Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio welcomes fans to Season 6 and shares his first thoughts of the contestants.

on Aug 19, 20090

A word about Jen’s seitan dish: This first challenge is a time to put your best foot forward.  Doing something “different” is fine, as long as by “different” you mean “more exceptional,” i.e., you can execute something that’s truly different and special. The bottom line is: it still has to be good. In Jen’s dish, it wasn’t the seitan that did her in, underwhelmed by that protein as we were. The dish was poorly done: the breading was falling off because it wasn’t breaded properly, whatever was thrown on the side of it was just a mess, and she garnished the plate with undressed radishes, “just for color” – they had no purpose. The winning dish that Kevin made, by contrast, was smartly realized and perfectly executed. Kevin right away struck me as someone very bright. In fact, he was on his way to MIT on scholarship when he decided to be a chef and changed course. He is very thoughtful – look at his rationale for his dish. That level of thinking set him apart from the onset. And then, as I said, he was able to execute his concept to perfection. The fish was perfectly seasoned, cooked, and balanced. It deserved the win. Jen Carroll’s dish worked beautifully, too. She worked under Eric Ripert, so we figured she’d be able to do fish well, and she didn’t disappoint.

What’s neat about this season is that the cooks come from very different backgrounds, styles, and approaches, but they’re all very, very good. The talent is deep and strong, and they are all serious – they all came ready to cook.  In my opinion, this is probably our strongest collective group of chefs to date. They’ve even downplayed some of their strengths, and yet those skills are there and will emerge as the season progresses. Some are wildly creative, others are more grounded, but this season will show that perfectly executed, well seasoned, well thought-out food will always win the day. As we saw in the Quickfire Challenge, in which Jen worried about her presentation yet won the challenge, this is a season in which viewers will see certain dishes and think “wow!” but another, less glitzy dish will not look as good, but will taste sublime and win the day … another reason that Vegas is the perfect backdrop for what’s to come. Get ready for a great season, not only from the cheftestants, but from the guest chefs as well.  The talent that has graced us with their participation this season shows that not only is Top Chef recognized as great entertainment, but it has been embraced by our industry as something very worthwhile.

One final word: Recently an article written about the lack of time that people are spending cooking hinted at Top Chef as being part of the reason. With the feedback I’ve received from viewers, including countless nine- and ten-year old boys and girls who watch devotedly and are now in the kitchen cooking away, I have to believe it’s quite the opposite. Your thoughts?

230 comments
donna rowe
donna rowe

Hi Tom,

I have been an avid watcher of Top Chef. This season was such a dissapointment that I will never watch it again. It was so obvious that the two brothers were left at the end for some drama that was left wanting. Michael with his undercooked eggs, and over chopped vegetables, should have left before Jennifer's slightly over salted dish. After observing this it is way too obvious that this is not a competition about cullinary skill, but a reality show that draws on drama, in this case, the competition between two brothers. Why, as a chef would you let this happen? I have to regress to an answer to that question that usually fits in our American Society. The answer is money. I am so sorry that I have lost one of my favorite shows.

Matthew Mengerink
Matthew Mengerink

My family & I watch this show regularly along with just a couple of other shows. After watching these, here are some great incidents and quotes in our household:

1. Our 7yr old daughter chastised me for badly plating a dover sole with a parsnip puree.

2. My 10yr old daughter just made the best lamb vindaloo I've ever eaten.

3. When I cook a dish that is good, the kids will ask, "Do you think this dish would win on Top Chef?

4. Ok, so one other show we watch is Hell's Kitchen. My 7yr old quipped the other day, "Would you serve this to Chef Ramsay? I don't think so!"

So, I think that these shows go a long way to challenge children to cook. The episodes where the kids are part of he show are just great.

Thanks, Matthew

Christina
Christina

Top Chef inspires me to cook with flexibility and experimentation. Seeing all the unusual combinations the chefs come up with really makes me think about what I like and what I think might go together. I've had some 'foul balls' but a few homers too! I actually made a cream sauce once using some red wine (really!) to use with beef that ended up tasting really good. I am not saying this is good bad wrong original or unoriginal as I am no chef just a home cook, but I never would have tried it before.

