The reality cooking competition shows are coming fast and furious – two new ones to report this week! The double-announcement got me thinking about these shows. By my count, there are three kinds of contestants on these shows: the “amateurs” (Hell’s Kitchen, Next Food Network Star…I know some are food service pros, but they’re amateurs for the sake of argument); the “serious chefs” (Top Chef, Iron Chef); and the “culinary super-stars” (Next Iron Chef, Top Chef Masters — see below). Obviously, the super-stars are only getting out of bed for something worthwhile and the amateurs are happy to accept the abuse in the hopes of a payday.
But how would the serious chefs deal with being put in a situation with Gordon Ramsay? Would that work as a show? If you’ve seen his BBC programs, you know that Ramsay can be insulting yet helpful and knowledgeable, as opposed to his Fox programs, where he’s insulting and — well — insulting. Could we have a show that paired the talented contestants and a serious culinary sensibility with a taskmaster like Ramsay running the show? What do you think? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
In the meantime, on to the Smorg..
– Kate Moss is apparently writing a cookbook. I’m a little suspicious, though, as every recipe calls for baking soda. Piles and piles of baking soda.
– Top Chef Masters, an all-star version of the popular culinary show, will be similar to the regular program but will feature celebrity chefs contestants including Wylie Dufresne, Art Smith and Rick Bayless. Also differentiating this version from the original will be the presence of significantly fewer faux-hawks.
– Also announced this week was the new slate of contestants for this year’s version of The Next Food Network Star, which will debut on June 7th at 9:00 pm. Among those vying for the title will be DC’s Teddy Folkman. And Endless Simmer can say that we knew him when!
– Note to restaurateurs: Be nice to Jimmy Fallon or he will shut your ass down! Hell hath no fury like a Twitterer scorned.
After the jump…the chick from Alias likes saturated fats and what to do if you absolutely must know what happened on Chopping Block.
– Here’s a visual for you: Jennifer Garner and tons of butter. While writing this, I came up with twelve things I could say right here…and each of them would get me in deep shit with my wife. Let’s move on.
– If you’re a fan of a watered-down Gordon Ramsay clones and completely unremarkable contestants doing eminently forgettable challenges, you can still catch Chopping Block on NBC’s Web site. Be sure to check them out, as I’m certain we’ll someday be talking about the show’s misunderstood and underappreciated genius the way people gush over Freaks & Geeks.