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Friday Food Blogging April 24, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Food and Drink.
Tags: , , ,

Well it is not quite the genuine article but it will have to do.

Bravo has just announced a spin-off of “Top Chef ” entitled “Top Chef Masters”, beginning on June 10th at 10 P.M.

“Top Chef Masters” will pit 24 world-renowned chefs against each other and see how well they fare in the tried and true format of “Top Chef.” In each episode, money will be at stake for the chefs, with the winners of eliminations being awarded cash donations for their charities. The first six episodes will consist of four chefs competing against each other to name one winner. The six winners of each episode will then meet up for the final four weeks when one person will get eliminated each episode until the finale where one winner is crowned Top Chef Master.

The judges will include various celebrities and Hollywood types including Morgan Spurlock , of “Super-Size Me” fame, and Neil Patrick Harris of “Harold and Kumar Go to White-Castle.” (Roy Yamaguchi from Roy’s Restaurants is the only chef with a San Diego connection).

I’m not convinced this format will have the charm of the regular “Top Chef”. That show’s features talented, experienced but newly emerging chefs striving for excellence under pressure (and often out of their comfort zone), being judged by very knowledgable critics with high standards. The failures and bad judgments are instructive and as meaningful as the successes.

The new show features chefs whose excellence and celebrity are well established who will be judged by people who seemingly have no particular expertise in judging cuisine. I’m not sure why I should care what they think. And I suspect the cooking will be more of a performance than a battle, with fewer failures from which to learn.

But I surely will be in front of the tube on June 10th. It is the only TV show that I reliably watch.



1. Paul Moloney - April 26, 2009

Speaking of top chefs, it looks as if Socrates has been made top chef at Cafe Socrates in Fashion Valley. If he hasn’t been made top chef, he must have been made manager or host; if he hasn’t been made manager or host, he must have been made customer greeter or employee of the month. If this were not true, his portrait would not be hanging on the wall in the area where customers order their food. The portrait looks as if it is based on the well known bust reputed to be the historical bust of Socrates. The portrait does take liberties, though, as the snubness of Socrates’ nose has been toned down. Socrates’ portrait is more flattering than is the bust. Socrates does give some of us, namely me, hope. Socrates proves that one does not have to be handsome to be intelligent and virtuous.

The portrait of Socrates in Cafe Socrates is newly placed. Tamar and I went looking around Fashion Valley on Saturday. We noticed several stores that have gone out of business. Despite the economic downturn, Cafe Socrates apparently had the resources to remodel their establishment. That seems to indicate to me that, though one may not get rich with Socrates, one will never go out of business with Socrates.

Chances are that Socrates does not even work at Cafe Socrates because there is nothing like being served authentic Greek food by an authentic Hispanic staff.

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