MARCEL’S QUANTUM KITCHEN “Race To The Finish” Review

Marcel's Quantum Kitchen (SyFy) "Race To The Finish"

MARCEL’S QUANTUM KITCHEN “Race To The Finish” Episode 7 – Believe it or not, we have cooked our way to the end of a season, and in the season finale of MARCEL’S QUANTUM KITCHEN, the team is off to Detroit and the Chrysler Corporation for their biggest challenge yet and it’s a “Race To The Finish”. Robyn is dispatched to set up the test kitchen and once again the guys get to do something fun—touring the plant. After they get a look around, the team settles in to put together a meal fit for the future.

The menu is an ambitious one, including a “Marcel take” on deep-dish pizza, a cryo-seared duck, a fish dish and a chocolate dessert in the form of a track and tire. It might seem simple, but remember this is Marcel and not only do things need to be deconstructed and reconstructed and reinvented, they need to fly. The flying thing annoys Jarrid until he finds a hovercraft and all is well until the party planner (Ah ha! You knew that was coming.) expressed a little concern over the whole set-up, and things head downhill fast when the taster, a Chrysler executive, shows up and is underwhelmed by the whole presentation.

The disaster continues to haunt him. When the Big Moment arrives the hovercraft carrying the pizza is just not working right. Of course, he pulls it off just at the right moment. But even then, the troubles aren’t over. The second dish has issues when one (gasp) dish is sent back. He bravely faces the dining room, even knowing he has served sub-par food. The fish wins the guests back and by the time the chocolate track and tire roars into the room the guests are wowed.

The final show ends with the guests raving about Marcel, his team raving about Marcel and Marcel raving about food and, well, Marcel.

I’ve said from the beginning what drew me to this show was the cooking. I am a closet food show junkie and usually have at least one food show a night on the menu. The food is what kept me coming back long after Marcel and his temper tantrums became just a little too much to bear. Honestly, I have no idea why his friends are still his friends, let alone his employees. I would have killed the man with a gelled, deconstructed tomato or something halfway through the third episode. Still, I came back. My food junkie needed a fix and I returned.

The problem was, Marcel for all his seeming innovation, was really one note. His “out of the box” thinking was really in a box—his own—and he never escaped it. Once you watched one show, you could pretty much guess what was coming for the next. Maybe not the exact menu, but what he would do—something would be gelled, something would be reinvented or deconstructed. It’s a nice idea, but not one I think that carries well over the course of a television series.

The reality TV side of the show became overpowering as well. Less time was spent on the food and more on the drama and that started to get really wearing. Marcel is not really the kind of person I enjoy spending time with, so without the benefit of his doing something, like cooking, it got to be less attractive than it might have been. If the show had focused primarily on the food and the science of the food it would have been a better mix.

As the show wrapped, I realized that was something that really got to me with Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen. He was doing all these amazing things in the kitchen, but very little time, over all, was spent actually explaining how he did it. I don’t mean he has to give away trade secrets, but a little more time spent on the excitement of the actual cooking might have carried the show a little further.

Of course, in the end, this wasn’t really a cooking show. It was reality TV, and I think that was the problem. It was very nearly an awesome cooking show, less drama and more food and SyFy might have a winning combination if Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen makes it onto the menu again.