Today’s secret word is “beef tongue”. If you hear someone say “beef tongue”, scream real loud, kay??!!
We open with Turkey Hair and Jarrid walking up to The Power Plant, a custom motorcycle shop. They’re here to meet with owner Yaniv, who may be the world’s first fully functioning Middle Eastern Metrosexual Biker. Yaniv wants Marcel to cater his vintage biker clothing launch party, and he wants something special, because there will be buyers attending the launch. There isn’t much to say about the clothing, which appears to be “vintage”-looking T-shirts and some military surplus jackets with winged skulls silkscreened on the shoulders. You know who definitely doesn’t wear branded biker clothing? Guys who actually ride motorcycles. Jarrid, who brought his pit bull along for the occasion, is excited to cater an “actual manly party.” Marcel describes the shop as “rad”, and I don’t think he’s being ironic.
The party will be at the bike shop, and somebody—not Marcel or Yaniv, the way they’re talking—has decided that the shop’s welding room will act as the kitchen. It’s not a large area, and there’s a bike lift, still with a bike on it, dead smack in the middle. Marcel gets twitchy eyes and starts doing that thing where he bounces on his heels. “The space that’s supposed to be the ‘kitchen’ isn’t actually a kitchen at all,” he helpfully explains in a Quantum Interview. Yaniv says he realizes that maybe his shop isn’t the ideal place to cook. “I saw his reaction and I’m starting to think that I should leave it up to him and let him do what he wants.” Yaniv, I’m sorry about my earlier harsh judgment based solely on your douche-sculpted hair. You have already figured out how to work with Marcel and not lose your mind.
They start talking about the food. Yaniv hasn’t got much: You know, bikers. Food. Not high-brow. “A little more rustic,” Marcel responds. Oh, Marcel. Turkey Hair figures he’ll go with the classics, but update them. Does Yaniv like macaroni and cheese? He does. Marcel finds a piece of thin metal tubing and starts bending it and flexing it. Yaniv wonders if maybe he should take it away before Marcel hurts himself. “Can I borrow a few of these?” Marcel asks. Jarrid smells his own arm pits and states that his “gears are flippin’ on overdrive here.” Marcel QViews that the reason he brought Jarrid is because dood is “a rocker-slash-biker, and loves choppers.” Jarrid’s bio on SyFy says that he’s also a “puppeteer and performance artist”. Let’s maybe not tell the bikers about the puppets.
Jarrid examines the half-dissembled bike on the lift. He says he’s looking at some of the parts and seeing kitchen tools. “I want to make the bike an actual cooking station. I’m thinking, like, fire shooting out all over the place, and saddle bags that are fryers! Of course I have no time to do this, but maybe if I got crackin’, like, right now…” Sure dood.
History tells me that you’ll have approximately 48 hours to make it happen.
Yaniv envisions the actually party happening outside the welding room in a parking lot. Marcel thinks it’s ghetto, what with the graffiti, Dumpsters, and oil stains, so he wants to talk about “vision”. “Models,” says Yaniv. His vision is models. Well, nicely displayed bodies do make everything more interesting. Marcel thinks the models could wear Yaniv’s faux-biker wear and also be food servers. The idea, she is declared ‘genius’.
Marcel finally does the smart thing and hires his own party planner. As we’ve seen on this show, the line where party planning ends and catering begins changes according to Marcel’s whim, and is always a source of drama. So, Marcel brings in Nilo G. Nilo G—must be a family name! Marcel admires her work, but she has the added bonus of having cast models. From all the party planning we ever see out of Nilo G, I think she’s a casting agent, period.
To the Whiteboard and the Slacker Couch!
You guys, should I get a fauxhawk?
