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A Few Thoughts on "Top Chef"
Thursday, June 14, 2007 | posted by Mike

Very few, actually. I don't have a whole lot to add.

Can we get Anthony Bourdain on there full time? I know he's the master of "extreme" ingredients and that was the tie-in for last night's episode, but I'd love to have him week in and week out. This guy was made to judge one of these kinds of shows. I'm sure he's not interested and that he'd probably get bored of it after a week or two. So he shows up for one episode each year, wows the contestants (who all think he's a culinary god) and keeps the legend of Bourdain going.

The best moment of the show was when he was giving Howie a hard time about not getting both of his ingredients on the plate and Howie starts quoting back to him from his book about how the best cooks won't send something out until it's right. Bourdain's reaction is priceless and you know he had to love it. The winner's reward -- Bourdain's books, presented as just that...a big stack of books -- was the icing on the cake.

But even if we don't get Tony for the rest of the season, we are getting Ted Allen, which is very good news. He's proven his judging chops with appearances as an arbiter on Iron Chef America, and he was always good on Queer Eye, although that show always had him playing the "nice guy" to the poor, straight schlub he had to help. It will be interesting to see how mean he can get, but I think he has enough culinary experience and expertise to be able to call people out when necessary.

You should absolutely check out Ted's blog on the Bravo site. It's funny, irreverent (the current post is titled "Hot Men in Banana Hammocks!") and he's not at all afraid to be critical when necessary...there's a swipe at Marcel's foam and a reference to Dave running up a big room-service bill during his stay for the season one vs. two faceoff.



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