Top Chef
Season 2 Finale, Part II

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Padmadala explains they will shop at the farmers' market to select their goods. They will then have four hours of prep time in the main kitchen today, and an hour of cooking the next day before they serve up their five-course meal. The teams go off to a "farmers' market" that just does not exist on the Big Island. There aren't even any other people shopping there! God, how much fakery can we take this year? Uch. So, the camera pans over Kiawe honey, rambutan fruit, lettuces, avocados, chocolate from The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hamakua Springs Country Farms, Maui Gold pineapples, mushrooms, et cetera. Marcel goes gooey over some fresh Kona Kampachi, which he shouldn't get too attached to really. Marcel tells us that he didn't have a preconceived idea of what his dishes would be, but as he was walking around the stalls, his meal started to come together. Thinking of his pee-soaked walk on the beach with Ted Ilan, Marcel also picks up some sea urchin.

Ted Ilan sits with his team and talks about the Spanish angulas he brought from home. Betty wonders if he's going completely Spanish or if he plans on incorporating Hawaii into his food. Ted Ilan thinks it's enough that the ingredients are Hawaiian. He lights on some Kona coffee at the faux-mers' market, and gets obsessed with using it and bay leaves for his dessert. We get tight shots of Ted Ilan hugging and kissing his womanly team.

On an unrealistic grassy knoll, Marcel discusses his courses with his team. Mike sits there and grunts every once in awhile. Sam is hardly any more engaged. Mike tells us that he feels they are a team, so if Marcel wins, he will feel like a big part of that win. I have a hard time believing him. Marcel is really excited about his team and their group dynamics.

In the main kitchen, the four hours of prep begins. Mike tells us, "Marcel's been a great leader, you know? He's been, like, really positive. He's, like, worked in the kitchen [something completely and panty-sniffingly unintelligible] for a long time." Sam also sings Marcel's praises AT THIS POINT. With one hour of prep time left, Marcel fiddles around with these cool sugar droplets he calls "isomalt teardrops." "It's a vinaigrette that's encapsulated by a super-thin sugar," Marcel explains. Sugar games? In Hawaii? Can you say "hygroscopic"? However, it sort of speaks to the Trekkie dork in me to hear Marcel call Mike over in a totally geeked-out voice to bear witness his plaything: "Mikey, check this shit out, dude!" Mike sort of sniffs around the teardrop and grunts, "The mad scientisssss!" I think he lost interest before he got the "t." Marcel tells us that he's going to serve the teardrop with a salad, and that he's only been working on it for two weeks. He admits [CUE LOSER MUSIC] that it might not be the best time to hone the details of a brand new technique, but conceptually, he thinks it's a really good idea. Okay, but it's practically stupid, Marcel.

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Top Chef




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