Also, I had no idea waht umami meant until this last episode. I learn a lot from this show!

Krys
Krys

I think that TC most certainly inspires people to get into the kitchen, and whomever wrote that article is way off base. As always the season so far has been exciting and interesting to watch.

One request, though I realize that taping is over, could someone please tell Jen how to pronounce Ceviche. I feel embarrassed for her everytime she says it.

linda lee
linda lee

This season contains some fabulous chefs and some really mediocre ones. The Voltaggio brothers are head and shoulders above everyone else. Next we have Kevin and Jen. Bye bye quickly to Eve, Jessie, Peethi, Ron, Mattin and Ash. It will definitely come down to the bros!

Dar
Dar

Hi Tom!

Thank you for your thoughtful blogs.

Top Chef may be one of my all-time favorite shows!

I have liked the seasons with the least hostility among the chefs, and loved the seasons where teamwork and mutual respect for each others differences reigned in the kitchen, because this attitude resulted in good food in the end.

I have learned so much about cooking just by watching the show, and I am frequently inspired to cook after the show is over. This is an area of life that many of us would take pride in being better at.

I am with the fans of the show that loved the football pre-game challenge, Also the "High Steaks" challenge in Chicago, and I loved this latest French Cusine showdown.

I wonder if some of the chefs who immortalized the mean things that they had to say about the other chefs in the heat of the moment realized that their sometimes sneering comments about the other chefs and will be digitized forever, usually making themselves look small, or jealous, or mean, or not a chef that would be fun to work with in the future.

Good luck to all and thank you for a great show!

Liza Hayes
Liza Hayes

I want to know why Hector Santiago is not shown as the other chefs on the show opening? I also want to know why Hector Santiago dish during the quickfire challenge with Todd English was edited and never aired? This is the same thing that you did to Paloma in a past season. I am starting to believe that Top Chef is prejudice toward Hispanics.

ImaWurdibitsch
ImaWurdibitsch

Top Chef has inspired my cooking. No, I'm not learning technique from the show but I wouldn't watch a show to learn that. I love the entertainment value but what I really enjoy is the thought processes that get sparked. I frequently find myself thinking, "I'd have never thought to combine those ingredients!" or "I don't know what the heck that was but I'm going to have to try it."

Not that I needed permission but I love the freedom watching this show has given me to break out of the standard flavors and preparations. If I haven't been to the grocery store and there's an odd combination of things in the fridge and it's getting late, I don't stress about what to fix for dinner. I look at it as my own personal Quickfire. I've come up with some real winners and, admittedly, a few turkeys.

This is the one show* I try to watch when it airs and the only show I care to record.

*Applies to all the Top Chef variants

Coco
Coco

I read the NY Times article by Mr. Pollan to which you allude. I think his point is just that many people see themselves as consumers of food rather than as cooks of food and he has some impressive stats to back him up. And I do know a surprising number of people who really don't cook... they order take out or chop veggies and call it dinner. However, while now that I have read the article, I can't say I cook from scratch (I am a working mom -- I used canned broth, jars of yogurt, tomato juice, etc. in my cooking -- I am restricted by time and I have to take some shortcuts), I do usually cook, and watching Top Chef along with hanging out with some foodie friends has definitely encouraged me to rely less on recipes and experiment more in the kitchen... sometimes doing something as simple as substituting what I would normally use to make a dish for a different ingredient I found at the farmer's market or that I had on hand. Belonging to a C.S.A. has also encouraged me to experiment more with new foods, as has my growing environmental awareness. I think Top Chef has encouraged me to try to cook with seasonal vegetables more. I don't know. I think you can take almost any experience in either direction, but I would hazard a guess that the economic realities of the day have more of an effect on people's cooking habits than reality t.v. does. I have no stats to back that up. But I think it's usually true.

AE
AE

Chef Colicchio, in response to the last query on your post I would like to say this: If anything, Top Chef has only encouraged me to cook and to try new things.

