Elia, querida, do you remember that little tête-à-tête you had with Marcel in the firehouse where you counseled him on how he was going wrong?
Well, come sit next to us in the gray La-Z-Boy, because it's your turn. You know we love you, paisana, and most of the time you seem sweet, and caring and balanced (e.g., during that flamingo, stand-on-one-foot yoga move). But, frankly, what we saw in this week's episode worries us, and we need to talk. It's for your own good.
During the Quickfire Challenge, after having your kidneys Latina-dissed by Chef Michelle Bernstein, the Mexican spitfire in you came out, and you said, "Ees thees woe-man for reel?!" And then you did the patented Marcel eye-roll, and our heads went back into the antimacassars with horror.
Mind you, we totally understand how you might have felt. Chef Bernstein was kind of a bitch, coming in with her big Sandra Bernhard lips, Echo-Park-homegirl dark lipliner, frizzy hair, wrinkled linen dress, and a shit-eating grin that said "I get all the advantages of calling myself a Latina but none of the disadvantages that might come with actually having a Latin name or a dark complexion." (Girl, por favor. Shakira was right; hips don't lie.) We could see, dear Elia, that you wanted to throttle her like Thalia wants to throttle Paulina Rubio, in a curly-hair-pulling, Telemundo-worthy kerfuffle.
But the thing is, she kind of had a point. You did blow it during the Quickfire Challenge, and it didn't have to be that way, since you had a natural advantage going on. A lot of Mexican cooking involves offal, and you had the chance to hit it out of the park. For example--honeycomb tripe. Hello!? That's menudo, Mexico's national dish, Sunday-morning staple, and (not incidentally) hangover cure extraordinaire. Or veal tongue. Again, hello!? You could have come up with some great tacos de lengua. Even the kidneys you went with could have been turned into riñones en chilito, in a tomatillo and guajillo-chile sauce.
We get little Marxist thoughts in our heads. It used to be the case that rich people in Mexico never ate Mexican food because it was considered the servants' food. Real food could only be French. Darling, that's the very reason it took Diana Kennedy to come in and "rescue" the cuisine. Might your privileged upbringing have something to do with this? We wonder.
And, in fact, we've wondered ever since you chose to use red wine instead of tequila during the flambé challenge. Now, we're not saying that just because you're Mexican you have to use Mexican ingredients or techniques. Far from it. But it just seems like such a pigheaded waste to squander those ingredients or techniques when you could use them to your advantage. And you could have gone all Joël Robuchon with them.
But really, the thing that worries us the most is that you may be spending too much time with Marcel, that his arrogance and condescension might be rubbing off on you. We have no doubt that you learned the eye-roll from him. We see a little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on. When your hair is pulled back and you wear those cute little retro eyeglasses, you're sweet, and thoughtful, and say adorable things like "Me, I lov pie. I theenk I’m a beeg keed somehow, yeah." But then when you hang around Marcel, take the glasses off, and borrow the mousse from him and puff your hair out, watch out!
Honey, he's trouble. That boy is sheer trouble. You need to stay away from him. We never thought it would come to this, but we're afraid we're going to have to appeal to a higher Hispanic authority, none other than Miss Rita Moreno in West Side Story. "A boy like that will give you sorrow, you'll meet another boy tomorrow, one of your own kind, stick to your own kind." By which we mean nice, heterosexual, non-alliterative, and not sprouting DSM-IV diagnoses from every gelled follicle.
Oh, and remember that moment during the Quickfire Challenge when you indicated on your neck where sweetbreads are located? Well, we think it may be just a mite ill-advised if what Spice Rack says is true about Marcel, and he is in fact a vampire. No sense drawing him a map, is there?