I Am Not Not Calling For Physical Violence Against Top Chef Judge Toby Young (With Personal Reflections)

graham_nortonBy Spencer Ackerman

For some reason, Top Chef decided to rid its judging process of beautiful and knowledgeable Gail Simmons to make way for a braying foetus with thick glasses who lives to bait Graydon Carter. The people who make New York City uninhabitablemedia people; people who need to get their JanSport strings tooken — won. Was Graham Norton unavailable?

The trouble with Toby Young is obvious and oughtn’t be belabored. He chews the scenery; adds nothing to an understanding of a meal; and isn’t funny. A bad meal isn’t a weapon of mass destruction. Watching him sully Top Chef makes it clear that heaven would be a place where Toby Young is hit by a car for all of eternity.

As it turns out, I have a history with this asshole. When I was in college I had a job factchecking (and occasionally writing for) a once-great alt-weekly called New York Press. Back then — this was 1999-2001 — the Press ran a feature by paleocon grandfather and gad-about-town Taki Theodoracopulos called “Taki’s Top Drawer,” in which Taki would invite his friends to write dry-wit essays of about 800 words. (Some of these were great exercises in conservatism, as when Scott McConnell would lament how he couldn’t have frank talks about the subhumanity of Puerto Ricans after the famous “wilding” during the 2000 Puerto Rican Day parade — interestingly, some IFAers have similar attitudes about Puerto Ricans — or the relentless apologias for misunderstood genocidaire Slobodan Milosevic.)

Anyway, have you ever factchecked for money? It’s a shit business. You don’t want to be an asshole to the college student who’s just trying to get some journalism experience laboring hungover on a Saturday to make sure your dashed-off copy isn’t riddled with errors, do you? That would make you the sort of person who compares subpar entrees to weapons of mass destruction. As it happens, Toby Young was not a pleasure to work with. The end. Oooh heaven is a place on earth.

Update: Scott McConnell writes to tell me that I’m misremembering this episode, and so I cheerfully withdraw it.


6 responses to “I Am Not Not Calling For Physical Violence Against Top Chef Judge Toby Young (With Personal Reflections)

  1. Yes, he’s an asshole, but fret not! Gail is on her honeymoon! And will be back a few episodes before the finale!

  2. Goddam, Ackerman. You write better than I shoot.

    We’ll leave that one alone.

    Rock on, mi amigo….


  3. Angela, I am so happy to hear that. The guy is a disaster.

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  5. Unfortunately, he is replacing Ted Allen not Gail. Gail, as Angela stated will be back, but Toby will still be in the judging rotation. Bleh…

  6. my fave part is that toby so desperately WANTS to be funny ~ he works hard at it, spinning stupid stories when a simple, straight-forward statement would suffice (OMG, alliteration ftw :) ) ~ that despite the fact that i hate him, i almost, ALMOST feel bad for him when the inevitable crickets begin chirping…

    basically, i just want him to SHUT UP ~ and he’s only been on for what? two episodes now? knowing bravo, they will bring him back next season, along w/ another group of mediocre chefs, and turn it into another “hell’s kitchen”…

    le sigh.

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