I think when they filmed the “menu brainstorm”, Jarrid had already been up all night working on the Moto-grill-o-Matic, because he’s draped over his chair like an invertebrate. Marcel thows out the basic idea: modernize pub dishes or American classics. Burgers? Gotta have fries with burgers, Robyn chimes in. No, no silly girl, Marcel chides. It can’t just be “fries.” We gotta sex ‘em up a bit. “Animal-style fries, baby!” Devon gays. Mac n’ Cheese? We’ll call it “mac n’ chains” Marcel says. “DING DING DING!” Devon shouts, then positions his hands like he’s riding a motorcycle and goes “VROOOM, VROOM.” Psst! Marcel! Don’t let Devon interact with the bikers! How about chicken-fried steak? An American classic and our country’s contribution to world-wide heart disease. What do bikers drink? Beer! Beer and bourbon. “What about a root beer float?” Devon asks. But not with root beer, with ginger and some sort of beer scarification. There is a white board diagram of a root beer mug, there are arrows. From what they show us, the root beer drink is the most well-planned menu item yet. “I feel like we need a dessert,” Marcel says. Well, duh. I don’t go fucking anywhere if there isn’t going to be dessert. Robyn’s suggestion of apple pie falls flat, but for some reason, Devon’s “marshmallow” idea leads to S’mores, which everyone likes better. So there you have it: down-home dishes, but customized, the same way Yaniv customizes motorcycles.
Prep Day 1:
Mac n’ Cheese/Chains
Marcel and Jarrid jump around the kitchen like retarded rappers saying “mac n cheese, mac n cheese, mc n cheese.” I’m watching the show with my wife, who says “So he’s going to waste the whole hour trying to make macaroni and cheese complicated?”, to which I respond “Stop writing my recap for me!”
Turkey Hair can’t, nay, won’t make normal macaroni and cheese. “The idea,” he says “is to not use macaroni, but for the macaroni to be made of cheese.” How? Simple! Combine milk, “cheese product” (guess somebody didn’t want to cough up for product placement) and polysaccharide in a boiling mixture. Take a bunch of those copper rods Marcel was trying to put Nariv’s eye out with back at the motorcycle shop, freeze them, and dip them into the cheese/polyucky mixture. The mixture will gel around the copper tube, and you just slide the cheese noodles off. Why Marcel and Jarrid don’t see that the tubes are, like, a foot long, and that sliding the noodles off by pushing from one end is going to shred them, I don’t know. But they (the chefs) don’t and they (the noodles) do. Marcel transforms into Drama Chef at the first food failure and states they’ll have to do the whole project over again.
Mac n’ Cancer
The problem is the temperature: the cheese and the rods have to be at the right temperature for the right amount of time, or the cheese noodles will be too thin, and will not be able to stand the rigors of the hospitality industry. The rods have to be recooled in between each dipping. “Suggestions?” prompts Turkey Hair. Off camera, four P.A.s jump up and down and point to a canister of liquid nitrogen. “Nitrogen,” Jarrid says on cue. So, our old minus-346-degree-Fahrenheit friend returns. Jarrid carries out a shallow pan of the magic N. “Careful,” Marcel says, “it only killed the Terminator.” Okay, that was funny.
We do not see the cheese noodles being squeezed off the rods, but we do see them sitting, unharmed, in a pan. I am instantly suspicious. TV has lied to me before. And nowadays, SyFy’s pants are always on fire.
When we return to the dish, Robyn is admiring the long, tubular, firm noodles, and Jarrid says “I haven’t tasted these yet.” Dood! Never say that! Sure enough, the noodles taste burned, because Jarrid scorched the milk during the boiling process. Marcel tries one and spits it directly into the garbage. Jarrid QViews that he should have tasted the mixture before proceeding. “That’s like, cooking 101.” Marcel can’t believe Jarrid’s fail. He scraps the char-tasting cheese noodles into the garbage and throws the tray. [Bleep!]
Commercial for Blackberry’s instant messaging service. All these goddam young people enthusing about how you can meet someone and continue the conversation over Blackberry messenger. “It’s almost like they were next to you!” Hey, Power Geeks! Put down your fucking gadgets and engage with the physical world! Fuck social media, and fuck Blackberries, too. Twice. Sideways.
