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And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Top Chef's Second Course



Everyone loves food. Everyone loves fighting. Everyone loves a food fight. Well, okay, actually, I don’t like a food fight—there are starving children around the world and we should not use food in a not-so-fun ramp of spontaneous glee, and I get freaked out when food is anywhere it’s not supposed to be but I suppose that’s my own personal quirk. Back to the food and fighting. Let’s talk about Top Chef.

After last season’s nail biting, down to the wire, who’s gonna win finale, [b][url=http://www.bravotv.com/blog/harolddieterle]Harold[/url][/b] the soft-spoken, oh-so-humble chef took the crown of first season Top Chef. Now, I suppose, he can go on Iron Chef and try to win that title as well. He’s opening or has opened his own restaurant, he’s got a great NY charm, and apparently he’s not single as he hesitantly admitted to on his reunion special. Harold, of course, was the guest judge for the second season’s first challenge. The judges pointed out to the winner of the first Quickfire/Spitfire (can’t remember which it’s called) of the first season was Harold and he won the show. Interesting but also irrelevant. Harold also has not learned how to be comfortable on camera or in front of people. He stood awkwardly contorted in front of the chefs while they learned what their challenge was; you could tell his inner dialogue was something like, “Wow, I’m gonna pass out please give me a spatula and some goulash and let me whip something up in the background behind a big white hat and apron.”

[b][url=http://www.bravotv.com/blog/tomcolicchio]Tom Colicchio[/url][/b] is back. I have yet to eat at Wichcraft and I’d still love to go (anyone in the NY area, feel free to get in touch and split a sandwich with me). I am still in love with Tom Colicchio. Tom Colicchio is still unavailable as far as I know. Tom Colicchio seems to have gray hair now. Season 1, his head was always Bic’d or the lighting of his head was so spectacular that his hair was unnoticeable. This season, he was trouncing around the kitchen, asking pesky questions as the chef’s cooked, and he had sprouts of hair that were never there before. He was also wearing a chef jacket which I don’t think he’s donned before. Many firsts for Tom Colicchio. However, what hasn’t changed is his charming grin, his good advice, his keen palate, and his creative judging.

[b][url=http://www.bravotv.com/blog/gailsimmons]Gail Simmons[/url][/b] (who is a dead ringer for my friend [b][url=http://www.lisasphilologic.blogspot.com/]Lisa from Jersey[/url][/b] in voice and somewhat in appearance) is back also. She hasn’t changed much. She’s full of knowledge about food, has an acute palate, and great hair, unlike Tom Colicchio’s questionable fuzz. She’s also got great clothes and I wonder if they’re her own or from a wardrobe closet somewhere.

You know who isn’t back? Katie Lee Joel, the host who never quite mastered the art of inflection. Instead, we now have the beauty, grace, and intonation-filled [b][url=http://www.bravotv.com/blog/padmalakshmi]Padma Lakshmi[/url][/b]. The woman is an actress and cookbook writer when not on Top Chef, hence the ability to stray from Katie Lee Joel Monotone syndrome. I’m thinking that Bravo had some sort of deal with Billy Joel, maybe free concert tickets to the sold out tour, if they let his wife host. Now with the Pianoman Tour over, Katie Lee Joel has no hand. Thankfully. Padma Lakshmi is awesome. She, too, has a great wardrobe. She, too, has great hair. She’s got a fun name, too. Padma Lakshmi. Padma Lakshmi. Padma Lakshmi. I could do this all day and you should try it too; it’s quite fun.

The contestants are just as sassy as they were the first time around:

[i]Marcel[/i] is the guy no one likes as far as his attitude is concerned. Plus he has a very questionable hairstyle going—think Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men meets 1970s Afro. Yeah. Exactly.

Aside from Marcel, there are:

[i]Carlos[/i] who brags about having a 4-Star restaurant but doesn’t season his food

[i]Michael[/i] the frat boy who got incredibly drunk and locked out of his bedroom by his roommates on the first night

[i]Marisa[/i] the pastry chef who suffered the first slicing of the finger

[i]Otto[/i] who’s unorganized in the kitchen

[i]Elia[/i] who despises American cheese

[i]Suyai[/i] who pronounces her name Soo-jai and admitted to Tom Colicchio that she can’t cook

[i]Frank[/i] the touch my knives and I’ll break your legs guy

[i]Sam[/i] THE HOTTIE

[i]Josie[/i] who also has some interesting hair going on

[i]Cliff[/i] who, well, Cliff has yet to get much air time

[i]Betty[/i] the happy chef

[i]Mia[/i] the cowgirl

[i]Emily[/i] who has had about as little air time as Cliff

[i]Ilan[/i] the Long Island HOTTIE

Already, they’ve had to evaluate each other’s cooking. They’ve gotten drunk together. They’ve challenged each other and cut each other down. And they’ve cooked. Food, glorious food.

Interesting personalities. Flavorful recipes. Packing knives and going. All to be Top Chef 2. This show makes me want to lick my television screen.

[b] And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: Eating vicariously doesn’t pack on the pounds. In fact, watching television helps you lose weight when your heart beats quickly and you throw things at the tv when you get so wrapped up in who made the best canapé.

Who will keep their knives in the kitchen the longest? I don’t know. But it sure will be fun to watch.

Email me: Christina@realityshack.com. Chat in the forums. Or come [b][url=http://christinamrau.blogspot.com]Live The Dream[/url][/b]with me for a dose of my own reality.


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