Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio shares his theory on why the chefs produced such lackluster food.

on Dec 16, 2008

This week's episode was self-explanatory; I have little to add. But I will start by saying how pleased I was to learn that for the Elimination Challenge Top Chef was going to participate in an event to benefit amfAR, a worthy and admirable organization that has been at the forefront of AIDS research, as well as prevention, education and policy advocacy since the disease first surfaced in the 1980s.

What I was not pleased about, as you know from watching the episode, was the level of cooking. In defense of the chefs, the time constraint was a legitimate issue. Having only three hours to pull off the entire prep for this particular challenge was rough. But just because you're cooking to serve from behind a table doesn't mean you should dumb down what you elect to do. There are selections you can make that are just a little better than a deviled egg. I like deviled eggs, but please - you can't expect to win Top Chef with a deviled egg, no matter what you top it with. The chefs didn't seem to be cooking to win; rather, they seem to be cooking to not lose, to play it safe, and not get voted off. There is a huge difference between the two. I know that by Episode Six, they're getting tired, but this is actually the point in the competition at which they should be stepping it up. From what I have seen from these chefs, they really can do better, so I expected more from them. If I didn't think they had it in them, I wouldn't have been so hard on them; I wouldn't have even bothered to go into the kitchen to urge them to step it up.