Sunday, January 07, 2007

Padma Lakshmi Pounds Ilan Hall, Defends Marcel Vigneron's Cherry

In an unusually cogent entry on her Bravo blog, our Padma jumps into the fray to separate the virgins from the boys. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson, er, Rushdie:
And now for the desserts. I know many may have wanted to taste Ilan's dessert over Marcel's when the viewer polling was done when it aired -- but I was there. And leaving the played-out foam aside, Marcel's dessert beat Ilan's to a pulpy mess. Ilan's ill conceived Gluttony platter was too sickly, wet, and limp to win anything, especially as a last course. There was a what looked like a brick of brownie, with a macadamia nut brittle with creme anglais sauce and a funnel cake drenched in simple syrup and powdered sugar. A case of too many weak flavors fighting on the same plate against each other. Now Ilan is a good cook, and he's capable of some excellent and delicious food, and I'm sure that funnel cake was tasty and the right consistency when he originally prepared it. But funnel cake, like many fried sweet foods, does not travel well and doesn't need paring with other desserts. If he wanted to make a gluttonous dessert, what about going the way of simpicity as Elia did and making a big banana split with some clever flavor twist if he wanted to be creative? Marcel didn't do a lustful dessert but his conept of using cherries was a good one, and it did taste like cherries, my mouth was bursting with cherry flavor, he used fresh cherries in the height of summer in California, and it tasted like it. His portion and presentaion were anything but lustful but he is young. I'd still order that on a menu any day over the toothache soggy surprise that Ilan served us.
Let's see: "taste Ilan's dessert," "played-out foam" (is that like the Dan Savage-coined "santorum"?), "pulpy mess," "sickly, wet and limp," "brick of brownie," "creme anglais [sic]," "drenched in simple syrup," "weak flavors," "big banana split," "my mouth was bursting with cherry flavor," "soggy surprise." Nah, it must just be us and our gutter minds.


Anonymous said...

"His portion and presentaion were anything but lustful but he is young"

Gah, why do people keep defending Marcel with this? He's 26, not 13! Besides, Ilan and Elia are 24. Cliff, Sam and Michael are 28. Marcel is right in the middle, age wise, when you look at the chefs left.

If Padma is going to be fine with the inadequacies of Marcel's dish because "oh, he's young", why isn't she doing that for the even younger Ilan?

Blockade Boy said...

I'm guessing it's because Marcel, with his big eyes, big head, and gargantuan hair, resembles nothing so much as a troll doll in a chef's coat and is therefore "adorable." Or maybe his severely stunted social skills translate as "boyishness" to some folks. Either way, blech.

Java Junkie said...

Padma doesn't like them young...she likes her "portions and presentations" well aged, like a fine Salman Rushdie...uh, I mean Sierra Rioja!

Anonymous said...

Okay, so Marcel's foams look like Cat Spit, but I'm sure its delicious Cat Spit.

Anonymous said...

You missed the whole Padma-point: Marcel's dessert was delicious and highly edible; Ilan's was a sickly sweet disaster of mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Unless you don't trust Padma's palate? Perhaps YOU should have downed that syrup drowned, fudgebricking funnel cake slash brownie slash brittle none of which was enjoyable (according to Padma).


It sounds as if you don't trust Padma's palate as a judge.

And how absolutely prosaic that so many non-intuitives out there failed to catch the whimsical irony of using *drumroll* The Cherry. To Eat.