The top chefs who judge the top chefs have morphed into stars so much
larger than, and sometimes so loosely tethered to, the nuts and bolts
of their craft.
TV Chefs, Far From Reality – New York Times
THE third season of “Top Chef” comes to a close tonight, answering questions that have made this contest seem like a timely echo of, or overture to, the precedent-courting presidential race: Will there be a first woman Top Chef or a first nonwhite Top Chef or maybe even a first openly gay Top Chef?
On this matter the Bravo network has expertly teased out the suspense,
but along the way it’s settled another issue. While Top Chef
contestants must endure a finger-numbing, flesh-nicking decathlon of
slicing and dicing, the top chefs who assess them need not come within
10 feet of a whisk — unless, that is, they’re arching an eyebrow at the
clumsy way it’s being handled.
One after another, the country’s most esteemed culinary practitioners — Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud and Geoffrey Zakarian, to name a few — sauntered onto the set, where they ate on command and frowned on cue.
they didn’t do was cook. And in that sense the show perfectly
illustrated how far these celebrities — on “Top Chef,” on “Iron Chef”
and its progeny, on any number of programs — have traveled from the
tedious, earnest hands-on work that gave them their luster in the first
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