Marcel's Quantum KitchenEpisodes

Race to the Finish
Season 1 - Episode 106
Race to the Finish
Watch Full Episodes in Syfy Rewind

Marcel and his team have never faced a challenge like this before: the auto giant, Chrysler, is flying the whole crew out to Detroit Rock City to serve a sit-down dinner for the young designers in their Mentorship Program. In order to make this tailor-made dinner for such discriminating, high-level diners, Marcel calls for reinforcements: his colleague Katsuya for the entrée and Sally on dessert. Also joining them in Motor City is Nilo, the planner who helped make the custom motorcycle event a hot success.

After seeing the designers literally sculpting the cars of tomorrow, it's clear that the theme of the party will be The Future. To make this work, they'll use innovative techniques: the first course of pizza will be delivered on a hovercraft, followed by the fastest-sounding fish (turbot), then cryo-rendered duck with gnocchi, followed by a chocolate ganache in the style of a speeding tire.

One of the Chrysler execs, a stoic type by the name of Andy Love, drops by to make sure the menu is sufficiently impressive, but nearly chokes on the pizza. Sally's dessert makes a good impression, but Andy's disapproval makes Marcel's ambition grow to double its normal size.

The bad news is, the hovercraft isn't working, the pizza's a mess and the gnocchi will be ruined without perfect timing. But when the party comes, Jarrid makes the dream a reality – the hovercraft works like magic! Best of all, Andy loves the retooled taste. Next is an arts and crafts project: the staff place plates of milk in front of the young designers and ask them to create images in them with food coloring – they make swirls, cars, even a portrait of Marcel. Then the waiters serve the turbot on plates that have soap-coated glass beads attached to the bottom. When the soap hits the fat in the milk below, the colors swirl and stretch, making a dish that's as fun to eat as it is to look at.

Marcel is thrilled, but now comes the hard part: the gnocchi. In the long stretch from the kitchen to the tables, the gnocchi falls apart and looks awful. When one guest sends the dish back, Marcel must address the hungry crowd, and note, as their colleague in design, that when you take a risk, sometimes you fail.

Fortunately, dessert is there to cleanse the aesthetic palate, and everyone is wowed by the appearance and the taste. It's yumminess that looks like a speeding tire – function and form! The guests are impressed and inspired by what Marcel was able to do with a common meal. Although Marcel and the team weren't able to meet some of the challenges they set for themselves, they can say they went big before they went home. And as a comfort, their home is sunny L.A.

Tell us what you think about your favorite NBCU programs by becoming a TV panel member.