Yes, I'm confessing, here. I am a Top Chef addict. Love, love, love the show. And the new season started last week, and I think it's going to be a good one!
The show starts with a handful of professional chefs from all over the country - this year it started with seventeen. Each week, they face different cooking challenges and one chef is eliminated. The finale is a cook-off and one chef wins a large monetary prize. Past season winners have used the money to open restaurants or to go on culinary tours to broaden their knowledge and experience.
The challenges are awful. "Here's $10 and two vending machines - you have thirty minutes to make a gourmet dish." Or, "You will be catering a wedding with 250 guests... tomorrow!" To their credit, the chefs always manage to pull something off, but there is always wailing and gnashing of teeth and running around the kitchen and chaos - it makes for great television.
Of course, the producers almost always find one or two chefs with controversial ideas or bad attitudes, just to spice things up. I feel kind of sorry for these people, because they come across so badly on screen. Surely nobody could be that nasty in real life - I am sure there's a lot of creative editing.
Because I have to spend a large part of fall studying, I'll be recording Top Chef and watching it AFTER I've logged the required studying for the week. We'll see how that goes!