November 02, 2006

quit yer damn whining and cook

OK, i have been yelled at before for spoiling Top Chef in posts here, but i think this one is safe enough.

I am so tired of the fine-dining chefs on that show whining every time they get a challenge that is centered on "low food," for lack of a better term: comfort food, TGIFridays, bar snacks for poker players, whatever. Last night, almost all of them would not shut up about how adrift they were, how completely clueless about what to do -- and though a couple of them came up with things that were at least tasty and interesting, far too many of them bungled their dishes completely.

I mean, come on -- if you can cook at that level, you had better be able to turn out a decent plate of something at home, for your friends, with one hand tied behind your back. If you don't have that basic ability to cook food that tastes good, what in the blinding hell business do you have in a 4-star kitchen? (And conversely, in what universe do they live, where nothing is worth eating that doesn't come from Joel Robuchon or Alain Ducasse?)

This was the thing that struck me most about my stupendously inventive dinner at Alinea, about which I *swear* I will write soon: all those absurd, whimsical, virtuosic tour-de-force things that came to the table suspended from a pin, every last one of them was perfectly cooked and utterly, magnificently delicious. Just because you are a brilliant fine-dining genius artiste does not let you off the hook of giving me something tasty to eat. It may be art, but it is still food.

I have my two picks for who it's gonna be this time around on Top Chef. Anyone wanna guess?

Posted by foodnerd at November 2, 2006 11:15 AM

i vote for the tall silent guy that made the fruit salad. i can't remember any of the others. betty is better than i thought she'd be but i'm waiting for her to come completely unhinged; her smile is a little too broad. it's unnerving.

Posted by: cindy at November 6, 2006 03:45 PM

i think Sam is indeed a threat, but my money is on Ilan. He's not such a princess about it, and I really liked what he said this week about cooking by feeling the food. Plus he's the cutest one.

If Betty holds it together -- and that is by no means a given -- she could win it. But she's already cracked once, though frankly in the same situation I would have done exactly the same. What a putz that dude is.

Posted by: foodnerd at November 10, 2006 10:37 AM
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