I was up way past my bedtime last night watching the season finale of Top Chef. I’m a latecomer to this show, having started watching it about 3 weeks ago but thankfully they replay episodes all the time. I’ve seen them all except for the first one.
The show reminds me of the people I worked with during my summer as a “Kitchen Steward” in a resort kitchen. I didn’t cook but I was very involved in all aspects of the kitchen’s workings ~ such as inventory, banquets, liaison between waitstaff and cooks, etc. It was a long, hard summer but I learned a lot about that aspect of the hotel business and to be a manager at a resort, you have to learn all areas including the kitchen.
The Chefs I worked with were creative, charming, demanding and, most of all, exuded more than a little intimidation. The crew that summer worked very hard and PLAYED even harder. I didn’t even try to keep up and was never really a part of the crowd. I earned respect by working hard and being competent at my job but the after-hours always seemed a little too dangerous for me ~ plus I was plain exhausted. I have to admit though, it was an exciting summer and I did meet my good friend, Dave (the pet sitter extraordinaire) since he was part of the kitchen crew. He, too, was an outsider and only lasted one summer in the kitchen. After that, we were back in the front of the house!
Back to the show: I was hoping Casey would step up and win because, even today, it is very difficult to be a woman chef. I thought she exhibited a lot of grace under pressure and she seemed to handle herself well around all those male egos. Unfortunately, the onion chopping challenge really lowered my opinion of her skills and that’s when I knew Hung would win, which in my opinion, he definitely deserved.
Being a vegetarian, I wouldn’t eat most of the food they cooked but I still enjoy their thought process and the ingredient combinations. Now, if I were in charge of the show, I would have the judging be “blind” ~ meaning the judges wouldn’t know whose dish it was being served. That way personal bias wouldn’t enter in the equation at all. All that talk about “heart” and “soul” in the food came more from their impressions of the candidates than the taste of the food.
The other thing I’d love to see is a season of “International Top Chef” which would include contestants from all over but especially from Asia where the food is fabulous and a lot is vegetarian. 😉
Anyone else a foodie?