Harold Dieterle

Harold Dieterle explains why he hated Restaurant Wars.

on May 28, 2008

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Going back to Restaurant Wars for a moment, I thought it sucked. I enjoy listening to Anthony Bourdain critique, but ... Well, first off I thought that the quick fire was actually pretty cool -- whipping up some eggs on the short order line. But you can't have an episode without Tom there and you can't have an elimination without Tom there. In my opinion I think its silly -- the competition is supposed to be about the contestants.

Yeah, it's interesting to hear Bourdain and Padma critique the food, but it was a little much for me. I didn't particularly enjoy seeing Anthony inside a chef's coat walking around the kitchen. I just didn't. It's just not how I think of him. The guy's not known for being a famous chef; his credibility does not lie in food. But the guy has never created amazing food, that's not what he's known for. He's known for being a great book writer.

While at Les Halles, he made bistro food and there is nothing wrong with that because it's good but it's not the type of stuff that gives you mass credibility and unquestioned knowledge from a food standpoint. Tom's the head judge because he has multiple three-star restaurants and a James Beard winner. That's why he does what he does and why Anthony does what he does. So, for me, I wasn't crazy about the dynamic of it all.

I like Jose Andreas though --he's crazy, he's a wild man. I also didn't like the fact that if you won the Quickfire you got to pick your team. That's crazy -- it's like where's the random stuff? This is getting down to the nitty gritty and that's a ridiculous advantage! When you put a bunch of different personalities together, forget about it. You are going to just watch them pick each other apart, which is basically what happened. I didn't think that one team was that much stronger but the conflict of personalities is enough to set it over the edge. I think that Dale is a really strong chef, but I think he got hosed. I think it was tough -- here you're supposed to be a chef but if no one is going to listen to you and respect you, it's like the what's the point? So I thought the challenge was particularly tough on him.