Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Top Chef vs. Celebrity Cooking: sweet or sour viewing?

I'm not a foodie but do enjoy a good meal(or a half way decent snack)and can enjoy a McDonalds' menu as well as a Applebees. Any gourmets reading that statement are probaly rolling their eyes at my plebian tastes but I wonder if they would agree me with about the latest competitive cooking shows on Bravo. Top Chef is only on Bravo but NBC's Celebrity Cooking Showdown is replayed on Bravo and even advertised at the Top Chef website(which is linked above for your perusal). Celebrity Cooking Showdown is a one week event,which has various(and dubious)celebs racing to prepare three course meals in fifty minutes in front of a screaming audience and Alan Thicke who gives blow by blow commentary like it's the Qourmet Special Olympics.

The celebs are mentored by three chefs-the best known one is Wolfgang Puck. The judges are Colin Cowie and Gael Greene,who dresses like Phyllis Diller on a acid trip. The thing that bugs me about this show is that I can't find out what the winner gets at the end of the whole thing-is there a trophy or something given to charity? What gives? Also,I called some of the celebs dubious because I have no clue who the hell they are-Patti La Belle and Tom Arnold I know and have heard of Cindy Margolis and Gabrielle Reese but Ashley Parker Angel? That name makes him sound like an evil male doppelganger to one of the Olsen twins.

I may watch some more of this wackiness but for really tasty viewing,it's all about Top Chef. I've been catching it over the weekends and am truly invested in seeing either Miquel or Harold win. Stephen and Tiffani are my least favorites-the two of them are too damn snooty. I enjoy some of the challenges the contestants have been given such as making a meal using only items bought at a gas station convience store,creating microwavable dinners with style for working moms and serving up monkfish to kids. Pretty interesting and down to earth stuff. The judges can be pretty tough on them,especially Tom(who looks quite capable of kicking some ass).

Some of the chefs don't know why they get what they consider dime store duty*cough*Stephen & Tiffani*cough* but a great chef should be able to prepare excellant food no matter where they are or what's on hand. The tension is really heating up now,with most of the even tempered folk in the group being eliminated such as Andrea,the health advocate(too crunchy granola,plus in my opinion,healthy is nice but flavor is king,baby. You catch more flies with honey) and Lisa,the mom(Lisa was a real sweetie,too bad she had to go).

So,for your dining pleasure,may I suggest a generous serving of Top Chef with your meal and if you must satisfy your craving for primetime turkey,a small portion of Celebrity Cooking Showdown is recommended but be sure to keep some antiacids on hand.

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