So far, I'm really impressed by the new season. I know that it is early still, but there already seems to be a large depth of talent in this round of the competition. People who, in previous seasons, would likely have coasted to the middle are being cut NOW. I think this season is head and shoulders above the last two. Please keep up the good work.

Noreen
Noreen

Re the Quickfire, Preeti DID tell the others she had never opened a clam before! The other three were unwilling to change their choices of what they *wanted* to do. They were selfish and inflexible, and Preeti was unassertive but willing to try.

The New York Times article made many valid observations of NATIONAL trends. You chose to air your opinion to the one demographic most likely to disagree with the article's point that people are cooking less. If you were angling for written opinions on this issue so you can joust with the article's author in NYC, your "victory" is a hollow one.

Top Chef does not encourage me to cook more often or adventurously. Often, the ingredients (saffron, duck fat, etc.) and the equipment (such as the gadgets Richard used in the Chicago season) are beyond my wallet or talents. Nor do I have access to anyone who could teach me methods that are only named--but not demonstrated--on your show.

Amy
Amy

Tom, thanks for your fun and always thoughtful blog entries.

I have a logistical question I would love to see addressed. If all the chefs have to finish their cooking at the same time, doesn't the team that serves the food last risk having all their food be cold? Or are they actually staggered as to when they have to finish?

Thanks again -- looking forward to another great season!

Mary
Mary

I just wanted to comment on how your show is keeping people out of the kitchen--I think that the opposite is true. As a matter of fact, I think that it would want more people to get cooking! My kids who are very small(7,5,4,3,and 1) will often watch Top Chef with me on the DVR and at th breakfast table will comment, "Mommy, this looks like Top Chef food." And then they'll say "we want to make Top Chef food too!" Then they will come and cook with me. So, I would have to disagree! By the way, My husband and I just came back from Las Vegas last week and we dined at Craftsteak--What an amazing experience. Excellent food, great staff, friendly bartenders, etc.. Love your restaurant!!! Next, we'll have to go to the one in NYC.

Sue
Sue

I am absolutely addicted to Top Chef. My niece and I talk about it every week. She is an exceptional cook and loves experimenting. I am more run of the mill, meat and potato type of cook, but we both are spending more time in our kitchens...having fun and loving it! This show is not only fun and entertaining, it's motivating!

Stephanie
Stephanie

As a professional chef, retired (at least for the moment), I think Top Chef would inspire people to get into the kitchen. Especially now, with the state of the economy, fewer people are able to eat out. What we have seen here in the Midwest is a trend toward home gardens. I think people are slowly coming back toward farm to table, at least I really hope so. I think Top Chef does a very good job of showing how fresh foods are cooked and how much better they taste. Keep up the good work, you are inspiring tons of young people, from my sons in their twenties, both of whom are accomplished cooks (no thanks to their largely absent Mother), and my younger kids, who watch Top Chef every week.

S kelly
S kelly

Hello Tom,

We are looking forward to season 6. Love Vegas and think it is a perfect backdrop.

I love to cook. I watch many cooking shows and I really enjoy Top Chef. I have my own quick fire challenge almost everyday. What can I cook for dinner with what I have in the house and garden and can we eat before 8 pm? I enjoy the challenge.

Recently learned our 2 sons, both in college, watch your show. They are both creative cooks and I believe watching cooking shows encourages them to try different things. Our family watches more and cooks more. Now if I could just get them to clean the kitchen when they are finished cooking.......

sueM
sueM

Hey Tom, what a show. I've been watching the Food Network for years, never ventured over to Bravo for food at all, until now. I am in love with this show. I caught the last few episodes of season 5 and now I am hooked. I 've already watched episode 1, 3 times. I am a tried and true foodie and this show just makes me want to try some new things. Funny, I don't get that feeling when I watch FN anymore. Keep it coming Tom, you and Padma are great.

Beth O
Beth O

Tom,

Six seasons and not one chef from New Orleans? Either you all are really missing the culinary boat or NOLA chefs have made it clear city-wide that none of their own should find their way onto your show. Which is it?

