The Bravo channel’s top show is Top Chef, and it boasts to be the number one food show on cable. Here is a reality show with some smarts and informative! Head judge, food enthusiast, and chef/owner of Craft restaurants, Tom Collichio, and Padma Lakshmi, judge and host of the show, are successfully serving up season six, in Las Vegas.
The premise of the show is to find the best chef in the group of participants. In each season, 17 chefs compete for the honor of Top Chef. The winner receives $100,000, to start make their culinary dreams come true, and also they are featured at the Aspen food and wine festival.
Each week the show usually has a guest judge, that presents the challenge, and picks their personal favorite top three and chooses the best, and then picks three dishes they liked the least.
I have watched every season of this show. If you love to cook, it is really entertaining and a must see! In each show the contestants are given challenges in which each prepares the designated recipes. The first challenge is a quick fire, which must be completed immediately, and usually, in under one hour.
The winner of the quick fire usually has immunity from being eliminated in the final challenge. They get to live to cook another day! Sometimes one of the bottom three gets eliminated, but usually not. Mostly they just get a kick in the confidence department, which may cause trouble in the elimination challenge.
The elimination challenge may be an individual competition, it may require a partner, or even a team. The bottom line here is, someone will be leaving, and it is usually deserved. The contestents rush and buy the food and then prepare it within the given time frame. This is the most interesting part of the show to me, I like to watch them rush and do all that cooking. How will they ever finish in time? I worry more than they do!
After the meal, in what they call the judges’ table, a discussion about the food helps the judges decide who is the best, and who is going home. The chefs are huddled somewhere in the back of the restaurant waiting to hear their fate. Padma will come into the room and ask to see anywhere from two, to four contestants. These are usually the best dishes, but now always. They don’t want to be too predictable. They review each dish and announce the winner. Sometimes the winner gets a gift form the guest host, sometimes not.
The winners are then ordered to summon their fellow contestants who didn’t do so well in the challenge.This can be the most revealing part of the show. Camaraderie goes out the window, and people get tossed under the bus here. This is commonly known as, well you know, the -C over Y our A-* maneuver. I think it is one of my favorite parts of the show!
The cream always rises to the top, as they say, and the losing dish is going home. However, and when the loser leaves, it is always bittersweet for the ones remaining. They do become close as they live with each other while the contest progresses. How can you not get close to people, and not be torn when they leave? You can certainly tell it is genuine and real emotions.
Padma kindly asks the loser to ‘please pack your knives and go’.
I love Top Chef! It is a reality show that respects its participants and treat them with dignity. The challenges are smart, the show can be very funny, and you can learn a lot about preparing food!