Reality Chef Roundup: Top Chef/Hell's Kitchen/etc.

June 14 2007 - 6:26 AM

The reality cooking season is underway. Hell’s Kitchen started last week, Top Chef this evening… My season started a little early as I finally caught Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. It gave me hope. I was very interested seeing near-failure chefs get a makeover courtesy of Ramsay and his profanity. It was nice to see Gordon in his tough-love mode where he actually has chemistry with his masochistic victim.

All that was blown however with this new season’s Hell’s Kitchen where our tough exterior yet well-intentioned chef transforms into the ignoramus cheap-shot artist that completely ruins his show for me. I love him calling people names but making fun of someone for something that’s out of their control is uncalled for and I don’t mean Aaron – why that guy’s there and how he even got there we’ll never know.  The constantly crying, nearly passing out Aaron dude needed to go home… he wants to go home. The show is bouncy castle for sale rigged simply because this guy even got on. But Eddie didn’t deserve the treatment he got even though he deserved to go home, and I even forgive Gordo for his “fat boy” comments…

Eddie’s the contestant who is very short, I’m not sure if he’s a midget
or what but at one point Gordon catches a fish and says that it’s the
same size as Eddie. It was an odd moment. When you do a search for
Hell’s Kitchen you find lots of colorful ways to describe Eddie…
google Hell’s Kitchen and midget and see what you get. It makes me feel
kind of sad that not only do we relegate unattractive people to comedy
we let companies dictate who our top chefs will be.

Cast_photo I imagine a near-future where all of our chef-celebrities are “owned”
by Food and Wine or Food Network… they even bagged Anthony Bourdain
for the opener. He did however promise to get the episode winner
“savagely drunk.” Top Chef opened with a strange admission by Colliccio
that he’s not a mentor, he only checks up on contestents to report back
to the judges… it was somewhat out of the blue but answered my
comment from last season…

There’s no
back and forth… There’s no Chef-Assistant or Kitchen
Manager like Tim Gunn on Project Runway.

Needless to say it seems like the chefs are way more impressive this
season… some chick from Jean Georges for god’s sake… There’s a
Vietnamese guy whose first dish sounded like something that would have
won him last season. He’s the smart early pick…

Chicago’s represented by Dale Levitzki. The 34 year old has worked all over and is currently at Sola with Carol Wallack. Metromix has an interview with the gent…