Team Top Chef

Bravotv.com's Editor explains whys he agrees with Ludo -- Jonathan Waxman is a true Master.

Apr 24, 20100

As I've been an unforgivable bum about blogging so far this season, I shall share the first paragraph of the Episode 1 blog I started writing:

Holy crap, you guys, Season 2 is finally here! I have to say that although I love all of our shows equally — they're like my children after all — well, I don't. I've always been partial to our food shows, so to have one back is well, exciting. And, I'm happy to be able to share my adventures in amateur foodie-ing with you all too! I've had some pretty fabulous meals since we last "spoke," and I'm sure you all have too. So feel free to describe them in the comments below!

OK -- back to the present. Now, aren't you happy I'm back sharing such gems of wisdom with you? I sure hope so! OK -- now let's get back to the episode, shall we? This week was truly unique in that six Season 1 cheftestants returned to try to redeem themselves, and I think whether they won or lost they all did for the most part. For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs had to create dishes to complement Stolichnaya cocktails. Although Stoli is actually one of my favorite vodkas, like Gael Greene, I'm not a big fan of drinking cocktails while I eat unless it's a margarita or a mojito and I'm eating Mexican or Cuban food. (P.S. I recently ate Cuban at Calle Ocho, and I highly recommend it, especially the plantain-crusted tilapia.) So, I might have been just as turned off by some of the combos as the Real Housewives of Orange County were.

Although many of you no doubt that the choice of the Housewives as judges was an unwise one, they're restaurant patrons. And at the end of the day, chefs need them to like their food. I was also very surprised at how open-minded they were, especially Alexis. If you're not a Housewives fan, you won't remember this, but on one of the final episodes of Season 5 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Alexis actually spit out food at Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys. Sooo I was a little nervous about the 'wives' appearance as well. But, I think they rallied, and honestly it was worth it just to watch the chefs mock them. Say it with me: ed-a-mam-e

Ultimately, they gave the win to Jonathan Waxman, a chef who finished his dish 20 minutes before his competitors. I don't think I've ever seen anyone as relaxed in the kitchen as Jonathan Waxman. His quiet confidence is positively magnetic. And, I'll let you know he's that laid back in real life. The first time I went to his West Village eatery, Barbuto, I wanted to finally introduce myself. I was sitting eating with a small group of friends, and looked over at the bar and spotted him. He wasn't wearing a chef's coat or even a dress shirt, but just a t-shirt and shorts. If you didn't know what he looked like you would have no idea that he was one of the most accomplished chefs in New York City. I called him over and he was an absolute delight. I've had the pleasure of interacting with him a few times after that and recommend Barbuto to anyone looking for a delicious and hearty meal. There's a reason there's a picture of him above the bar at Joey Campanaro's Little Owl. For this challenge, Jonathan knew exactly who his audience was and went for it. Although it may have sounded just a little sarcastic when Ludo said that Chef Waxman was truly a Master, he meant it. 

8 comments
am
am

Glad to read your latest blog! Love your insights and happy you are blogging about this season of Masters!

Viewer aj
Viewer aj

I, too, couldn't believe what I was seeing in the promo. I only hoped it was misleading, which Bravo has done from time to time. Hoping Mr. Waxman, zen guru, is the top master... His calmness and sense of fun is what life is all about.

Gail K
Gail K

I'll add my criticism about the ad showing Susur. What's wrong with your editing staff? Total spoiler! If you can't run ads without giving away the finale, don't show them!

BETTY DECKER
BETTY DECKER

Dear Bravo,YOU DID IT AGAIN.Youshowed a promo for next weeks show with the winners face showing. You took all the fun out of the ending.We're going to watch next week because we enjoy the show so stop ruining it for us.

SG
SG

I second the way to spoil it message -- a real suspense killer. Thanks for an otherwise great show.

Way to spoil it!
Way to spoil it!

I'm sending you this message because I see you are an editor of the show. Way to spoil the ending of this week's show by showing a commercial of next week's show and you have Susar on it....hello.... this week's show wasn't over yet!!!! That ticked me off, please don't do that next week because I love all Top Chef shows. Thank you.

New Bloggers!
New Bloggers!

PLEASE add new bloggers - how about past chefs on Top Chef?! No one wants to read the blogs by the critics. We want to hear from Harold or Stephan or Tiffanie.