Among Cliff Crooks' manifold sins on last week's episode, there was a sin even greater than the clumsy, chilly service he provided during the restaurant challenge. (We especially loved that his rationale for handling front-of-the-house duties on the challenge was, "This is what I do at my restaurant anyway." If that's the case, his restaurant must be a particularly welcoming place. That the restaurant where Cliff works is called Salute!--after the cheesy, stereotypical, faux-hearty Italian toast--is an especially piquant detail.)
So what sin warrants a scarlet "A" on his chef's whites? Well, nothing less than the sin of pronouncing "amuse" (in this case, Marcel's chicken dish) the way Padma Lakshmi does, as "ah-MOOSE," which still sets our teeth on edge and makes us reach for the nitroglycerin pill to place under our forked tongue.
Is it really too much to expect chefs and cookbook authoresses to do what the average English-speaker can do, and pronounce "amuse" correctly? Perhaps it is. We don't know if Cliff says "ah-MOOSE" instead of "ah-MEWS" because of Padma's pernicious influence or because he is tone-deaf as well as color-blind.
So, for absolutely, positively the last time, this is a moose:
(Miss XaXa's last word on the subject: "I'm a muse, Charlus is the biatch.")