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This Post Might Actually Be Longer Than An Episode of Top Chef

Fall is a marvelous time of year when, after a long summer of boredom, tears, and ABC's Wipeout, TV finally gets good again.  Case in point: Top Chef, Bravo's reality TV cooking competition, hosted by possible zombie Padma Lakshmi and featuring Head Judge Tom "Just Like the Dad Who Never Approved of You" Colicchio.

Dovemeat

There is a common misconception that people who aren't good cooks themselves won't like a show about cooking.  That is stupid.  Approximately four billion people read and enjoyed Harry Potter even though they weren't wizards, so I don't see why we can't all watch a cooking show.  So here are this season's chef-testants (except the girl who made something involving peppers and Satan and was immediately thrown off), ranked in order of how much I like them.


Mattin

Mattin

Mattin is my favorite so far, because he so adorable he is practically a Disney character of himself.  I imagine that his daily To Do list looks something like this:
  1. Wake up
  2. Put on red necktie
  3. Be delightful/French

Seriously.  Look at him:

Mattin2

That is a pose he routinely strikes.  Like, there have been two episodes, and there are already two instances in which he has done it:

Mattin3

Mattin!  French Disney Boy Champion of the World!

Based on his awesomeness, I have decided to hire Mattin as my personal employee.  I will not be employing him as a chef, though; rather, his job will just be to shadow me throughout my day and repeat everything I say in a French accent.

Kevin
Kevin
Although I have ranked Kevin quite high here, I don't actually have much to say about him.  After all, it's still pretty early in the season, and most of the chefs have only had about two minutes of screen time each.  However, Kevin seems pretty solid.  He won the first challenge, which is impressive because it involves beating the most people.  I think he is one to watch.

Jesse
Jesse

I probably shouldn't be ranking Jesse this high, because she has been kind of erratic and weird on the show thus far.  However, she is from Maryland, so I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt.  Also, I love that her profile on bravotv.com says, "Bacon, butter, duck fat, cumin and trash bags are the five items she keeps on hand at all times."  Ahhhh yes, all the essential ingredients for my favorite dish: "Big Trash Bag of Fatty Things, with a Dash of Cumin."  A Maryland classic!

Also, this is one of Jesse's tattoos:

Meat


Preeti

Preeti

Pretti earns points for having a fauxhawk, a.k.a. the official hairstyle of Top Chef.  She is also the head chef for Google, which is cool, except, you know what?  I am getting sick of hearing about how sweet it is to work for Google, and how they have swimming pools for everyone, and it's sooooo great, and and there are free-range unicorns walking around the complex for you to ride from building to building and blah blah blah.  Now they have a Top Chef contestant working for them?  Fine, Google.  Keep having all the fun.

Bryan

Bryan

Bryan is the other Marylander on the show.  He owns Volt in Frederick, which I just Googled, because hey, I research these posts.  So this is the first picture you see when you go to voltrestaurant.com:

Main_bryan

Followed by this:

Main3 

Lesson: Bryan likes being alone.

Bryan is brothers with Michael (next on my list), and so far the sibling rivalry between them has not seemed as intense as some of the Bravo promos would have us believe.  However, I would wager that things will heat up eventually, because the brothers Voltaggio seem pretty on top of their game.  Which brings me to . . .

Michael

Michaelv

Contrary to what this picture may have you believe, Michael is not, in fact, a member of a 1990s boy band.  However, he is clearly supposed to be the edgier of the two brothers, as evidenced by his knife-and-fork tattoo and the fact that he is wearing enough bronzer to make Lindsay Lohan look albino in comparison.

Ron

Ron

Ron here is kind of a wild card.  In the first episode, when the challenge was to make a dish inspired by one of your vices, Ron claimed that his vice was that he had to travel a very long time from Haiti to the U.S., to which the judges pretty much responded, "Yeah, that's not really a vice, but this is pretty bangin' shrimp."

Hector

Hector

I haven't really noticed Hector too much, but he seems kind of funny.  His bio mysteriously says he is "currently working on a project on hot peppers."  That sounds vaguely awesome.

Ashley

Ashley 

You are just going to have to believe me when I say there is more to Ashley than her bizarre resemblance to Jimmy Neutron.

Ash

Ash

Ash has made about zero impression on me so far, so I am using him as a buffer between the people I like so far and the people I don't like so far.  It is an important job, Ash.  I am glad you wore a bowtie for it.

Robin

Robin


Now we are getting into "people I don't like so far" territory.  Robin seems like she could get annoying.  She is a "self-taught" chef, which in Top Chef world usually translates to "extraordinarily defensive and paranoid chef with a chip on his/her shoulder."  At any rate, I don't think she'll be around for very long, so I'm not getting too worked up about it.

Laurine and Eve

Laurine  Eve











I spent the entire first two episodes of the season being unable to differentiate between these two women; finally, when I was beginning to get good at telling them apart (Eve's ridiculous baby voice helped); one of them got eliminated. Eve, I think.  Maybe it was Laurine.  (Incidentally, "Laurine" is how our landlord pronounces my name.)  Anyway.  These two suck.

Eli

Eli

This guy seems preeettty annoying.  According to his Bravo.com bio, Eli is "a self-proclaimed Gastronome."  Yeah, well since we're making proclamations, I'm going to point out that he is also a Lauren-proclaimed dumbass.

Michael

Michael

This guy seems like a real douchebag.

Jennifer

Jennifer

Bleh.  You already know Jennifer is going to go far this season, because the her appearances in the first two episodes have clearly been edited to position her as the Annoying Character Everyone Loves to Hate Who Goes on to Come in Second-ish.  (See also: Stefan.)  It appears we will have to deal with her annoying accent and horrible personality for many episodes to come.  That's unfortunate, because she is totally the person you knew in elementary school who liked to be all Type A and competitive and suck up to the teachers and pretend to be nice, but then give you backhanded compliments about your stegosaurus diorama and kick you at recess when nobody was looking.

Comments

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Pablo G, Valero

Hey i´m back from my vacances, i´d made a photomontage from my trip to NYC. it´s here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFW7XDdTnRo&feature=channel_page

vero

field trip to volt for the tasting menu?

Jerome

I also noticed the whole faux-sibling rivalry thing. Basically, both of them want to win but also want the other person to do well too. That's about the least intense sibling rivalry you could expect.

James Buchanan

Um this is amazing. Also Mattin is my fave too.

Lauren

@vero: that could be awesome
@jerome: haha, it's so true. like, they will have a shot of one brother chopping peppers or whatever with a voiceover of the other brother saying, "i want myself to win, but he is my brother, and i want him to do well, too." and it's like, well, that's reasonable.

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