While I do consider myself a Top Chef fan, last night was my first chance to watch a full episode. Season 4, Episode 3 a.k.a. The Block Party. I have previously acquainted myself with the cast of chef’s on http://www.bravotv.com,/ but have yet to see them in action, and certainly they provide a curious blend of personalities. There are plenty of opinions and egos within the crowd. My guess is the winner is one of the few that doesn’t open his/her mouth until at least half way in as a way to not alienate any of the other competitors. That sounds like a task in and of itself.
The aspect of Top Chef that in one way bewilders me and in another way is completely understandable is: Why do they bring in restaurant quality chefs, offer them restaurant quality prizes, and provide very much un-restaurant related tasks to perform and judge them upon? I guess if they all got a cozy kitchen with lots of time to prepare the kind of dishes they are used to preparing on a daily basis it wold be rather difficult to find mistakes, and judge them on wide, open ended characteristics. Yet is seems all too often one of the chef’s is admonished for not converting what they know (restaurant food) into what they are being judged at (block party food). Fortunately as the show progresses and the pool of contestants slims to a number that would fit properly in a kitchen , the challenges become more familiar to a restaurant chef. Instead of twisting the atmosphere, they often tweak the food situation, which I find much more interesting.
So, I’ll most likely skim over the next few episodes the same way we all read Shakespear in High School, and when they get down to 6 chef’s I’ll start to watch again. Between here and there what could they possibly come up with...... mother’s day brunch on a $5 budget, Zimmerman as a guest judge a.k.a. the Bug, Feces, and Offal episode., or maybe they get tossed from the kitchen and work from a hot dog cart, a brand new G.E. hot dog cart!?