Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Top Chef Season 5 Preview

Click photo for official Top Chef website

Ok, it’s that time of the year again; Top Chef returns next Wednesday at 10. Actually, Top Chef just premieres at some random point every nine months or so, usually after Project Runway finishes, so this is a friendly reminder that the best reality cooking show is back for a fifth installment.

I know I’m excited, and not just for one thing. First, following tradition, the series moves to a new city this season, traveling from Chicago to New York. I seriously can’t believe that it has taken them five seasons to get there, but there should be no shortage of celebrity chefs and super exciting challenges in the Big Apple. Second, I can’t wait to see what kind of wacky contestants Bravo rolls out this time. I don’t know if they’ll be able to top last season’s foul-mouthed pessimist Lisa or Spike and Andrew’s bathtub antics, but I’m sure they’ll try. Sadly, there doesn’t look to be, at least on paper, a contestant who will flame out wildly in the first challenge, as all but two of the contestants have culinary degrees, most from some of the best schools in the country.

Finally, the most entertaining judging panel on TV returns. Between perpetually grouchy head judge Tom Colicchio (can someone get him some happy pills?) and Gail Simmons, who is pretty much useless, sits Padma Lakshmi, who pulls double duty as both host and judge. Though I’m not sure of her qualifications for the position, or if she has any at all, her bizarre pronunciations and her vast array of facial expressions cement her position as my favorite reality host, quite an honor considering the laundry list of trash television that I regularly indulge in.

It seems like this season has all the ingredients necessary for another fantastic run of quickfire challenges and judges’ tables, so get your knives ready, because Top Chef is coming back next week!

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