We all agree there are great expectations put on the Masters series of the forthcoming Top Chef saga. The idea of throwing roughly two dozen accomplished chef/personalities in the Kitchen Aid, turning it up to 10, and seeing who flies out first is oh so tantalizing. Why will we watch is a more personal question. Will we watch for a masterpiece to be created, or a faux pas, exceptional knife skill or a sliced finger, imagination run wild or re-hash of the classics…do we want to see the masters triumph or succumb to the familiar failures we find in our own kitchens so often?
What scares me is how bad this idea can run amuck. Nobody wants to watch thirty people cut apples again, especially not the pick of the litter. Please don’t send the masters off to cook cafeteria food in Beverly Hills, on a ten dollar budget with guest judge Mr. Puck. With hundreds of years, thousands of menus, maybe a million services under their accumulative belts accomplished in restaurants kitchens, please don’t take them out of there! There will be no joy in watching, nor any sense of quality competition to watch this status chef cook breakfast on a beach over a charcoal fire for example.
There is a bright side! Assuming the silly competitions are eliminated….ok, limited at least, and the product placement doesn’t carry on to any more extreme measures, the opportunity to see a little bit of these chefs’s personality is very cool. Throw out the, “I’m so mean and yell at everyone. I’m supreme leader!” fake persona that most chefs tend to convey to the masses until you find them on a bar stool half in the bag. Even a twinkle of fascination, passion, or admission of fatigue or pressure will reassure to us their humanity. What emotion or who it comes from doesn’t really matter at this point; let’s just hope it can be incorporated into the show.
I’m looking forward to the next season of Top Chef, as are most of those who responded to the poll. I really hope we get to see the best of the chefs competing. I am looking forward to seeing something great come from their kitchens. With any luck, the best chef will win.