Thursday, January 08, 2009

What's cooking?

Ever since the fiasco of the latest season of Project Runway (which if people were observant enough, I didn't even bother blogging about... Don't even get me started about Kenley and how no one-- *no one*-- should ever be rude to Tim Gunn), I was beginning to have my doubts about Bravo's reality-TV formula. Admittedly, their less than imaginative production of Project Runway might have to do with the fact that they're losing the show to Lifetime this year, but still, you'd think that for the swansong season, they'd do something more inspired that making clothes out of car parts or based on zodiac signs.

But since the new Top Chef season began-- and every week since-- my faith in my next-to-favorite cable channel is being revived. I love this new season, make that *adore*. Each challenge has been fun, exciting, and unexpected-- who would have thought Foo Fighters and Thanksgiving?! ("No more barfait!"- Taylor Hawkins) But the episode that really sealed it for me was the Christmas one where no one got sent home because everyone had chipped in to help Radhika and Hosea who's food had gone bad the night before. There was a genuine camaraderie and respect for each other that I hadn't seen in previous seasons. Even smarmy, arrogant Stefan admitted that it does him no good to compete under such unfair circumstances. It was nice to see that kind of momentary selflessness in a genre of television that is not known for forgiving relationships between competitors.

The addition of Toby Young this week as the new judge was a touch of genius- the show really didn't need the bland and boring Gail Simmons anyway. Acerbic, brutal and funny as hell, he made Jude and I cringe and cackle all the show tonight. My pick to win is Fabio, the Italian Stallion :) I love his accent, the way he talks about his food, his grandmother, the judges, and his fellow cheftestants. Like tonight about Jamie making scallops again, "This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop!"
The UN Inspectors were looking in the wrong place. I have found the weapons of mass destruction and they are in this dish.
-Toby Young, Top Chef

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