And we’re back. Third attempt at cheese noodles. Marcel now thinks the problem is the mixture: it wasn’t measured precisely enough. They need exactly 1,792 grams of milk—exactly half a gallon—according to Monsieur Poindexter. Jarrid dumps in a splooge of milk. “Woah! Woah! Woah! What the fuck are you doing?” Marcel demands. “Puttin’ in half of this,” Jarrid says reasonably, holding up the gallon of milk. Ugh. These guys. His work here in ruins, Jarrid retreats to weld some more serving forks to his Frankenbike.
I had no idea what “Animal style” was. One definition was a style of decorating pottery, rugs, and weapons with animal motifs. That doesn’t seem to fit here. Another definition concerns a secret menu item you can order from In-and-Out Burger. Still confused. Marcel just says animal-style fries are normally made from Russian dressing, grilled onions, and French fries. Marcel’s version will use carmelized onion puree and substitute “beefonaise” (beef fat, tomato powder, vinegar, garlic, onion, bay leaf, and thyme) for the mayonnaise, and add in some beef tongue “to open up these biker’s minds and change their paradigm about what food can be.” And also, because beef tongue looks gross on TV, and SyFy is all about that kind of shit.
Marcel and Devon cover the beef tongue in a brine bath overnight, “to draw out the gamey flavor”, and plan to cook the tongue “confit, meaning cooked in its own fat”, according to Turkey Hair.
The “beefonaise” bubbles away in a pot as Marcel tells Devon “We’re bringing the sexy back to beef fat.” For his part, Devon thinks “the beefonaise sounds A-MAZ-ZING.” Psst! Devon! Don’t say “A-MAZ-ZING” around the bikers!
Maybe just stay in the kitchen.
Chicken-fried steak has always annoyed Marcel, because there’s no chicken in it. This is a wrong that only he can right! He will fry the steak in a breading that includes dehydrated chicken skin. As a final quirk, they’ll include a pipette of barbecue sauce. The dish will be served with the pipette sort of jammed into the steak. It’s unclear whether the guests are supposed to squirt the pipette over the steak, or directly into their mouth. Quirky or unappetizing? You make the call.
Marcel is gonna turn s’mores on their head. And he’s taking Robyn along for the ride. Instead of melty marshmallow, Turkey Hair wants ice cream. But ice cream won’t melt the chocolate (or burn the living shit out of your mouth) the way molten marshmallow does. So Marcel needs hot ice cream. Robyn lowers her head and looks out from under her curls they way she does, and asks “So you mean, like, fried ice cream balls?” Wife: “So, what does she add to the show again?” NWMTV: “T&A. They had to break up this sausage fest somehow.”
Marcel is going to mix marshmallow, milk and gellan f (a thickener made from seaweed), freeze it, and then blow torch each scoop right before serving to get the toasted, melted marshmallow effect. Add regular old chocolate, graham crackers, and serve hot. Or cold. Maybe both at the same time. I don’t know. This is SCIENCE!
You sure are pretty. (head pat)
Root Beer Float
If you remember, the root beer float is root beer the same way a Long Island iced tea is iced tea. The root beer part is a ginger-based mixture containing scotch, lemon juice, and honey. Devon and Marcel (but probably mostly Marcel) decide to add a “beer sphere” to each drink. It’s mostly the “root beer” mix, with gelatin. They drop each sphere in water, let it gel up like a poached egg, and then marinate the spheres in pale ale. As Devon describes, “It should pop in your mouth and be, like, carbonated beer!” Ahem. I’ll let that speak for itself.
If you’ve seen ANTM, you’ve already seen this foolishness. Devon is Miss Jay. Nilo G doesn’t seem like she knows much about casting models, on top of her dubious party planning abilities. She tells one flamingay to “show me your walk” because that’s what Tyra always says on TV. The flamingay plants a hand on his hip and asks “How flamboyant do you want it??” Everybody gasps and imagines flamingay being dragged behind a Harley Davidson. The one thing I do know is that all of these people are going to look completely ridiculous in branded biker wear.
