I know there are curmudgeonly food people out there who are down on Food TV, specifically the high-octane food competition shows that command such a large audience on Bravo and Food Network. But this is a story of how one of those shows inspired me to turn an ordinary weeknight dinner (one of my killer salads) into something totally new and unexpected.
[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. This post comes from one of the smartest people I know, a master of the written word and lover of pop culture, Mr. Mark Blankenship. Mark’s blog, The Critical Condition, is a playful, thoughtful, and insightful look at all things pop. When he’s not blogging, Mark writes features in the arts section of The New York Times. Take it away, Mark!]
Thanks to Adam for having me back. It’s a pleasure to be here!
So… let me acknowledge this up front: “Top Chef Masters” will never be “Top Chef.” Kelly Choi lacks that Padma Pizzazz, and though strangely-hatted food critic Gael Greene could have her own show, her fellow judges Jay Rayner and James Oseland are just… icky. Do you know what I mean? They’re perceptive and articulate, sure, but they seem so satisfied with themselves. It’s like, dude: The joke you made about the pig’s ear wasn’t funny, so stop chuckling about it. I’ve written that OTC (Original “Top Chef”) takes itself too seriously, but watching those smug smuggers strain to be lighthearted is even more irritating.