Oh Bravo thank you, thank you, thank you….tonight you will return Padma Lakshmi and whisk the bobble-headed Kelly Choi off to oblivion. What were you thinking anyway? I actually look forward to bringing back Tom Colicchio and even Gail Simmons (Toby Young I could do without) because Gael Greene, Jay Rayner and James Oseland were pretty much a snorefest! And the so-called ‘Masters’? I don’t think I’m the only one who finds the regular, hungry, innovative Top Chef competitors, and format, are far more intriguing.
What began as an interesting concept, Top Chef Masters, devolved into a poor facsimile of an enjoyable TV institution. The food was hardly “Master” caliber (perhaps due to the limitations of the challenges) and the personalities were all simply too cordial. The contestants were just too nice and too far along in their careers to make interesting TV. Really, the most difficult obstacle for them was overcoming the fact that none have prepped or produced in years. Hubert Keller outclassed everyone. Win or lose, he has gained immense respect in my book as a talented chef and personality.
Bravo must have anticipated a falloff in appreciation of their Top Franchise because tonight they are pouncing on the heels of Masters with a regular season kick-off. Back-to-back. Padma. Sigh. Check it out starting with the Top Chef Las Vegas premier at 9pm Comcast (6pm DirecTV) followed by the Masters Finale at 10:15pm Comcast (7:15pm DirecTV).
What can we expect from Season 6? From the Bay Area, there are few entrants:
Preeti Mistry: Executive Chef, Google, Bon Appetit Management Company
Mattin Noblia: Owner, Iluna Basque
Laurine Wickett: Chef / Owner Left Coast Catering
I think Vegas will be an interesting backdrop for the competition. I suppose there won’t be much mention of sustainability! My guess is that Vegas courted Bravo because they Vegas is hurting….big time. But what a setting: lots of restaurants, big kitchens, tons of celebrities (did I hear Natalie Portman??) and celebrity chefs (please no more Rocco).