Now picture him with lots of bruises.
At 2 a.m., Jarrid is in his element: up to his elbows in smoldering metal. He’s cutting, he’s welding, his testosterone is busting out all over the place. His pit bull is leaning against a tool box looking at him like “You know who’s up and overachieving at this hour? Crackheads.” The thing is, they never show the full Moto-grill-o-matic, only parts of it. Even when it debuts at the party, its only shown from a long shot. I wonder if it didn’t work out, or if Jarrid wasn’t really able to finish it.
Prep Day Two
The morning of Day 2, Jarrid shows up late and exhausted. His camo trucker hat is askew, but he did manage to perch his hipster sunglasses up there. Marcel asks how the fryers came out. Jarrid’s like “huh? What fryers?” He built the bike with grills, not fryers, because that’s what he remembers Marcel saying. Marcel remembers saying fryers. Remarkably, Turkey Hair keeps it together. He QViews: “Jarrid worked so hard on that bike grill that I can’t be frustrated with him.” But Jarrid’s mistake means that Marcel doesn’t know which dish he can even use the Moto-grill-o-matic for.
We get the usual Day Two shenanigans. Straight from a QView saying how overwhelmed he is and how he hasn’t had time to test—or even taste—any of the dishes, Marcel decides he wants to add a garnish to the Mac n Chains: super-aerated cheddar cheese foam. The S’mores come together. The steaks are breaded in dehydrated chicken skin. The beef tongue is hideous looking. The tasting with Yaniv is uneventful. He loves everything, but in a QView, Yaniv still questions whether Marcel can pull it off. Hey, you just said you liked the food, and you’re the one that hired the squirrely little guy in the first place, so show a little faith, Bin Ladin.
Jarrid finally unveils the Moto-grill-o-matic at the bike shop during set up. Everybody is gobsmacked that he finished it in time. It looks like he didn’t use an actual bike chassis, but welded a motorcycle-shaped collection of kitchen tools together from scratch. Outside, we hear Nilo G directing the models/servers: “scatter throughout the party and give away the food.” I hope Marcel isn’t paying her much.
Five minutes before the guests arrive, Marcel’s freaking out as only he can. The welding shop isn’t working out as a kitchen. There’s not enough room for Turkey Hair and crew to move around, and it’s hotter than the Ninth Circle of Gehenna in there. He kicks two of the models out of his food prep area: “Stand over there and talk to me, don’t stand here.” Jarrid burns the first batch of chicken-fried steak, and they get into a “was/wasn’t!” argument about whether Jarrid put fat in the pan first. Marcel is on Jarrid’s ass like Jarrid has just installed a hand rail there. Marcel barks “Devon!”, summoning his bartender away from prepping the root beer floats to help in the kitchen. But we never see Devon do anything but stand there taking up a lot of space. Devon QViews: “The way Marcel is already talking to us is starting to piss me off.” Robyn describes Marcel as “premenstrual.” “Despite what everybody does, I actually care about the food” Marcel snits.
The Lance Armstrong
Root Beer Float
Devon is back out front at the bar, whipping up the ginger beer and the beer geloid structure, and the drink is a hit. Two biker chicks “loooooooove them,” and one exalts “I’ve had three.” These two are going to be Marcel’s biggest fans. The average drunk will eat hairball-flavored Jell-O and ask for more.
A model coated in sparkly silver paint pushes the garage door open, and the other models come out dressed in branded biker wear and laden with trays of food. Several of the girls are doing the runway stomp in cowboy boots. It’s ridiculous. Marcel uses the word “rad” again while introducing the food.
Mac n Chains
Marcel presents the dish. Cheese noodles, check. But for even more cheese, Marcel has whipped up some special cheddar cheese espuma. Care for a squirt? Well, don’t mind if I do! They film a couple bikers saying they liked it, and maybe it tasted really good, but I would have found the presentation off-putting. I would prefer that my mac n cheese paradigm remain unadjusted.
