’s not Jamie, he keeps going. The top four have 45 minutes to make a dish using the fish refuse (like the heads and stuff) for a chance to get immunity. During this challenge, we learn that Richard used to work at at McDonald’s and he was in charge of the filets 0′ fish. Dale wins the immunity for something made out of fish livers. Om nom nom.
Since Dale is the winner of the quickfire, he is a team captain, and he gets to pick the other team captain. Due to intense loathing, Dale selects Marcel. (Mike:*@!$ I have to work with Marcel.) Dale considers Fabio his sleeper pick for his charm so he can work front of house. This time, the diners will select the winner. During the planning stages, Marcel’s team is a trainwreck.
Dale’s restaurant is called Bodega and is whimsically playing on grocery store items. Marcel’s restaurant is called Etch and has a Mediterranean theme. (Dale: Our team dynamic is quiet. A little too quiet.)
No sooner has service begun and diners at Etch are sending food back. The judges are definitely into the concept of Bodega. But some of the diners think it’s a little bit too conceptual. Overall, though, the food at Bodega gets rave reviews. Tiffany is failing to direct traffic in the front of the house and things seem chaotic at Etch. Things are chaotic in the kitchen as well as Mike, Marcel, and Angelo get into it. The food is also not impressing anyone.
Etch unsurprisingly loses by a significant margin. Marcel’s dish was majorly mushy. His dessert was, as Anthony Bourdain pointed out, ‘a thumb in the eye.’ As the judging continues, Mike and Marcel break down and begin throwing each other under the bus. The problem was clearly one of leadership, but as much as Marcel tried to lead, the team just didn’t listen. They needed a different leader. As Bourdain noted, even prison breaks have more organization. (He’s very quotable, that Anthony Bourdain.)
Anthony Bourdain compliments Dale’s egg dish as ‘stoner food at its finest.’ Nonetheless, Richard wins.
The judges recognize Marcel’s failure of leadership and send him (and his knives) packing. Mike must be so happy.