The show's producers have done a good job at picking an entertaining cast of characters as usual, although it seems to me that the overall talent level seems slightly lower than last season. My favorite people so far are crazy bug-eyed Carla, total cougar mom Ariane, Danny with his awful facial hair and worse NYC accent, Big Gay Richard and Pocket Gay Patrick. Too bad "team rainbow" got broken up so soon, with two of the three gays already kicked off - now it's up to Jamie to try and carry the LGBT banner to the end. I'm enjoying the budding romance between Hosea and Leah, but she does seem like kind of a flirt "with a big rack" as someone aptly noted at the beginning of the episode (!), so we'll see where it goes. It would be cool to have a real top chef romance, after four seasons. And no, the lesbians from last season don't count cause they were already together when the show started. Where's the drama there? As for actual contenders for the Top Chef Crown, I'm banking on Stefan, Gene, Radhika, Jamie and Hosea to turn in strong performances. Anyway, I'm interested to see how it all unfolds!
While the first two episodes were fairly standard, this week's episode kicked it up a solid notch... but also down one too. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see my hometown hero Grant Achatz as a guest judge on the show - FINALLY - after he was snubbed in his hometown of Chicago last season. I was wholeheartedly disappointed with the way his appearance was treated however. As such a prolific and progressive chef, I thought they would have given him a more creative quickfire challenge, and I can't believe they attempted to upstage him by putting him in the same episode as the Foo Fighters! I can only hope that he was enjoying the celebrity company as he shared microwave-and-toaster-oven cooked turkey with Top Chef megafan Dave Grohl. For real "foodie" fans, Grant is superstar enough to have carried his own episode. They should have given him that at least. Either way, it was really cool to finally see him honored with an appearance on the show. I hope they bring him back later in the season for some more legit challenges near the end.
And finally - apparently head judge Tom Colicchio is gay? How I could be such a fan and not know this yet is beyond me. I was alerted to this apparently well-known fact on tonight's show when Big Gay Richard made a comment about getting nervous when "cutie gay bear Tom" entered the room with the Foo Fighters. Update: Naturally I looked on the internet for confirmation, and found a few articles that lead me to believe it was true. Thankfully, a better informed reader (see below) set me straight - Tom has been happily married since 2001! Oops! I will make sure to do better research in the future!
Coming soon... six hits for six months of absence. Yeah, it was a busy summer. And fall. But it's not like I wasn't still eating... and taking notes! Stay tuned. :)