Top Chef: All Stars

Oh Top Chef, how I love thee.  As you have probably deduced, I'm not a huge fan of reality TV.  BUT Top Chef is an exception.  What's not to love about the collision of my two favorite things: television and gourmet food?

If you haven't seen Top Chef, it's a twist on The Iron Chef.  Up-and-coming chefs from all over America to compete in various challenges to win the title of . . . Top Chef!  And this season is especially fun because it brings back contestants from previous seasons.  Take some fan favorites, a pinch of drama, and add a series of elaborate competitions, stir, and you've got a recipe for success (oh, c'mon, I had to).

But I gotta tell ya, Wednesday night's episode was weird.  The Quick-Fire Challenge, the opening challenge of every episode where the chefs scramble to accomplish the designated task in (usually) under an hour, was an attempt to cross-promote another Bravo show with Isaac Mizrahi, which I will not be watching due to this disaster of a Quick-Fire.  First, the competitors were told to create food to resemble art/fashion.  Second, the judge did not taste the food created.  Third, what the heck did these chefs make?  And finally, Isaac Mizrahi judged the food by whether the food LOOKED appetizing.  As you can tell, I have a huge issue with this challenge.  Why would you have a cooking competition and not taste the food?  Second, if you weren't going to even taste the food, why does it matter whether the piece looks appetizing or not?  And finally, Mizrahi contradicts himself and says, "it looked extremely appetizing, but that wasn't the subject.  The subject was to make it beautiful on a plate."  But the winner won because his dish "looked the most beautiful and made me [Mizrahi] kinda want to say 'oh give me a spoon.'"

It's this type of absurdity--although usually to a lesser degree--that makes me come back for more.  I don't have to feel guilty about reveling in the troubles of others, nor do I have to feel bad about my consumption (no calories, y'all).  So next Wednesday, tune in to Bravo and check out this feast for your eyes.  You won't be sorry.

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