Last supper for Top Chef

I had to cut a video at work recently about a competition of military chefs. The headline I put on it? Top Chef Military Edition. OMG. I’m not quite obsessed, but I am intensely interested. Thank God it’s almost over.

I’m almost a little nervous! The way they have set things up feels so high school though. Chef Dale is the gay rebel dark horse. Casey is the blond cheerleader everyone likes and whom everyone wants to win. Hung is the very capable but maybe too overachieving nerd who thinks he knows everything. I really don’t know what will happen, but Eater LA scored a clip of tonight’s finale that really gives us nothing.

Ah well. At least you learn from it that Casey has a plan for many textures and colors for each of her plates and Hung will be rockin the portable bunsen burner stoves.

I also wanted to address last week’s LAT article about Top Chef. The overall tone of the article, to me at least, was a little high and mighty, condescending. I would guess that the writer gave up at least six, if not more, grafs talking about the show’s very strong advertising presence. Well, duh. Of course the show is going to have a strong advertising presence. It’s a cooking show, for goodness sakes — its a marketer’s wet dream! Seriously, Trin and I discussed this one night — the show’s producers have ingeniously interwoven most of its big advertisers into the show. One night the challenge was recreating a Bertolli frozen food entree, another night was creating an interesting burger by studying a Red Robin menu. Every episode in the Top Chef kitchen (the one in Miami) has at least a 3-second linger on the appliance’s nameplates. Dude, that’s big bucks. And since money makes the world go round, Top Chef is obviously going to be around for a while.

But the great thing is that even with all that advertising and marketing weaving, the show is still good. It’s still dramatic. It’s still got the good guy and the bad guy. And hot damn if the food doesn’t look scrumptious — Trinity was asking the other day if CJ was correct in assuming all women love crepes. I think he may be right.

And speaking of CJ, he’s apparently going to be at an LA food event hosted by Los Angeles Magazine. When I saw the commercial for the event last night, I briefly entertained thoughts of pitching it as something I could cover for work — but really, the only reason I’d want to go is to meet CJ, Tre or Padma. Hee.