Thomas Keller: Too Nice for Top Chef

By Ben Miller

One thing that surprised me about this week’s episode of Top Chef was that the fourth judge ended up being Jerome Bocuse and not Thomas Keller who had made a special visit to the kitchen earlier in the show. Turns out, as Tom Colicchio notes on his Bravo blog, Keller’s basically too much of a nice guy to sink to the snarky lows (cough, Padma, cough) often seen at Judges’ Table:

One more note:  You may have noticed that Thomas Keller was at the meal but did not participate at the Judges’ Table. We tried to convince him to be there, but he decided against it, citing that he didn’t want to have to be negative towards the contestants.

Also, did anyone else notice Tom guffawing at the very end of the episode after something I believe it was Kevin said? It’s hidden in the back right of the frame while he’s shaking hands with the judges.



3 responses to “Thomas Keller: Too Nice for Top Chef

  1. I gotta say . . . this is as pleasant a piece of news as I could hope for. Chefs are geneally such surreal assholes that it is gratifying that the best one in America is that nice and supportive. Or, more truthfully, I am eager to believe Tom Colicchio because I want it to be true — although given Keller’s zen-like demeanor, it is an easy thing to believe. Of all the chefs I’ve met in person, he and Rick Bayless are pretty much the only male chefs I’d easily believe are decent people. But then I may be easily fooled.

  2. Keller shouldn’t do anything he isn’t comfortable with. That wouldn’t be good TV in this case.

    However, to the previous commenter, honestly judging the chefs doesn’t necessarily mean being you are being an asshole. The only way for them to get better is through honest, straight forward criticism.

  3. GL, while I agree that chefs would get better through, as you say, honest straight forward criticism, I think that might be less true considering this challenge. I don’t think that there’s a single problem anyone had that could not have been completely cured by honest, straight forward more time. Not a lot you can tell someone — and not a lot they can learn from you — if everything you say has to be prefaced by “you needed a little more time.”

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