Hugh Acheson

Top Chef host and James Beard Award-winning (!!!) chef Hugh Acheson sizes up the competition.

on May 9, 20120

The chefs have some issues. Their knowledge of Brit food is minimal and this becomes the sticking point very quickly. I won’t run an account of all the action (watch the show!) but let this one point be very clear: they need to pay attention to what they’re eating in “The Course” part of the show. If they don’t analyze and figure out the dishes then and there, without their beer goggles on, it’s going to be a short season for them. 

Brief rundown though: 

•Cheven is a going to be a magnet of controversy and reviled by most everyone in all countries.

•Cheven is also "up there on the culinary totem pole.” Self promotion not-withstanding this is just too open-ended to make fun of. 

•When in doubt, take a taxi. 

•Nookie, the self-described schemer, sweats a lot, and I forecast him being the Bill Buckner of this season (to the Google!).

•When looking for a pub called “the Camden Head,” do not try to find “the Hammerhead”, because the former is in London and the latter, I imagine, is a parrot-themed dive bar in Key West. 

•I love fish 'n' chips, but chips are not wispy little potato threads.

•The Red Team gets the Exceptional Ingredient and this gives them an edge, but not much of one. 

•Why are they subtitling Curtis? 

23 comments
Mahjanna
Mahjanna

I'm not loving this show. I always enjoy Curtis so that element is there, but I've never agreed with having contestants vote other people off. Top Chef was not perfect but for me it was far more satisfying and fun to watch. I miss Tom a lot too. Hugh, I always enjoy you on the shows as well!

PhatNate
PhatNate

Love your blog Hugh, but it's going to take all your talent to put lipstick on this pig...

Maisie
Maisie

Hugh! You are back! And you made funny jokes about Morrissey guest judging! Would have been delightful to see. (snarf). You know he is watching, just like the rest of us! So glad you are here to blog away and make us laugh; I will be even more inclined to watch so Icahn understand why what you are saying is so darned funny. Love. It.

sherviiewer
sherviiewer

First time reading your blog, Hugh. Really enjoyed your performances both as a contestant and judge. Loved your sense of humor.

Are you serious about this show being interesting? The "chefs" act like a bunch of drunken college kids not professionals. Letting the "chefs" do the eliminations is totally wrong, as stated in another comment above, it will end up being a personality contest or just these "chefs" stabbing each other in the back. This is not a cooking contest as is Top Chef, this might turn out to be a joke.

Love Curtis as a judge ( like to see him judge something ), think Cat should have stayed on Iron Chef.

Dhivya
Dhivya

Too bad Clara got thrown under the bus. Unfair! I liked her. Hold on to your hats, this is going to be a bumpy ride!

wendyb964
wendyb964

Thanks, Hugh. AMEN, Cornelia. As my mum was born in London and raised in France, my early years were full of mushy or hard peas, and on our first visit to UK don't remember "fresh" anything. Best bet at the time: yogurt! Eating at a pub during "happy hour" they had bubble and squeak, steak/kidney pie, and pizza. They served chips with pizza! It HAS come a long way. We are blessed in California to have much fresh produce most of the year. Whilst I love vicarious travel, one episode of this show does not have me charmed.

ViewerMarcia Duggan
ViewerMarcia Duggan

I'm so glad to see your blog again! I guess I'll have to watch the show now although I wasn't impressed with the format either. I like competitions that are judged on merit not drama. Glad to read you again however.

Cornelia cooks
Cornelia cooks

Honey, you should have tasted English food in the '50s and '60s of the last century, but you're too young for that. Appalling! Peas as hard as golf balls. The turnaround in English cuisine took place much earlier than you say and is in large part due to the country joining the European Union. Suddenly there was an abundance of fresh vegetables throughout the year! Forget kale and turnips during the colder months. Also, there was a very active culinary interchange: French chefs came over to show the English how to do it, and the English went to France to learn the ropes. The result: a veritable culinary blessing! A wave of vastly improved, better tasting, healthier food swept over the British realm.

Cornelia cooks
Cornelia cooks

The title of this blog alone is enough to turn me off the whole show.

Viewer87043
Viewer87043

Bravo really missed the mark by having the chefs pick who goes home.

tom simmo
tom simmo

really dont like 80 plates format, letting the team members vote each other off is basically like survior , why do they even need to cook or be chefs ... its a popularity contest or strategize to not get voted off ... not really interested , but when there nothing on tv i watch it :( .. top chef , way better

June LA
June LA

Chef, your blog was great. This seems a step down for Top Chef (although after last season I figure they had to do something different). I found it to be the most boring season ever. I was watching Top Chef Masters the other day where you competed. Was James as annoying to you as I found him. Does he cook? He seems like a pompous ass.

Hugh Acheson
Hugh Acheson

Good to be back. I have lived in Athens on and off since 1996 but went to Concordia University for two years back in the day. This should be a fun show to write about. Even if it was just Nookie it would be fun.

PhiloSophia
PhiloSophia

Hugh - This is my first time reading your blog, and I am pleasantly surprised at how funny and clever you are! Love the "London Calling" reference!

Looking forward to more funny. :)

AnnieGreen
AnnieGreen

So glad you and your blog are back! You will make this journey around the world even more enjoyable.

Valleygirl2012
Valleygirl2012

Always great reading your review! Love your sarcasm! I know you're a great chef, but your writing ROCKS!

Valleygirl2012
Valleygirl2012

Always looking forward to your review ...Love your sarcasm...I know you're a great chef, but your writing ROCKS!

zumbajendc
zumbajendc

Hugh--- Thank God your blog is back. It was truly the best part of last season's Top Chef. You have achieved true blogeristic greatness. I just made that word up! You are the best!

Kgaddis
Kgaddis

I agree completely! Gotta love a cooking show that starts out with a contestant asking which female chef viewers would most like to "bed" & ends with yards of beer drinking before cooking competition! I said to my husband as we watched last night that the only thing this show is missing is Hugh! Your sarcastic humor would have fit in perfectly!

VI215
VI215

Oh- And I LOVE your unibrow!

VI215
VI215

Hugh- I love and have always loved your sense of humor. Wondering if you went to UGA in Athens? Keep blogging- makes this show better!!