Ted Allen

Ted Allen repudiates Dale Talde for one of his less-than-desirable actions.

on Apr 16, 2008


Michael Jackson did it. Italian men have done it for centuries, believing it wards off bad luck -- and, sometimes, hideous pain. And as of last week's Top Chef, replayed in tonight's recap, Dale adds himself to the long line of practitioners of the ultimate crude, macho statement, the true, gangsta-mobster move of vulgar defiance.

I speak, of course, of that crotch grab!

Seriously, Dale really committed; he held on long and tight -- he owned that crotch. (And hopefully still does.) But Dale is neither a gangsta nor a mobster, to my knowledge. So where does it come from -- the impulse to full-on grab his junk with one hand and keep it there, while he throws what look like gang signs with the other -- when he's angry? Does he do that often? Does he do it at Buddakan, the sophisticated NYC restaurant where he cooks? It's kinda funny, seeing as how he's not very intimidating, physically. It's also kinda disturbing.

In a way, with this display of testicular aggression, Dale has out-Marceled Marcel. For, while Marcel committed a deeply embarrassing crime against the art of rap in Season 2, he did not, to my knowledge, invoke the level of street-corner machismo represented by a self-grope.

Then again, no -- Marcel's rapping was worse. And I like Dale's work, and I don't mean to single him out for abuse. Also, I was perhaps remiss to trash him last week for complaining about losing the Italy trip to Lisa without pointing out that she -- another chef I like a lot -- was extremely annoying with her negativity. At least this week, he went home with a $5,000 grill. I just hope he has someplace to fire it up; I mean, he lives in New York City.