Overall, I love the geographic diversity of this show. It is nice to see chefs from outside of NYC and LA.

--Beth

C. Andreas
C. Andreas

Tom,

I would have to blame some of the silly shows that promise meals in two minutes, or dinner for under 35 cents for people not cooking. It's not just chefs who know it takes time to develop not only techniques and skill, but FLAVOR. These shows only teach people to throw things together, and hope for the best. Hope is NOT a strategy! These shows would do better to teach people how to build flavor profiles with high quality convenience foods, and some fresh herbs and seasonings. Just once I would like to Rachael Ray say "Just so you know, it took one of my chefs 9 hours to make this veal stock." Some day, because of shows like Top Chef, people will know the difference between preparing a meal, and making something to eat.

Liam's mom
Liam's mom

The idea that Americans are not cooking because of Top Chef is absurd. If you look at Facebook everybody is posting their recent successes in the kitchen. Our son is eight years old and has already reproduced and even revamped many TC recipes, including Hubert Keller's green gazpacho, which he now makes completely unaided. He also rails against what he calls "fake food", like canned vegetables and store-bought bread. He wakes up in the morning and says things like, "Mom, can we go to the store, i need to pick up a couple of red bell peppers and some coconut milk....." He may end up being your youngest contestant in an upcoming season. So thanks, Tom, for getting the next generation to think about what and how to eat!

kitty
kitty

I have always been a pretty good home cook - not chef - but Top Chef has led me to broaden my base. I am always looking for new recipes on the bravo site and trying some of the recipes I have seen on the show. This weekend we are going to have Chef Hubert's mac-n-cheese with prawns. Who would have guessed they'd ever be cooking a dish created by such a famous chef? Top Chef and Top Chef Masters has provided the vehicle for the home cook to truly become the home chef. Thanks to all those involved in these great shows!

JaceyB
JaceyB

I'll be honest - I have always been a foodie. My godmother brought me in the kitchen and start teaching me to cook at the age of 5 which is also the age I was introduced to Julia Child. I have always loved cooking and always been pretty good at creating tasty dishes. As my busy life has taken me out of the kitchen it is shows like Top Chef that have inspired me to jump back in (I won't even get started on Top Chef Masters - which inspired me beyond belief). I'm looking at cooking classes and even going as far to look at culinary art schools (as I've been searching for a career change to something that I am passionate about).

The show is fantastic entertainment, of course, but it also opens the audience’s minds and palates to the possibilities! Thank you!

Viewer
Viewer

I love the show, but can't cook really at all. But it inspires me to try to learn to cook more. Plus at 25 I started dating someone with kids, which means that I'm somewhat automatically in the "mom role" and want to do the best for them. It's tough being a vegetarian without being a huge health freak or being vegan and not knowing any good recipes. Plus I'm struggling to learn to cook the most basic meats since I've never eaten meat at all in my life. I would love to see a vegetarian challenge.

Viewer
Viewer

Welcome back Top Chef! I love this show, and it has encouraged me to cook more often, and more creatively. It has also been educational, and has inspired a group of us to form a dinner club where we experiment a good deal. I knew Eve would go this week unless she cooked the most fabulous meal of her life. Tom, sorry, but you have a way of expressing disapproval when tasting and analyzing what you're eating. So it is easy some times to know who you would like to see leave. Eve seemed to be a bit clueless about what she was doing. Any chef worth their salt should be able to cook shrimp well, my scampi is one of my best dishes. Anyway, happy to see the show back on, it does seem to be a strong group of chefs. Good luck!

DeeDee
DeeDee

This season, so far, is shaping up to be better than I expected and I am enjoying it immensely. I was so impressed with the demeanor of the Masters that I was almost dreading the new season of TC--some of the antics of the contestants in past seasons being a definite put off.

Regarding your question: my husband and I have a blast recreating some of the challenges and dishes for ourselves. We both like to cook anyway, but Top Chef is great inspiration. :)

David
David

Tom-

Not nice vice?

