Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: Top Chef Seattle - Creative Cooking or just More Drama?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top Chef Seattle - Creative Cooking or just More Drama?

Top Chef Seattle premieres November 7th on Bravo. Another season, another city, another group of talented cheftestants. Here’s to hoping that this season the show focuses more on the food rather than the gimmicky challenges and cross promotions we’ve seen in the past few seasons. 

While Bravo TV has done a tremendous job in promoting food and the cooks behind it, it has also done an equal disservice with its focus on the “celebrity” aspect of cooking. 

Perhaps it’s the reality TV culture, but do we really need Life AFTER Top Chef? Having watched a few episodes of the latest Top Chef spin off, I realized that while I love watching the four chefs cook and compete on Top Chef (Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Jennifer Carroll, Spike Mendelshon) do we really need to watch them excessively self promote?  Do I care how MLB pitcher Cole Hamels shaves cheese or how Richard Blaise shoots an automatic weapon? Not really. Fabio in an intervention? No thanks.

What’s next, Real Housewives of Top Chef? 

Actually, what’s next is Top Chef: THE CRUISE. Yes. You heard it correctly. For a minimum of a little over a cool grand (not including the $255 Beverage Package Option and travel to and from Miami) you can spend 4 nights living your own Top Chef experience! Maybe Fabio will even give you a little smooch! 

After that there’s Top Chef Kitchen! For $95 (wine pairing extra) and the pleasure of living in or around NYC (Though I’m sure they’ll take it on the road soon,) you get to taste the foods of dueling cheftesants! 

All this is on top of the cookbooks, the Quickfire wines, and all the promotional aprons you care to buy! 

I understand that after all, networks are in it to make money and generate publicity. I get that. But at some point it cheapens the brand and dilutes the product. 

I’m also not hating on the chefs. Cooking is a tough profession. I have nothing but respect for cooks. Knowing the window of fame is small, they are doing what they can to generate enough momentum and capital so they can keep doing what they love - owning their restaurant and keeping cooking. If that means keep answering the phone whenever Bravo Andy calls, then so be it. Mazel to them. 

I’ll tell you one thing though. I WILL turn the channel the day I see Top Chef: The Musical.

One of the best features from last season's Top Chef was Last Chance Kitchen. That little 7-8 minute clip captured the essence of what made Top Chef great: Talented cooks, quick thinking, good food. 

So with the new season coming, I just hope that Bravo TV gives us less movie and product tie-ins, and more Last Chance Kitchen style cooking. Let's keeps the original product simple and expertly executed. Just like how the judges enjoy their food. 

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