Last time Squid Ink caught up with Marcel Vigneron back in April, he was playing with liquid nitrogen at Beverly Hill's bar210. Towards the end of September, Vigneron left the cushy hotel job when his management company, DNA Management, pulled out of operations at the hotel. These days, hotel catering takes care of the food at Plush and bar210. So then, what's an unconventional Top Cheffer to do?
For the last year, Vigneron has been catering small, private events across the country. These events, featuring molecular gastronomy-inflected menus by Vigneron, attracted the attention of the Syfy network. Marcel's Quantum Kitchen airs its first episode in February 2011. In each episode, Vigneron is hired by a high-maintenance client. Based on the clients' requests, the chef and his team concoct a menu — per Syfy, this could be anything “from a dinner party for extreme sports enthusiasts to a multi-room extravaganza featuring live exotic animals.” Yes, live exotic animals.
Besides Quantum Kitchen, you can catch Vigneron on this season's Top Chef All-Stars (which airs Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m.). As he has reached a certain level of celebrity, it's no surprise that Vigneron would like to continue having a presence on “shows under the NBC umbrella.” The chef is currently consulting with food manufacturers on ingredients — think acids, proteins and stabilizers — and plans to launch his own line of bottled sauces. Like many of his fellow former contestants, Vigneron is also currently “scouting out locations for [his] own L.A. eatery,” and hopes to be cooking in a restaurant kitchen again before the end of 2011.