Top Chef -take two

Friday 11/18/11 time 5:05 PM - Laura Valvanne

I was at the shooting of the new, second season of “Top Chef” last Tuesday (this blog was written a while ago, but I could not publish it before). This was very exciting since I have always been a big fan of the show.  One thing lacking on the show is that the viewers aren’t able to taste the food.  Sometimes it looks really, really, really good and I can almost taste it... “klonk” ... the TV screen definitely does not taste good, too dry...

 I have always wondered how much the judges have to act when tasting. It could be that some or even most of the food that is made is not edible at all, but they can’t really do Gordon Ramsey on this show.  They might have to use “positive negative” words like needs a bit more flavour or could be cooked a little more instead of “crap” or “rubbish”. More conservative show for adult viewers...what do you think?

The contestants had only had their first elimination when I arrived and one of the chefs was sent home. This is a TV-competition but surely it is hard for the contestants to remember this at all times. It is harsh when in the middle of all the attention and hassle, when you have just got to know so many new people, and especially in the middle of doing something you really love - cooking, all of the sudden someone comes to you and says that you are not continuing anymore and have to leave the show, you are not good enough.  After one day one can only imagine the feeling of failure, and especially the burning will to go on and show one more time... It is cruel business this show business.

The rest of the chefs came out of the studio exited, red cheeks glowing and eyes sparkling. They still had the rush of first day’s excitement but that the competition had been hard and consuming showed on their tired faces. Only the winner of this round was more relaxed and seemingly proud.

Why was I there, waiting in a hot office for hours when everyone was looking at me wondering the same? I was there of course to tell the contestants about our products. For the second time we had an opportunity to offer our wide range of speciality products to the competition and this year decided to do it with great enthusiasm: of course we would like to be there, no question!

In the studio kitchen for this season there is one entire shelf full of DeliDeli’s quality oils, vinegars, spices and for example truffle products, just waiting for the chefs to create amazing dishes with them. A 5 minute slot opened and I quickly went through the products with the chefs so that during the competition, when they have a few minutes to decide what to do, they would know what we can offer to help them. They did have a little time to taste few oils and balsamic vinegar and then, before I noticed, the chefs were gone to learn about the kitchen equipment, ovens and stuff.

All this time the film crew was waiting anxiously for interviews with each one....what a stress. I give credits to all the contestants for keeping up with the pace and being able to create good food during this pressure! Good luck for all!

I can’t wait for the season to start!

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