Dear Top Chef,
A lot of sports fans and old people have a good saying- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Have you ever heard this saying? Was it laced with f bombs in a kitchen somewhere? You had to have. You must’ve.
The reason why I bring it up is because it’s the overriding thought I had after watching this season’s finale, which frankly looked and felt a lot more like Iron Chef than Top Chef. All that was missing was the dancing, kung fu master introducing a table of mystery ingredients. I’m happy that Kristen won, as I don’t think she ever should have been sent home in the first place. But to win in the way she did was a disservice to her, Brooke Williamson (the runner-up with what seems to be a shitload of connections in the restaurant world) and the audience. You drifted, Top Chef. You drifted from the formula that makes your show so entertaining and so much better and a cut above the rest from other cooking shows.
You made the food play second fiddle. You biffed it. Big time.
The finale just didn’t feel like Top Chef. We were too far removed from the food. There were no scenes of the chefs conceptualizing and prepping their dishes, which are some of the best. There was no set up to the finale. Everything just happened. And everything happened quickly. Both chefs had sous chefs, but they were just there. No build up. I wanted to know more about how each chef picked her team of sous chefs. We never even really got to know what meals the chefs were cooking, only that they were and C.J. burned pig ears. And the fact that they had to plate so many dishes I felt was both a disadvantage to both chefs, as well as a deterrent. I realize plating is important, but I felt it made it too important. It took away from the chef’s ability to properly execute.
In the end I just felt like it was kind of a bum way to end another great season and I take a little comfort in knowing I’m not alone in thinking this.
Top Chef has always seemed to be above the reality TV competition fray, so I have faith that next season will end differently and in a way that suits the show better.
But until then, just wanted you to know that this guy was a little bummed about it.
Better luck next time and congrats to Kristen Kish.
Ryan & Giddy Up America
ps. Sheldon should have his own show.