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So, next to “Can the chefs really cook?” the question I most get asked is, “Did you get to meet [insert celebrity guest judge here]???” And the answer is no, I did not get to meet [insert celebrity guest judge here], though I would’ve appreciated a chance last week to apologize to the B-52’s for shoplifting the Cassingle for “Roam” when I was in high school. (I bought the album after! And their entire back catalog! Which got me called names by jocks and cool kids for years! So maybe I wanted an apology instead?)
And this week, I suppose I’m glad I didn’t meet Dita Von Teese, because judging from the episode, there is not a grown man alive who can hold it together around her. Chris made the same face he made flying in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, Takashi dutifully mentioned his wife before asking for Dita’s number… even Art, who is married to a man named Jesus, was losing it when Dita tasted his homage to boobs. Who knows what dumbness may have fallen from my mouth? Just the other day, someone tweeted at me: “enjoy you comments on TC Masters. Nice to see erudition is not going out of vogue with the younger crowd!” So thanks, producers, for, er, protecting my brand.
Anyway, to another part of the episode I didn’t get to see in real life: the chefs hauling it to open a restaurant in something like 30 minutes. I love cooking, but I also love restaurants—how they run, the systems, the machinery, the teamwork, their bone-crunching pace—so it was really interesting to watch the goings-on on TV when all I saw during filming was the food as it hit the table.
"I suppose I’m glad I didn’t meet Dita Von Teese, because judging from the episode, there is not a grown man alive who can hold it together around her."
Yes, there are, Francis. It's a question of thinking with the big head and not the little one.
I want to tell you how much I am enjoying your participation on Top Chef Masters. You seem to have a wide range of knowledge about food, and your comments reflect this. What I especially like about you as a judge is your seeming effort to say something complimentary about each dish before you say anything negative. The chefs have worked hard on their dishes and deserve to hear a compliment or two. You seem to understand that.
I hope that you will continue to appear on this show in the same capacity. You are pleasant to watch, and your comments always give me something to think about. Good luck in all of your endeavors!