Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio weighs in on profanity, Spike, and "mini cocktails."

on Apr 9, 2008

Dear Friends:

First off, I'd like to share my regret at missing the last couple of weeks' blog. This has been a hectic time -- I am opening a new place in Connecticut on May 17th, and finishing up my third book (about sandwiches). My kitchen and cookbook duties had to come first.

But I have been reading your comments when I can, and I want to put in my two cents about one thing -- the language on the show. I'm flattered that people think I have enough input over the production and editing to impact this. In reality, we spend about six weeks shooting the show, during which time the judges are in a state of semi-isolation, kept from interacting with the chefs except in our kitchen walk-throughs and the Judges' Table. The "talking-head" interviews you see are filmed away from us and then woven later into the episode by the editorial staff. I see those interviews when you do -- when I watch the show. And you can be sure the chefs are on their best behavior when I stroll the kitchen, (though I wouldn't be surprised if they are swearing at my back, as I move on through.)

That said, I have to agree that the gutter language has been excessive. One of my biggest thrills has been meeting kids of all ages who tell me that Top Chef has induced them to try new foods, or get into the kitchen and start cooking. It bums me out to think that parents might decide to restrict their kids from watching because of the chefs' language. Admittedly, we cooks are a special, salty breed -- more longshoremen than naval officers, if you catch my drift. But I learned fairly early in my career that making my mark as a chef would require me to do more than just cook -- like interacting with the public and the press. In short, I cleaned up my act. The chefs in our competition would be wise to do the same, and hold their food and their demeanor to a high standard. To the extent that I am able, I will ask the producers to stay on the chefs about this in subsequent seasons. In the meantime, to the parents out there, my apologies.