Monday, November 14, 2011

Everything's bigger in Texas

For years people have been telling me that I should watch Top Chef. "It's so gooood," they all say. "The challenges are really great and the food they make is amazing." And yet I was reticent. Oh, yes I was reticent. Primarily because I didn't understand how watching a show about cooking could really be enjoyable, since as an audience we were unable to fully appreciate the final product. You can't taste it, you can't even smell it, so what's the point?

But then I realized that was a really dumb argument. Mostly because I had been watching (and enjoying) shows on the Food Network for YEARS. I may not be able to stuff cupcakes in my face from Cupcake Wars, but that doesn't mean I don't love the show and seeing all the cupcakes.

So when I saw that Bravo was kicking off a new season of Top Chef in Texas I thought, "this is my chance!" And I tuned it.

Ok, ok, you were all right.

Top Chef is most excellent. As someone who really enjoys cooking, it's really neat to see all the skills these chefs have put into play. Which leads me to another point: you're not going to get on the show or very far in the competition if you don't have some serious skills. The chefs may not have skills chicks dig (like nunchuck skillz) but damn if they can't cook. The requirement that people actually know what they are doing in the kitchen seems to cut down a bit on the famewhore type personalities.

I also like seeing demonstrations of personal creativity. Much like Project Runway, some of the challenges have been of the "take this ingredient and impress us." It's up the contestant to take a small idea and run with it and the results can either be spectacularly brilliant or spectacularly terrible. I much prefer this type of drama to the Top Model-esque bitchfights with occasional beer-pouring on weaves. Not that I don't enjoy Top Model, because y'all know I do, but sometimes you want to watch genuine talent.

We're not far into the Top Chef season yet, and from what I've seen they make everyone live in a communal house so I am sure we will start seeing some claws soon, but in the meantime I'll be watching (and drooling).

OMG please tell me they will have knife fights! We've already had one knife-related injury, but how about people who are on the bubble have to go up against each other Thunderdome style?

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