Adventures in Ethics and Science

Marcel Vigneron was robbed!

I simply cannot accept the final judgment in Bravo’s Top Chef (season 2). Marcel should have won.

Sure, I didn’t actually taste the two meals. But simply on the basis of innovation (especially given that the panel of judges seemed to have really good things to say about the flavors of both meals), Marcel should have had the edge. And that’s before we even get into which of the two finalists showed himself to be more ethical and mature (a category Marcel also won on the merits).

I am now officially interested as heck in learning all about molecular gastronomy. It’s chemistry that non-chemists can see a reason to care about. If Marcel Vigneron or “his people” (if he has “people” at this stage of his career) read this, Marcel has a standing invitation to appear on this blog and educate us about the chemistry of that cool stuff he does in the kitchen.

Comments

  1. #1 Clark
    February 1, 2007

    It seemed to me that the big issues were that his one creative dish was thought out by Sam and that his prior dish where he was trying to be innovative was bad. (i.e. his teardrops didn’t work) The judges were pretty critical of that.

    It seemed to me what pushed Elan over the top was his dessert.

    But I agree it’s hard to evaluate these kinds of shows if you can’t taste the food. I find that’s the problem with Iron Chef as well.

    BTW – did you see the Chef who Marcel was so inspired by (forget his name) when he was on Iron Chef a couple of weeks ago? He did some really cool stuff with liquid nitrogen. I’ve done a bit of cooking with nitrogen – mainly freezing foods and making super fluffy ice cream but he did this beet dish that was extremely innovative.

  2. #2 ERV
    February 2, 2007

    Bleh this season was terrible. Sometimes they totally skipped showing dishes in the Quick Fire challenge, oh but they had plenty of time to show all the *drama*. I loved season 1, but this one was a huge disappointment.

    But I agree that Marcel appeared to always be doing something weird and interesting– I’d like to read some blog entries about molecular gastronomy!

  3. #3 Gert
    February 2, 2007

    I was baffled that Top Chef producers would portray Marcel as having a feud with all other contestants, and THEN insist they be his sous chefs. He was sabotaged by the producers. The everlasting mystery will be the fish…were they placed on the cart and then removed for what the producers thought would be good TV?

  4. #4 Gert
    February 2, 2007

    I was baffled that Top Chef producers would portray Marcel as having a feud with all other contestants, and THEN insist they be his sous chefs. He was sabotaged by the producers. The everlasting mystery will be the fish…were they placed on the cart and then removed for what the producers thought would be good TV?

  5. #5 Dan
    February 2, 2007

    I agree that Marcel was robbed. Before they announced the winner and they were described the winner, I was just sure they were talking about Marcel so when they announce Ilan, I was shocked as I assume everyone was because they sure were not talking about Ilan.

    I do think that reality TV does set up contestants. They did it on Project Runway. They probably think real reality is boring so they have to invent conflict. I suspect they hid the fish or had someone forget it on purpose.

    I just finished reading and interview with Marcel when he indicated that they attempted to shave Marcel’s head BEFORE the other two contestants shaved their heads. Top Chef decided to make it look like two of them shaved their heads and then they tried to shave Marcel. What is up with that?

    BTW – I hate Betty with a passion. She is super fake.

  6. #6 Clark
    February 2, 2007

    Last year there were a few annoying people but this year. Wow. There really wasn’t anyone I liked a ton.

  7. #7 Janet D. Stemwedel
    February 2, 2007

    RE: the head-shaving, yes, I’ve the blogs that have done the frame-by-frame analysis while Cliff was grabbing Marcel — complete with Elia with hair crouching nearby. Collicio indicated in his blog that he wanted to bounce everyone but Marcel for the incident, and that sounded like a reasonable call to me.

    RE: Iron Chef America Battle Beet, that’s one I actually saw a good bit of, and it was really cool what the challenger was doing. (I want a laser printer with edible ink!) As much as I love Alton Brown, though, I tend to avoid ICA owing to my love of the real Iron Chef. Not the dubbed Food Network version, the actual Fuji TV version with subtitles that they used to broadcast on a local San Francisco station before Food Network scooped it up. Dubbing never works out well (especially when it renders shiso as “beefsteak tomato leaves”), and Chairman Kaga delivers his lines better than any voiceover artist could. (Also, the sake ads between segments were absolutely gorgeous.)

  8. #8 Uncle Fishy
    February 6, 2007

    Having never heard of this show until last week I have to agree with Tony Bourdain:

    http://blog.ruhlman.com/2007/01/guest_blogging_.html

    even I know foam is so ten years ago.

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