I'm and avid home cook, Top Chef fan and advocate of sustainable, local, fresh and organic "good food". My thoughts have been influenced by Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Waters and others. I will cut myself off before digressing into a rant about a fractured agricultural system, environmental and health/obesity problems and say that I am pleased with Top Chef's shopping trips to "Whole Foods." However, I was significantly saddened to see your new advertising campaign for a certain diet soft drink. Now, I'm sure there's lots of money involved (which would be tempting for anyone) but I believe soda is just not a "good food" and to have a well-known chef (and now pop icon of sorts) advocating for it...well, lets just say I wish you were out there guiding people away from empty/unhealthy calories and towards delicious summer tomatoes, corn, squash, peaches, etc....

Michele
Michele

Hi Tom--

I completely disagree with the premise of the article. First, Top Chef can illustrate to viewers different ways to use the ingredients that they find but don't normally use in the refrigerator. Second, the Quickfire can help individuals to think of fast ways to create good dishes. Third, the Elimination Challenge can inspire people to learn more about more refined dishes and the sometimes easy method to create them. Fourth, every episode emphasizes the old wisdom that it is ok to fail and get up and start again and you can succeed. Fifth, even in a "B" market like Phoenix, AZ (where I live) more fresh food options are available in grocery stores and markets--even in these tough times. The grocery stores are operating for a profit, so somebody is buying product and cooking with it........... Top Chef is inspiring to real home cooks or wanna be home cooks!!!

Kari
Kari

I think the author of the article was looking for an angle. The trend of people cooking less at home began before Top Chef began airing. I personally believe that shows like Top Chef inspire more to cook at home.

I certainly am more aware of ingredients and how they merge together to create a depth of flavor from watching Top Chef than before. Will I ever be a chef? No but do I love watching Top Chef? You bet!!!! Keep up the good work am already LOVING this season!!!

Viewer
Viewer

Tom With your obsession about keeping meat on the bone, why didn't you say something about the contestant who played on "the rack" for not cooking and plating the entire rack? Also it's pretty cruel to watch past episodes and hear you say to chegs "If I could get rid of all 3 of you I would." Have a heart.

Charmin Alston
Charmin Alston

First I would like to welcome back Tom, Padma, Gail, and Toby. I've been eagerly anticipating the new season. I'm still sad about Carla choking last season :0(... As an African American female myself, I really wanted to see her to win!!!!. Not just because she is African American but because she had good food, cooked with love, and had the most growth as the season went on!!!

I absolutely believe it is the opposite. I believe the show encourages people to cook more. Especially in today's economy, it is cheaper to cook at home than to eat out, and your show gives us at home cooks some great ideas to try out with our families.

Will Anthony Bourdain be guest judging this season? He is soooo cool, cute, and sexy like you Tom ;). If there is another Top Chef Masters, Anthony should be a cheftestant on that show. See you all tonight, I cant wait!!!!

kit kat
kit kat

I just read the article you mentioned, I would have to disagree. My finance and I watch the show religiously & in fact our interest in cooking was certainly sparked. My finance often tried similar dishes from the show & even I have tried my hand @ cooking (I am a terrible cook, I must add) & learned a lot.

Viewer
Viewer

I wholeheartedly agree with Tom's comment about the article blaming Top Chef for the lack of cooking. My 11 year old LOVEs the show & has learned to cook well . My 7 year old loves it, too. Sometimes he is more interested in figuring out the "bleep" words, but he'll re-cap the show and remembers all the contestants from last year.

alisha
alisha

In response to your question about spending time in the kitchen, my 10 and 8 yr old sons' both want to open a restaurant and be "top chefs" when they grow up...we even have sample menu's with recipes created by them. So I'd say Top Chef is encouraging to future foodies!!!

kat
kat

Off to another great season! I saw the first show in re-run last night and it was awesome to see the talent you are dealing with this year. I also watched Top Chef Masters and it was refreshing to see a group of wonderfully congenial chefs who look out for each other and show what maturity in the kitchen is all about. The younger chefs should take heed of that and act like adults this time around and temper the language.

