Top Chef 2 premiers tonight on Bravo (10:00 PM CST). I consider this show to be the best food based reality show (and arguably the best food show on TV). Better than Cooking Under Fire, which was good, but kind of dull, and way better than listening to Gordon Ramsay yell at a bunch of idiots on Hell’s Kitchen. This season they have a new host and some pretty interesting guest judges including Eric Ripert (of Le Bernardin fame) and Anthony Bourdain.
This show doesn’t fuck around with its contestant selections, which is part of what makes it great. There are no housewives that have a baked ziti recipe that all of her friends rave about so she thinks she should be a professional chef. These are people that are already established in the food and wine industry. You won’t find a bunch of ass-kissers unknowingly gulping down ground hot dogs and declaring it “the best pate’ I have ever tried” to impress Tom Colicchio (this happened on Hell’s Kitchen). The show takes the high road and the contestants are not chosen to create conflict or to look pretty in front of the camera (though I am sure being attractive doesn’t hurt).