Fatty Competition: Top Chef

25Mar08

Top Chef CookbookBravo TV has thrown out another season of Top Chef, a series created for trained professional chefs to compete in recipe battles for $100k in restaurant funding. Unlike Hell’s Kitchen, this series offers no zesty dreamy Brit hurling expletives at fumbling cooks, but instead features boney Padma, a former model from India, as a host. India, btw, which has 1/4 of it’s population living below the $.40/day poverty line, where dinner consists of flies and rocks. I could understand her providing expertise on chain-smoking, eating disorders or marrying creepy religious literary fanatics, but food, no way, no how. I just don’t see how any vapid model could provide valuable insights on an upscale food show. Of course, this is Bravo, a network promoting their dedication to all things pop culture, so perhaps it’s my expectations which are out of line.

This season opened with 16 contestants, which honestly might as well be 860, because by the time you figure out who’s who, they’ll be long gone. At first look, we’re as disappointed as always to discover a lack of fatties filling out the crowd. What happened to never trust a skinny chef?! Chef Ramsey is constantly harping on his younglings that they must taste their food before its served. Unless they edited out the bulimic purging, these kids aren’t listening. We were thrilled to at least see the first one kicked to the curb was the most sickly and malnourished waif in the crowd, Nimma. You couldn’t trust this scraggy little thing to feed prisoners of war. Honestly, the only challenge she could’ve had a chance of winning was one that included ingredients from a UN food drop.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Top Chef and we’ll be holding out for hopes that there will at least be one episode devoted to dessert. It’s quite refreshing to see the real cooks separated from the wannabes simply by their inability to whip up a batch of brownies.

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