I love to cook and have learned alot about technique from watching TC. Thanks for your blogs which are funny and informative.

anita
anita

I read the article in question, and didn't get the accusation- thought the writer was pushing for a connection. And shows like Top Chef (with its giuest judges) have certainly helped diners become more sophisticated about eating out! I watch all cooking shows and feel I have learned how to be more creative in my daily cooking. I have downloaded recipes from bravotv.com, but they are often a bit too complex for a weeknight- so I'm saving for a dinner party!!

Justin S.
Justin S.

Chef Tom:

First off may I say how happy I am that your awesome show is in my hometown, and that you enjoy the diverse cuisine so much. Hopefully the season will go to off-strip restaurants and enjoy what's outside of the neon lights. Secondly, I completely agree with your last paragraph about how this show inspire viewers to enjoy cooking. My girlfriend and I were so inspired by this and previous seasons that we created our own blog to follow along with the show and attempt a few cooking challenges. Check out theunderdone.com and bask in your accolades and where they have lead people like me.

Keep up the awesomeness!!

Frisco88
Frisco88

I don't watch TV much, but I didn't miss a single episode of the very first season or the Top Chef Masters series. (In between I was mostly living in the woods without TV.) My cooking is more innovative, I cook better without recipes, I have learned about knife skills and especially plating. By and large, these cooks serve as teachers for us all and Tom and the other judges teach us discretion and refinements of cooking and professionalism. Thank you.

Darcie
Darcie

Sandra Lee might discourage people from cooking, but not Top Chef! I'm an addict, and I cook almost every night. TC inspires me, especially TC Masters - that was exceptional programming.

Carrie
Carrie

My new husband at the ripe age of 48 is set on what his tastes are, not wanting to try anything new. Then I turned on Top Chef last season. Suddenly we were watching marathons of previous seasons and my husbands eyes opened as his mouth watered. His MS has pretty much cut off a lot of his taste buds but what he has left is interested in some of those wonderful dishes that you, Gail, Padma, and the guest judges get to taste. Now me, I hate to cook (haha) but a great thank you to Bravo, Top Chef, and the Judging Gang for turning my husband into a beginner foodie and for making me become creative in the kitchen. On the other hand, my husband LOVES my cooking. Thanks for great ideas and a wonderfully entertaining show.

(P.S. Tom - my sister thinks you're gorgeous.)

JLY53
JLY53

Hello and good luck to this season's contestants. After reading these blogs, and all the comments I really encourage you to consider a contest for kids. You could do it during the summer months and what could be more positive for the next generation of "Top Chef's" It is a great show and really shows different regional talent! Keep up the good work!

Grant Wiseman
Grant Wiseman

I love watching your show, and tonight for some reason, we (my daughters and I) were watching a rerun of Top Chef while eating Tuna Helper. It made me think that a great "Quickfire Challenge" would be to have to make a great meal while using Chef Boy R Dee, or Hamburger Helper or Dinte Moore Beef Stew in 30 minutes.

Use the recipes and advice from your shows when I have guests and would love ideas of how to make something special with what little is left in my pantry.

Renee
Renee

What happened to Anthony Bourdain as a guest judge?? I love that guy! get him back please.

bonita
bonita

It's ridiculous to blame top chef for people not cooking! I may not cook like a top chef, but I certainly mark wednesday nights with some home made viewing snack or appetizer because top chef is on! Take out just doesn't seem the right thing on Wednesday night. I also wanted to say that you give the best critiques and I think any chef would be fortunate to work with you.

