Top Chef Thoughts

Before starting a geeky vortex of work, thought I’d remark on Top Chef.

After quitting my job, I watched far too much of it- precisely, almost all of Season 3 and Season 4 back to back. Here are my thoughts.

1. Stephanie has the same smile as my friend’s wife Lisa. It’s like they’re separated at birth.
2. Top Chef contestants are really qualified- moreso than Ramsey’s silly Hell’s Kitchen.
3. I could give a fig about “knife skills.”
4. Why don’t they think pastries and cakes are important? I do! New drinking game: every time they say “I’m not a pastry chef.”
5. Also every time they do a product shot of Glad ware.
6. They do a good job of telling us what the food tastes like, but in all you really have to use your imagination. Which is kind of frustrating. I had the same issues with Iron Chef.
7. I’m glad they don’t yell “Chef!” all the time like on Hell’s Kitchen.
8. Stop calling it “Asian food”- there are lots of kinds of Asian food. Thai food? Chinese food? Japanese? Such a euro emphasis here. Bah.
9. Tom ka gai? Lisa’s big finale dish was tom ka gai? Who *can’t* go wrong with coconut milk- but also used *from a can.* Lame. In fact a lot of her stuff was lame. Bottled fish sauce? Pfffffffft. Dare I quote Julia Childs: “The best meal I had was in China.”
10. How possibly could a chef at this level not cook the beans right? Antonia! And rice! Lisa! Tsk.
11. When I think about how I like to cook, and what I like to eat, the focus on the ingredients is big. It’s hard to relay that in TV. So the whole Alice-Waters inspired California Cuisine thing doesn’t really work on shows like this, because you can’t taste the freshness/ripeness/in season-ness of the fruit & veggies.
12. One of my favorite bits was this chef being taken to task over why he was offering two kinds of cheese with his barbecue buffalo. The judge chef was truly insulted that the chef didn’t select one specifically for his meal. Kind of excellent. I don’t like a lot of French cuisine, but you have to respect their cheese culture.