Archive for the ‘Top Chef’ Category

Mix-ups, Mayhem, and a Gay Wedding

September 7, 2009

A long time friend of the boozetube got married earlier, and my cynical heart grew three sizes today. But it’s been about four hours and the swelling has gone down, so I’ll probably live through it.

Getting ready for a wedding is tough (and I was only adjacent to it), if you don’t believe me, ask Ashley from Top Chef last week. She was suuuuuper pissed about having to prepare food for a bachelor party, since civil marriage isn’t available to all in the US, and she, along with several other contestants, is gay.

Tom Colicchio commented: This week, our chefs cooked for joint bachelor/bachelorette parties, and Ashley spoke articulately about her dismay and discomfort cooking to celebrate an upcoming wedding when gay people are still denied the right to wed throughout most of the world. I’m going to go out on a limb and say a few words about same-sex marriage: First of all, part of the problem with the issue is that it is framed by opponents as a discussion of whether gay people should get special rights. This is specious – yes, special legislation or court decisions grant them the right to wed in a particular state, however this is done to ensure that they share equal protection under the law by finally being able to avail themselves of the same rights as everyone else. They are not seeking special treatment, just equitable treatment. […] The institution of marriage should be available to all. The idea that you can have a life-long partner and not make decisions for them in a hospital, not share in insurance benefits, not automatically have parental rights unless you are the birth parent, is just flat-out wrong.

(h/t Shakesville)

So you know, yay Tom Colicchio!!

I have mixed feelings about Ashley’s pissed off-ness on the show, however. I feel like weddings make up an ENORMOUS part of the fancy food consumption market, and I feel like she probably should have made her peace with having to cook for weddings beforehand, so it seemed a little out of nowhere for her storm out of the house and expect the other chefs to share her upsetness and like, read her mind to know why she was annoyed.

On the other hand, a) editing exists, 2) she’s probably not a caterer, and vii) it was only less than a year ago that Prop. 8 and loads of other anti-gay legislation was passed so the annoyance is still, in some ways, fresh. Hmm. I think I talked myself out of being annoyed by it.

Carry on Ashley, not like you were waiting on my permission.


Let’s Meet the Cheftestants

August 22, 2009

Top Chef premiere! Top chef premiere!

The first episodes of elimination reality shows are sort of pointless since everyone melds together into a bitchy, beige, pointy-haired mass. It’s nothing to quit watching a show over, but it’s certainly a pitfall of the genre.

The first chef to draw my notice (though I still probably wouldn’t be able to pick her out of a lineup) is Eve, from Michigan. She says she’s “surprised that she’s the only chef from Michigan.” Reeeeeally? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve eaten TONS of delicious food in MI, but very little of it is high end or… top chefly. I’ve never been to Eve’s Ann Arbor restaurant though, maybe it’s a high point of culture (but badly cooked scallops and rubbery shrimp make me think I’m not missing much). Anyway, Eve slips herself into the country bumpkin roll being all “I’m the only one impressed by mountains and palm trees, ya’ll are totally unfazed!”

MI may not be a cultural mecca, but it’s also not like, land o’ the rubes. We have lots of impressive nature things, and lots of Michiganders travel to places with mountains and palm trees particularly those in a position to compete on Top Chef. It just seems like an easy and annoying stereotype for Eve to embrace.

Michael is kind of disgusting with his “rack of lamb” and “two lovely coconuts” dish. So smarmy. But I can’t hate it too much because it gave me a great moment of Gail and Padma looking grossed out and Tom Colicchio being all, “No, cuz it’s RACK of lamb, like plastic surgery RACK–” And Gail busting in, “Yeah, we get it.”

Eli quickly secured a place as chef I will love to hate by cattily noting in a poolside interview that no one would want to see cuddly bear Kevin in a swim suit. Um, mirror, look into, Eli, you guys have practically the same physique. It’s sad to me when people on cooking shows embrace fat hatred. Like, come on, if there’s any time and place you should be able to roll out with your rolls out it’s when you’re watching the food network.