Top Chef on Today

by Ben Miller

Last night’s winner of Top Chef had the opportunity to appear on this morning’s episode of the Today Show, a clip of which can be found here (WordPress apparently really didn’t want to let me embed it). To protect those who have it recorded a few musings from last night’s episode are after the jump.

The funniest thing about this episode to me was that earlier in the day I had been musing about the fact that Bravo had successfully managed to avoid the common plague among early in the season episodes where we know so little about the cheftestants that it is incredibly obvious who is going to get voted off just based upon the amount of screen time they get.

Well, so much for that.

About 30 seconds into last night’s episode it became obvious that Alex was going to get kicked off. We’d heard almost nothing about him through the first three hours and suddenly we were getting lengthy soundbites and video clips. That was pretty much all the warning bells I needed. Then, of course, his doom kept being setup via comments from people like Fabio, who astutely commented that there was no way Alex’s dessert would set in time. 30 minutes later, lo and behold, Alex was packing his knives and going.

As for Ariane, talk about going from worst to first. After appearing on the bottom for the first two episodes, she’s now had strong finishes for the last two hours, including last night’s win. That being said, I’m still not sold on her. Look at the recipe for her winning dish. Tasty? I’m sure. Particularly interesting or complex? No not really. The same goes for her roast turkey recipe. Yes, I understand last night’s challenge was supposed to be geared toward the home cook, but consider what she made on the show versus what she made today: Tequila marinated shrimp with avocado cream to go along with a more basic sounding Mushroom and herb goat cheese bruschetta drizzled with truffle oil. In short, I see Ariane going more down the path of Antonia than Nikki (both from Season 4). She’ll probably handle dishes that don’t get too much into high cuisine, but if they get more complex, she will likely struggle.

One other random musing. Is anyone else convinced that Tom and Padma were pulling the wool over our eyes when they were going on about Jeff‘s charisma during his demonstration? Even in the side interviews when he talking about how excited he was it sounded like he was watching paint dry.

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