Since starting this blog, I have developed a new appreciation for Chef Reality TV. I originally began this blog with the statement that “I am not a big fan of most reality Chef TV Shows” I was actually embarrassed by the performances and images portrayed by some contestants. The biggest culprit, as most of you probably might have guessed, was “Hell's Kitchen”, a show where mostly novice cooks and a few chefs can't execute a simple bistro style menu. This season has somewhat of a better talent pool than previous seasons, but it is still a black eye on the face of all culinary professionals.
Although I am not convinced that the Iron Chef America is everything it’s made out to be, the contestants are highly qualified and talented chefs. I have competed in many mystery basket competitions and know the strategy is to practice a basic game plan based on utilizing a variety of possible mystery ingredients. It's just not possible for a team to work independently producing a series of complicated and highly technical dishes without some hint of the secret ingredient. Also, please put on a pair of gloves when you're plating my food, especially after you have been bleeding for the last 30 minutes. Great Chefs, Great Show, but its just not entirely possible.
What I consider to be an amazing and well thought out competition is “Chopped”. Four Chefs create three courses with elimination at the conclusion of each course. This is pure genius. These are real chefs, some extremely talented, but all competent. I would like to give it a try myself, but the application states you have to be a resident of the NY tri state area; it doesn’t sound fair. I guess I will just have to be happy watching for now and wait for the Chopped South version, Hint! Hint! The food network has done a great job with this show as well as with “The Next Iron Chef”. The Next Iron Chef format is very much like “Top Chef”, but still worth watching.
Top Chef Las Vegas has got it all, the biggest names in the industry tapped for judging, amazingly talented contestants and nail biting drama, I love it. Where else can you see James Beard quality Chefs being judged by the likes of the "Chef of the Century," Joel Robuchon, along with culinary superstars Daniel Boulud, Hubert Keller, Laurent Tourondel, and Jean Joho. I am on the edge of my seat, envious of the once in a lifetime opportunity that these competitors have. My hat is off to the Bravo network and the shows' creators. Bravo please reduce or lose some of the annoying commercials.
Last but certainly not least; I would love to see an American Culinary Federation Master Chefs test or an ACF Hot Food competition documented. America could see Total Package Chefs operate under a stringent and professional set of rules. It would probably be to boring for most; there would be no back stabbing or cursing and the only persons blamed for failure would be the Chefs blaming themselves.