Friday, March 14, 2008

Top Chef-Chicago

In lieu of nothing else to watch now that project Runway is gone (and because David Dust was doing it) I decided to check out Top Chef for the first time. I liked it but I have to get used to it. The way the the Top Chef gang does things is so different then what I am used to. It seemed as if they had a mini-challenge and then a real challenge to decide who would be going home. Also, no cookbooks or recipes (there is no way I could just throw together duck a l'orange) and they all lived in the same house.

The show started like any other reality show, we met the different contestants. Everyone seemed excited and stressed all at the same time. One guy, Andrew I think, certainly liked to throw the f-bomb around a lot and got bleeped continuously. In my opinion, the people that act that way never have the talent to back it up (although Christian did on Project Runway) but only time will tell. Everyone was getting along well when the two girls from San Francisco let the group know that they were a couple and had been together three years. A few people voiced their displeasure but as I continued to watch the show I could not understand why. They don't get voted off and there would be no favoritism shown so big deal, they are a couple, they just have someone to talk to.

Padma Lakshmi (the hostess and a judge)came in and announced that the group needed to come along and see the Top Chef kitchen and get ready for their first QuickFire challenge (is that what it is called?) which is the mini-challenge. This was to make a pizza (deep dish) out of ingredients that they brought with them. Some of these pizzas did not look appetizing at all but what do I know, I am a meat and potatoes girl (well I was until I had to get into a bridesmaids dress). Anyway, so the guest judge (Rocco DiSpirito) chose his favorites and then announced that the group was home.

The socializing began at this point except for Dale and Nimma who made it perfectly clear that they were here for the competition and not to make friends. You just knew that one of them was going home. The next day it was time for the Elimination Challenge. The challenge was to reinvent an old standard dish (when did souffle become standard?). Each group of two was competing against each other and then out of the group of losers someone would go home. Some of the dishes looked good while others looked disgusting. Without tasting things though it is hard to decide who is talented and who is not. At the end Nimma went home (told you so) and we move on to next week.

Here is the thing, I have to get used to this format and the people. None jumped out and grabbed me except for the f-bomb guy and that was not in a good way. It seems that there is a lot of running around the kitchen (of course, it is a cooking show) and not a lot of interaction among the contestants (or cheftestants as they are called). I will try again next week and then decide if I can continue.

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