Monday, January 15, 2007

Foamie Is a Fauxmie



I know I am utterly alone--alone, I say!-- in my belief that new "Top Chef" trophy wife/ hostess Padma Lakshmi is only marginally better than previous "Top Chef" trophy wife/hostess/robot Katie Lee Joel. Everyone I know thinks she's a big improvement (yeeees, at the very least she seems to be a carbon-based lifeform), but I was really hoping that Katie Lee's replacement would have a smidge more personality and a wee bit less exposed midriff, but alas, 'twas not to be. So I was particularly pleased to see this tidbit in New York (via Gawker):

Padma Lakshmi, the ex-model married to Salman Rushdie and host of Bravo’s Top Chef, isn’t getting much respect from the show’s contestants, five of whom hail from New York. Asked if he trusted Lakshmi’s culinary taste, Ilan Hall, a line cook at Casa Mono, asked a Bravo flack, “Um, are we allowed to say disparaging things about Padma?” No. “She’s beautiful,” Hall offered. “Mostly, she just explained things, and she did a good job at that.” Cliff Crooks, executive chef at Salute!, said, “Nothing she said really made a difference in my cooking.” Sam Talbot, former executive chef at Punch, said, “Next question.” He also noted that she seemed intent on stepping out of her famous husband’s shadow. “She never wanted to talk about him. I remember a time she got a phone call and she yelled, ‘You can ask me any question you want, but don’t bring up my husband!’” And then there’s the matter of her stomach-baring, kitchen-unfriendly attire. “Some of the things she wore, I wouldn’t suggest anyone wear around a working kitchen,” said Crooks. “Either she’d be a fire hazard or she’d get hurt.”

Heh. Overall I've been finding this second season of "Top Chef" rather lackluster--without a Tiffani-caliber villain (or a Harold-caliber favorite) it's kind of hard to care who wins or loses (although I think I speak for an entire nation when I say that everyone was glad to see ersatz-nice Betty get the axe). Sure, Marcel is incredibly annoying and nerdy, but when a reality show contestant who is teased, picked on, and loathed by all but one (Elia) of his fellow chefs decides to fight back with a recitation of white-rap-style poetry-slam free verse about his self-described avante garde foam-obsessed culinary expertise, well then, you've entered televisual golden territory and all bets are off.

For the love of sweet, 7 pound, 6 ounce baby Jesus, when does "Top Design" begin?

1 comment:

Kim said...

Amen! Oh no, you are not alone, my child. She may be more exotic but she is just as emotionally barren.