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During the events of The Menu, there is a point in which Chef Slowik decides that Margot is on his side. As such, he complains that his trusted maître d’, Elsa, forgot to retrieve a barrel that he needs for dessert. He then asks Margot to retrieve the barrel.

En route to retrieve the barrel, Margot breaks in to his house. Elsa appears in the house and the two fight. During the fight, Elsa says "He did not tell me about the barrel. I did not forget the barrel. You will not replace me."

Considering what we find out about the events of the evening, we know that it would have been impossible to "replace" Elsa in any manner. We also know that Margot was not part of the Chef's overall plan as he repeatedly explains how Margot's presence ruins everything. It doesn't seem that he could have predicted she would find the radio and call for help.

What did Elsa mean by "You will not replace me"? Why did Chef Slowik lie about the barrel to both Margot and Elsa?

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Elsa also said "no one is allowed in Chef's bedroom".

Throughout this movie, we could see Elsa acted as Chef's second in command,

  • she flapped her arms like wings in front of a window to initiate the drowning of the angel investor.
  • she greeted all the guests upon arrival
  • she did most of introductions
  • she denied three guests of bread aggressively

My taking is: Elsa sensed that Chef found something special in Margot and this special feeling invoked jealousy. Elsa definitely knew everyone would die by the end of this feast and the trust Chef placed into her was perhaps the only comfort. As soon as she learned Chef started finding Margot special in a way, Elsa was losing the only thing she had, the Chef's unquestionable trust. At least she felt that way.

Regarding why Slowik lied about this barrel is, Slowik wanted to induce jealousy out of Elsa. Throughout this movie, Slowik is seen to bring the worst out of his guests, publicly embarrasing them as unworthy.

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