Top Chef
Season 2 Finale, Part II

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Yeah, so Ted Ilan won. Color me indifferent. Bottom line: From what we were shown, Ted Ilan put out a much stronger service than Marcel did. If we were to base the whole competition on this meal alone -- and I believe that's how Top Chef has been playing it, given their cooked-up basis for sending Sam home -- then yes, he is the clear winner.

Looking at the meal dish by dish, we know that the judges were fairly unimpressed by Ted Ilan's first course of stuff on toast; however, they loved Marcel's uni. Then they were unimpressed by Marcel's green salad but loved Ted Ilan's moi. So at this point they're even. The judges really liked Ted Ilan's squab and shrimp, but they also really liked Marcel's fishless fish dish. We could call it even, unless we have to give weight to how the judges felt about Marcel explaining that he lost his fish. You'll have to see the "damned if you do" part of the recap for how I feel about that. Moving on: the judges really seemed to prefer Marcel's beef dish over Ted Ilan's beef dish. Finally, the judges really liked Ted Ilan's dessert, but the only negative comment they had for Marcel's was when Roy Yamaguchi said it didn't have enough color.

There it is in black and white. Maybe with all those finer shades taken into consideration, Ted Ilan deserved to win. Maybe considering what Marcel's sous chefs said about him, Ted Ilan was the better chef that night. Maybe it doesn't matter that Elia cooked Ted Ilan's fish, squab, and beef, because that just shows Ted Ilan knowing how to delegate and use his team to the best of their individual abilities.

We open with many reminders that we are still at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Taking advantage of some much-needed downtime, Marcel and Ted Ilan go for a walk on the beach. Wait, are we suddenly in Ted Ilan's fantasy? Ted Ilan tells us, "I just wish I was there was a beautiful woman." If you really do have a girlfriend, wouldn't it behoove your nads to say, "I just wish I was there with Carolina"? Otherwise, I think she's going to be pissed that you said on television that you were wishing you were on a beach with some random beautiful woman. By the way, this is all to convince us that Ted Ilan is straighter than a pee stream. Oops -- SPOILER! Ted Ilan and Marcel grab some spiny uni (sea urchin) out of the shallows, crack them open, and proceed to sup on the poor little suckers. Marcel tells us that they "just were able to put all the Grudge Match stuff aside" for that moment as they sucked down unsuspecting sea critters. Is that legal? I mean, if they found spiny Kona lobster off Waikoloa, would they be able to eat it? I think fishermen actually own land and traps and rocks and sand. I don't know. Nor do I really care, actually. Marcel goes on about not being able to be in a bad mood when surrounded by "such natural beauty."

Marcel then walks out on some rocks, and Jaws-like music starts up. I'm totally expecting some tiny shark to flip up and bite his ass, but instead, when Marcel reaches into the water and yelps, it's because he stabbed himself on another sea urchin. Revenge for breakfasting on his brother, I think. Marcel hopes his finger doesn't fall off. Ted Ilan smiles at the camera, clearly panting to show us that he does in fact hope Marcel's finger falls off. So much for putting the Grudge Match aside. "He stabbed himself with the spines, and to lessen the infection, he was advised to pee on his hand," Ted Ilan tells us. I consulted a doctor on this theory -- big cocktailian shout-out to Dr. SistaKaren -- so I am well within my rights to scream, shout, and sing BULLSHIT!

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