January 27 2009 - 10:32 PM

I finally caught an episode of Chopped! It’s the Food Network’s response to Bravo’s “Top Chef” and while it’s different in some ways, I can’t say that it’s up to par. Hell’s Kitchen which is back this week as well also makes for better T.V.

The contestant-food looks horrible which inflatable tent might be camerawork that is digital video at it’s worst. The color is very cold and the detail is pretty sharp which makes for food that looks mysteriously mucky and bad. Then again, it may be that the food is a mess on the plate. After seeing some downright inventive and complicated dishes being pulled off on ‘Top Chef’, these contestants were unfortunately mediocre. Salads and crabcakes, one that became a soup after repeatedly failing to be executed, were all that was offered from the four contestants at the appetizer stage when after tasting one chef gets… are you ready? “Chopped!” (ugh) etc. Until, after dessert, one chef remains to claim ten grand.

I would never presume to make it in a Top Chef show or hack it through the sweatshop that is Hell’s Kitchen, but after one episode of Chopped! I found myself snorting, “I could do better”. Granted I would likely eat those words but after seeing bacon wrapped ground beef drizzled with bacon fat, soggy bran flakes and a concord grape gastrique that was gushed over like it was the new ‘foam’ (SEE! LAST APRIL I TOLD YOU that Gastrique is SO Fancy!) I could take those 1-in-4 odds.

So memo to the producers, if you want to include an experienced food blogger as a contestant on your show, I’m your man. That is if Chopped! makes the cut.