Top Chef
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

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Snake Eyes
Ted tells them that he is throwing a dinner party at Frisson to celebrate the release of his new book, The Food You Want to Eat. It's a very important night for him. The cheftestants will be cooking for eight people, a group that includes "culinary luminaries from the San Francisco food community -- food writers, food critics, wine people." Ted wants the seven cheftestants to create seven courses, but they have to work together make the menu coherent. "Everything has to be great, or I'm going to look stupid and that will make me a very cranky judge," Ted announces. I understand the attempt to put the fear of Ted into them, but not the logic behind it. First of all, Ted isn't that scary. Secondly, I presume that the San Francisco "culinary luminaries" don't live in a hole (well, unless they're Michael Bauer) and therefore get the whole, you know, reality-show concept. Why would any of them be so irrational as to blame Ted Allen, the guest judge, for any failures or catastrophes? As far as they're concerned, Frisson is being closed especially for them, they're getting a free meal, and they'll be on television. The Katie Leebot tells the cheftestants they will have fifty dollars per guest. They will spend the rest of the afternoon planning their "minu" and then shop and prep at Frisson the next day. I think the Katie Leebot has Shannen Doherty Disease. ["One of the symptoms of SDD is 'interesting,' so that's out." -- Sars]

The cheftestants plan. None of them are pastry chefs, so dessert poses a problem. Harold suggests doing a cheese plate, but Tiffani thinks the judges will slam them for wimping out. Tiffani tells us it would be sad to see someone be tossed out because they aren't proficient in pastries. Colicchio arrives for his usual poking, prodding, and very unhelpful inputting.

He's just got such an attitude about him when he looks around, all blasé, and asks, "So where are we so far?" I don't get the sense that he really cares about these people in the way you can tell Tim Gunn cares about the designers. Well, except for Vincent, but no one cares about him. Except for Nurse Ratched, and that's only because he wandered off without his meds. Maybe it's because Colicchio is a judge and Tim Gunn is not, but where Tim Gunn will say, "I'm really worried about where you're going here," and look worried (as he crosses his arms and pulls at his mouth and chin), Colicchio will ask pointed and leading questions and then go outside the kitchen to half-laugh at the cameras about what a mess so-and-so is. He's cold and he's pompous, and I know he's a relic of what certain restaurant chefs were five years ago, but honestly, that trend went out with Tony Bourdain's Fear Factor-ish eating in the short-lived A Cook's Tour. Basically, I think Colicchio's Mean and Mighty Chef attitude is antiquated and stale.

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Top Chef

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