Top Chef Recap: Season 2: Episode 3: Fire and Ice: Just Like a Diamond, This Title Will Go On Forever.
OK, we've made it through another week with none of the contestants being killed. This is a good sign. On to the show:
The quickfire challenge is to create a fancy schmancy ice cream flavor guaranteed to be hated by the ordinary people who will be judging it. On top of that, the chefs will not actually be given enough time to make ice cream. If they make a real cooked custard they won't have time to freeze it, even in the amazing, magical Kenmore Pro appliances they are hawking. To save time, many of them choose to make frozen guacamole. Marcel adds bacon to the avocado. Ilan goes even further and makes an ice cream that is actually a three-course dinner with tomato soup, roast beef and blueberry pie. Don't eat that, we're still having side-effects with the blueberries!
Now it's off to the beach to foist this crap on an unsuspecting public. The ice cream was mostly still a liquid mess when we left the kitchen but by the time we get to the beach it has become the perfect consistency. I know it is sitting on ice but I still find this a little strange. The customers are a bunch of children and other freaks of nature:
Emily: "I hate children. Oh, and old people. They smell funny. But more than anything, I hate the stupid, toothless hillbillies roaming this beach, who wouldn't know quality ice cream if it bit them in their gigantic asses."
Way to work the crowd, Emily!
For some reason Stephen Asprinio from season one is there and he is telling the children about the history of ice cream:
Stephen: "Ice cream's origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C., although no specific date of origin nor inventor has been credited with its discovery. We know that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. During the Roman Empire, Nero frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices. Over a thousand years later, Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe that closely resembled what is now called sherbet. Historians estimate that this recipe evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century. 'Cream Ice,' as it was called, appeared regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century. France was introduced to similar frozen desserts in 1553 by Catherine de Medici when she became the wife of Henry II of France. It wasn't until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the general public. The Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending milk, cream, butter and eggs at Cafe Procope, the first cafe in Paris. Isn't that fascinating, children?"
Children: "What the hell is this homo talking about?"
Cliff wins the quickfire. Again. For the elimination challenge the chefs have to take a childhood favorite and turn it into something more interesting and grown up, while at the same time making it boring and tasteless enough to be served at T.G.I. Fridays. The judges will be firemen. I don't know what the connection is but, hey, they're heroes; they deserve a good meal. Whether they deserve the food they are about to get is another matter.
Tom Colicchio wanders the kitchen seeing what people are doing and offering no help whatsoever. Seriously, I didn't really notice this until he told Betty that he could taste her soup but not comment on it, but he is really not doing anything constructive. Tim Gunn doesn't tell any of the designers what to do, but the purpose of making the rounds in the design room is to check in and give his opinion on what is working and what is not working. Otherwise there would be no point to it. So what exactly is Tom doing in the kitchen? Is he just bored?
Anyway, on to the dishes:
Frank creates the freakiest piece of shit I've ever seen. (Please don't hurt me.) The challenge was to adapt a favorite childhood recipe, not create something a child would want to play with.
Michael spends all his money on beer and then apparently drinks enough to convince himself he will win the challenge. It would have made more sense if he had pulled a Stephen and served the alcohol with the food. We had been told earlier that he actually worked for T.G.I. Fridays. We were then told that this made no difference, so I wondered what the point was of such a dramatic announcement. Michael's dish is a disaster and he gets in a fight with Tom. What is it with him? First Josie, then Tom; he keeps getting in fights with people who could clearly kick the shit out of him.
Marcel decides that since he knows absolutely nothing about this type of cooking he will obviously win. He makes a very nice pork chop but spends most of his time annoying Betty and whining that the deep fryers are not hot enough. Wait; did someone change the temperature on those fryers? Has anyone seen Tiffany?
For some reason Betty, our wonderful ray of sunshine, suddenly turns into a raging bitch just because Marcel is an annoying little twerp.
Betty: "I don't understand why my breasts have no power over him."
I mean, sure, I can understand Marcel getting on your nerves but, boy, did she overreact.
Marcel: "Does anyone mind if I whine and complain about the deep fryers for a few more hours?"
Betty: "Yes, actually. Would you please just die?"
Marcel: "Excuse me? What did I do to you?"
Betty: "You're a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot . Oh yeah, and Lily Tomlin switched your Skinny and Sweet with rat poison. So there!"
Marcel then stares intently into the kitchen until the static electricity from his hair changes the temperature of the grill so Betty's sandwiches don't cook properly. Somehow she stills wins. Again. Congratulations, Betty! I look forward to never having to eat at T.G.I. Fridays!
Before we go, a quick reminder from Frank:
Frank: "Get out and vote on Tuesday or I'll break your kneecaps!"
(The history of ice cream came from the International Dairy Foods Association website. Please drink responsibly.)