Coach Lou
Coach Lou

Top Chef rocks - I never miss it. Keep up the great work Chef Tom and crew. Can't wait for tonight

Malaka D
Malaka D

I believe quite the contrary...Top Chef continues to awaken untapped culinary interests all around the country. Many home chefs, myself included, have been inspired to broaden their realm of comfort and familiarity in the kitchen. I have never tasted nor cooked with leeks, sun chokes, celery root, chilean sea bass, tuna, and other items that I frequently see and hear about on Top Chef; simply because my Mother, Grandmothers and Great-Grands had not either. But by watching the preparations, listening to the flavor profiles, and hearing your critiques, I have become confident in trying new things, new flavors, and the likes. The other night I prepared a rosemary-basil seared tuna with a lemon-dijon sauce, along with a blackbean puree and a salad. It went over extremely well, and because I was in a hurry, I plated "top chef" style, with my sons counting down!

In addition to my expanded interests, both of my sons have begun to really enjoy learning to cook...something I hadn't really pushed, aside from their knowing how to prepare simple items to be able to feed themselves when they go to college. But now we are spending more and more time together as I teach them the tastes of each herb and various seasonings and sauces...learning what goes well with what..teaching various techniques...they have taken great joy in learning simple things such as home fried potatoes, beans, chicken and dumplings...and I would be delighted to see them continue to increase in their knowledge and understanding of the culinary world.

Top Chef is opening eyes, hearts and most importantly KITCHENS to the culinary world!!! Bravo!!

KT
KT

Like most here, I found the NYT piece to be counter-intuitive in its conclusion. Top Chef got me into cooking. My husband, who was the cook in our family, unexpectedly died a year ago. Besides the obvious, I also found myself lost in a kitchen after a lifetime of having others always cook for me.

I love seafood. Watching Jamie on S5 and her fetish for scallops made me brave enough to try and sear my own batch of scallops for dinner. My cooking naivete showed, however, when I landed in the emergency room with self-induced food poisining. After telling the ER doctor what had happened, he laughed and said that I had better get to cooking class. 20 classes (and lots of triumphs and failures) later, I now cook almost every meal at home.

Lauren
Lauren

I'm not much of a cook - I cook because our family needs to eat - but I am much more interested in learning than I used to be. I had been overcooking pork tenderloin for years until Top Chef showed me how properly cooked pork should look. And because of the caliber of the judges, I know I can trust the information. So I (and my family) thank you!

deidre
deidre

i loved the idea of using vices as the challenge. Michael's rack was hilarious - and creative. Although i don't think Ron got what vices meant? but his dish looked good. Wolfgang Puck cracked me up too. I also love watching guests judges that make Tom laugh! i think Toby had great comments when judging but Wolfgang was a bit nicer. I look forward to a great season -

timscookie
timscookie

I would have to disagree with the group on the stance of cooking less. My 7 year old daughter is an avid watcher of the show. After every episode gets inspired to cook. She makes up her own dishes, and although some are not so good, she has the creativity to go on to be a good cook. Maybe she will want to be a chef, that would be wonderful for her. In this economy it seems more people are cooking just out of a need to cut back on finances. I am not saying that everyone stopped eating out, but that instead of eating out 3-4 days a week, they are cutting back to only a couple days a week. Also as a society have recognized that fast food is not a good choice for a healthy lifestyle, and that could also encourage cooking at home. When you cook the food you know what goes into the dish. Also there are great websites that have recipes that make it easier to find flavorful yet healthy dishes to cook at home! Love the show TOM!

Viewer
Viewer

The first episode was wonderful. The playful use of Vegas as a theme (and perhaps element of torture) kept my curiosity and interest. I read the NYT article, and I don't agree with the premise that Top Chef et al have discouraged cooking in the average home. To compare a show where contestants compete to prove their skill to a show that is dedicated to sharing and teaching a new skill is inherently flawed. I grew up in the south, and by now we have seen so many of the contestants from the south speak to the fact that food=love in that region. But I've met my share of Italian and Polish and Czech grandmothers who use the same philosophy, and they've never left Jersey City of South Philly. This show has introduced me to new ingredients and techniques, it has taught me to appreciate balance and layering of flavor, and it helped me convince my significant other to take me to the Frontera Grill (goat rocks). I think Julia would have enjoyed Top Chef with its balance of humor and seriousness and with its goal of sharing and spreading an appreciation for real talent and real food. So Tom, the NYT article is poppycock.