Top Chef

Season 2 Episode 11

Sense and Sensuality

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 17, 2007 on Bravo
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The sensuality of food is the focus of this round's challenges. The five remaining chefs are asked to determine what they want the diner to experience and then to create a dish that carries this off. First up is everything chocolate, then the chefs must prepare a meal for couples who are all celebrating anniversaries.

Guest Judge: Eric Ripert

Nestle Chocolatier QuickFire Challenge: Create a Sweet or Savory Dish using Nestle Chocolatier.

Elimination Challenge: Create a Romantic Dinner with Paired Wines.

Round Eleven.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • You should never drink and shave.

    Okay, this was a pretty good show, drunken childishness aside. There were some good dishes in the Quick Fire. I liked Marcel's, Sam's, and Cliff's. And Elia's dessert. I don't know what Ilan was thinking. Chicken liver with chocolate. I've said it before, I'll say it again. NO! Just NO! When it comes to the elimination challenge, I thought that I personally would like Marcel's dish the most. I love Salmon, and beets. I think that the only dish that I wouldn't have liked is Cliff's. I don't know, maybe I'd have to see it again to really know. On the great hair debacle, Cliff was obviously drunk, or he wouldn't have done such a thing, but Sam looked sober, and when Marcel was calling for help, he should have helped, not sat there laughing. I want to know what Elia was doing that she couldn't help her friend. In the end, I'm happy with the final four. Can't wait for Hawaii.moreless
  • Ok good cooking this week but what up with all the drame and shaving heads,..come on

    Ok this week was nice they actually did some good cooking for change with the exception of Ilan in the quickfire which he is lucky they don't send you home then. And there was Cliff failure at the final challenge. Ok as for the drama this week, ok Sam was at least a man when it came to helping Marcel and didn't act like a baby or kid because Marcel was busy earlier and couldn't help. But Sam didn't set up as a leader like a good top chef when they where attempting to shave Marcel, he just sat and laughed. Ellia dropped the ball with her desert but hey at least she tried and so she wanted her head bald more power to her. Ilan other than the googe eyes he was giving ellia cause they share a room was a jerk I am sorry but true. While his dish in the end challenge was good he acted like a kid with the Marcel hair thing and then blame it on drinking was a cop out. As for Cliff and them kicking him off....all I say is about time!

    Over all it was nice to see some cooking and that is why I watch the show and loved the first season.moreless
  • Was this a cooking competition or a mash pit!

    I give up. Just when I thought this season could not get any more childish, I was proven wrong! The food looked good and I think the chef's really did put in the effort, although I am getting a little tired of Elia's histrionics every time something is not quite the way she expects it.

    I was mystified that Marcel thought that people would help him plate after he refused help to everyone else. In this kitchen tit-for-tat is the rule not the exception.

    Now for the rest of the show! Frankly I am not interested in seeing the chef's get drunk make a pact and shave each others heads. I believe that Cliff did deserve to be booted. Weather or not you like Marcel, no one has the right to assault someone like that. I am surprised that the did not bring battery charges against Cliff. I know it was a stupid prank, but I am also wondering if the film crew was not a little bit culpable. They were there and they also did nothing.moreless
  • Demon Rum(ble)

    Watching this show, I remembered why I don't drink alcohol - I don't expect that top chef's to abstain, of course, and I understand that they have been living in a stressful environment, but there is something very off-putting in watching talented people who are given a rare opportunity just blow it - I don't think anybody came off looking particularly sympathetic except for the poor victim of these pranks. All that can be said in Cliff's favor is that he accepted the consequence, he made an immediate and sincere apology and completely understood how he had hurt himself. For the others to sit by and do nothing while Marcel was being assaulted was shocking. It's very hard to watch this episode and not feel some contempt for these aspiring chefs. Can I expect that if they're stressed out in the kitchen of their own restaurants, they'll go on a bender and put something funny in the stock pot? As far as the particular challenge, a nice dinner with wine seems to be the least challenging task - it's what they're supposed to be able to do to get on the show.moreless
  • A prank gone wrong

    This weeks quick fire challange deals with one of my favorite comfort foods... Chocholate. AS much as I love chocolate i would not have attempted any of there dishes. Sam won the challange which was surprising because he is a diabetic. The elimination challange was to create a five course romantic meal. What I love about the remaining cheifs is the way they try to help outone another. Except for Marcel. He decided that he didn't want to help out so when it came down to him needing help, karma came back around. Cliff was sent home for a really bad prank gone wrong. But fair is fair.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This is the first time in the show someone is eliminated before visiting the judges' table.

    • Elimination Challenge Dishes:

      First Course – Sam

      Organic Beets and Seared Scallops, Lobster-Umeboshi Plum Sauce, Baby Asian Greens; Chappellet Chenin Blanc 2003, Napa Valley.

      Second Course – Ilan

      Fideos with Clams and Saffron; Naveran Brut Reserva Blanc de Blancs NV, Cava, Spain.

      Third Course – Marcel

      Alaskan King Troll Caught Salmon, Beets, Celeriac and Herb Salad; Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2005, Marlborough, NZ.

      Fourth Course – Cliff

      Seared Grass-fed Sirloin, Lentil Puree, Garlic Confit, Pearl Onions, Plum Jam; Blackbilly Shiraz 2004, McLaren Vale, Australia.

      Fifth Course – Elia

      "The Kiss" – Chocolate Mint Cremeaux over a Puff Pastry Heart, Chocolate Heart, Berries in Coulis; Santa Barbara Winery Zinfandel Essence 2001, Santa Ynez Valley.

    • QuickFire Challenge Dishes:

      * Elia - Poached Chicken Topped with a Chile Chocolate Sauce & Carmelized Pecans; Cremeaux Mousse of Ginger & Chocolate with Strawberry & Mint on a Crumble.
      * Sam - Shrimp & Banana with Chocolate Chipotle, Black Bean & Cilantro Pesto Sauces.
      * Cliff - Braised Chicken with Piquillo Pepper, Rosemary & Chocolate Sauce with Potatoes.
      * Ilan - Chicken Liver Chocolate Ganache with Fried Ginger & Sherry Sauce.
      * Marcel - Potato Cannelloni Filled with Coffee Whip Cream & Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Powder.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Padma: (at the Judges' Table after hearing about Cliff's "prank" and subsequent dismissal) I'd like to talk about something a little less depressing now.
      Marcel: Talk about the food, or something…
      Padma: Yeah, let's talk about the food because actually, you idiots, the food yesterday was really, really good!

  • NOTES (7)

    • In the third season reunion episode "Watch What Happens" the Judges are each asked what their favorite dish was throughout the run of the show. Padma's favorite was Ilan's Fideos from this episode.

    • According to Tom Colicchio's blog on the Bravo site, he wanted to eliminate all but Marcel after finding out about the incident with Cliff. The show's producers vetoed his decision but agreed to eliminate Cliff.

    • The producers were furious with Elia and Ilan for shaving their heads, since they felt such a "juvenile prank" brought down the level of the show. Then they found out about the debacle with Cliff and Marcel...

    • The Elimination Challenge is held at Epiphany, a restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. Specializing in New American Cuisine, the Gayot Guide has given it a 13/20 for its food.

    • In her blog, Lee Anne tells us the last piece of advice she gave to the competitors before their final challenge, "This is it guys. You've got plenty of budget, and plenty of time. Bring your best. Trust me, you don't want to be me." Almost everyone on production thought this was hilarious.

    • Eric Ripert is chef and owner of Le Bernadin in New York City.

    • Initial press releases had this episode titled, "Seduction in Santa Barbara."