Back in the kitchen, Jarrid asks what role in preparing the chicken-fried steak will be. “Do you need me to wipe your ass for you, too?” is the response. Devon delivers a tough guy QView: “Marcel’s running around like he’s Gordon fuckin’ Ramsey. He’s not Gordon Ramsey. This isn’t Hell’s Kitchen. I didn’t sign up for fuckin’ Hell’s Kitchen.” I figure that in classic reality TV style, Jarrid will only be a bad ass after the fact in an interview, but he actually calls Marcel out in the kitchen: “You’re not even helping, we ask you a question and you’re like “What’d I just say!” Marcel “We’ve been working on dishes for four days.” (I guess implying that his crew should know what to do by now.) “I have not seen a single finished dish,” Jarrid points out. Which, if the editing is to be believed, is true: they try parts of the experiments at Marcel’s kitchen, and then throw a hail Mary at the venue and hope it all comes together, which is a recipe for disaster. “You’re acting like a douchebag,” Jarrid states.
When we’re back from commercial, Marcel admits that he was, indeed, acting like a douchebag. And in the kitchen, things go better for a little while. The animal style fries go out.
Animal style fries
This plate doesn’t look so hot, especially if you’re expecting French fries. There’s a lot of beef tongue in there. The first guest reaction shot is of a woman doubtfully turning her fries over and over with a fork. Then a beefy guy says, “I’ve never actually had tongue before. But it’s good!” Ba-dum, bum! I don’t think these went down so well with the crowd. There weren’t many shots of people eating it like with the mac n chains.
The Moto-grill-o-matic is pushed out, a big bon fire burning in its gas tank. The crowd likes the bike/grill. Score Jarrid. Turkey Hair and crew fry up the steak in pans on the bike’s grills. It goes out, and people are putting the chicken-fried rib eye away, nodding happily. I don’t see anyone squirting the barbecue sauce pipettes, though. On cue, a biker chick in a leather jacket says she “never understood the term chicken-fried steak, when there’s no chicken in it.” Maybe Marcel should get her number.
Who pissed off the waiter?
The marshmallow needs some revitalizing; it was in good shape three hours ago, but the consistency has changed. Marcel is shown making a few examples with the torch and saying “let’s go for that brulee effect we did the other day.” Seems unaggressive enough, but Jarrid’s still mad: “This is becoming a nightmare. I don’t even care anymore if he just burns the place down.”
The desserts go out. Marcel starts describing the special marshmallow ice cream and its temperature differential properties. Perhaps realizing his audience is getting restive, and he gives that up: “Why am I talking about it? Why don’t you just taste it?”It is successful, and the ice cream substance did its hot on the outside, cold on the inside thing, as dutifully described by a guest. Two non-drunk women are just overjoyed to see the chocolate.
When all is said and done Navid states that the food was amazing; he can’t go back to sponsoring pizza parties after this. No word on in any of the buyers signed contracts to sell his vintage biker wear.
Marcel says the evening wouldn’t have been possible without his crew, and brings them out for a curtain call. Jarrid? Still mad: “My night was ruined. If it’s going to be all about him (Marcel), then I won’t go the extra mile just to make him look good.”
Robyn: “The party was a success, but Devon and Jarrid are still really upset, and Marcel is completely oblivious.”
Devon: “We’re family and we work well together, but me and Jarrid, we’re in the same boat. We’re like, what makes you think I want to work with you when you talk to me like I’m a fucking idiot?”
Marcel: “I may have frustrated my crew tonight, but I hope they know it’s only because I care so much.”
Will the three-quarters of Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen that aren’t Marcel rebel against their Kitchen Overlord? Or will Marcel convince them with the tried and true “I’m not a sociopath, I’m just really, really intense” reality TV defense? Since it’s obvious by now that the food is always going to turn out perfectly and just under the self-imposed time limit, it seems like next episode will drill for drama in the dark, twitchy depths of Marcel’s personality. We’ll have to wait and see how far they run with it.