We live in the world of "egotarian cuisine," or, as Andrew Zimmern recently put it, "the age where no one is allowed to criticize the best chefs and restaurants in the world." Fair enough, we thought. Surely the best restaurants in the world can't be perfect, right? Right?
So, in order to give some really fair and balanced views of the world's best restaurants, we turned to the ever-reliable, ever-crazy customers unafraid to air their true opinions of a joint: Yelp. In a new series, we're digging through some of the most renowned restaurants' Yelp feedback to paint an accurate picture of what you're really getting for your dollar. As we suspected, Yelpers are hilariously jaded, bringing down the so-called best of the best.
While Richard Blais landed a sweet gig judging on this next Boston season of Top Chef, he landed yet another TV gig -- this time on the infamous Food Network. Could Blais, already the master of celebrity chefness (you've hit it big when you shill cat food, we guess?) give the Food Network a winning show?
Why should Parks and Recreation characters get to have all the fun? Game of Thrones Season 4 premieres this Sunday on HBO, in case you live under a rock, or in a faraway land devoid of subway ads, and we couldn’t resist playing casting director. So, we transported the most powerful characters of Celeb Chefdom into the Game of Thrones universe for a little game of Who’s Who. Behold: the Houses of Restauros below.
…Oh wait! You should totally cue this up for ambiance:
1.Eddie Huang | Tyrion Lannister We'd be hard-pressed to find someone in all Celeb Chefdom who excels at out-talking, out-thinking, and eventually out-smarting his peers as artfully as Tyrion Lannister. Mischievous, yes, but Eddie Huang is also impossibly cunning, and frequently rolling with a thick pack of shorties. Who better to play our Imp?
2.Giada de Laurentiis | Cersei Lannister Giada the Beautiful seems aptly poised to act as the Cersei Lannister of Restauros. Perennial winner of the Pretty Person Popularity Contest, the perky and effervescent Giada de Laurentiis would never be expected to pull off cutthroat producer prowess. But have you ever seen her in a pitch meeting on Food Network Star? Homegirl will plot your murder in a heartbeat.
3.Bobby Flay | Jaime Lannister Well, this one was obvious; if Giada is Cersei, then only B-Flay can be her Jamie. The golden-haired Wonder Twins of House Lannister have been Food Network stalwarts since the early days. If ever there was a football player/cheerleader power-twin secret-couple, it'd be these two.
4.Marcel Vigneron | Joffrey Baratheon Borderline sociopathic, villainous boy-king who's drunk with power? Need we say more in the Foamy Wolverine as Joffrey Baratheon department?
5.Anthony Bourdain | Petyr Baelish He pledges his allegiance and makes himself useful across all houses (House Travel Channel, House CNN, House Network Primetime) with ease, in spite of their contradictory MOs. Only Anthony "Littlefinger" Bourdain could finagle the transition from badboy chef to My Little Pony-obsessed dad so convincingly. And, much like Lord Petyr Baelish charmed his way into an impressive amount of power and wealth in spite of being lowborn, Anthony Bourdain made a name for himself in spite of never being revered for his restaurant cheffing. Clever boys.
6.Paul Bocuse | Grand Maester Pycelle Ancient and wise. Keeper of the rare herbs and secret recipes. Both A little pervy. Yeah, Paul Bocuse definitely fits the Grand Maester Pycelle bill.
7.Gabrielle Hamilton | Catelyn Stark If Restauros could muster among its ranks a ruthless matriarch half as brilliant as Catelyn Stark, it'd be Gabrielle Hamilton. Steadfast in her purpose, unwavering in the face of constant adversity, parental in her energies, Gabrielle, we feel, is the only woman with a hope of overthrowing the Lannisters to avenge her husband's murder.
8.Andrew Zimmern | Eddard Stark So who plays our dearly departed Ned Stark, then? Andrew Zimmern, of course! First of all, we're kind of in love with the idea of Gab-Ham and Zimmern being a couple, but also, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North Andrew Zimmern would rule with honor and justice for all. Sorry about your untimely death. We love you always.
9.Molly Mogren | Arya Stark It stands to reason, then, that Andrew Zimmern's sidekick Molly Mogren would play the role of spunky tomboy Arya Stark. She'll be a royal in her own right, some day.
10.Michael Voltaggio | Jon Snow Brooding and handsome, Michael "The Angry One" Voltaggio is frequently cast as the black sheep brother of Top Chef-runner up Bryan. In other words: the obvious choice to play Stark bastard son Jon Snow.
11.Bryan Voltaggio | Robb Stark Which makes Bryan "The Quiet One" Voltaggio our golden boy Robb Stark, eldest son and the heir of Winterfell.
12.Richard Blais | Samwell Tarly The lovable underdog we relentlessly cheer on against all odds? Ladies and gentlemen: Richard "Samwell Tarly" Blais. Samwell was disowned by his father for cowardice, when really he's just a little sensitive. Blais lost his first attempt at Top Chef for choking on his season finale pork belly dish, only to rise up and win All-Stars. The parallels are clearly defined.
13.Jen Carroll | Daenerys Targaryen Exiled princess of the Ripert Dynasty, Jen Carroll had to fight her way back to a New York City restaurant opening after she blew up at Tom Colicchio during her Top Chef: All-Stars exit. Then she abandoned her position at Eric Ripert's 10 Arts to strike out on her own, only to have her deal with investors fall through. Stormborn indeed.
14.Spike Mendelsohn | Viserys Targaryen Because Spike Mendelsohn and Jen Carroll's love for one another seems awfully romantic in nature for what they claim to be a brother-sister relationship. Are we wrong?
15.Marco Pierre White | Khal Drogo Sorry about this one, Jen. But we can't think of an undefeated warlord who matches Khal Drogo's dark and intense energy better than Marco Pierre White.
16.Mario Batali | Robert Baratheon A New York City restaurant scene OG now forced to sling his dishes on ABC? Allow us to map out for you Mario Batali's connection to Robert Baratheon with this slightly altered line taken from Robert's Wikipedia bio: "Now [that he's on daytime], Robert has grown fat and miserable; he has no more [kitchen] wars to fight, is surrounded by [the cast of The Chew] plotters and sycophants, and is trapped in a political marriage to the scheming Cersei Lannister [in this case: Mickey Mouse], whom he has never loved."
17.Tom Colicchio | Stannis Baratheon Again, courtesy of a Wikipedia bio, Stannis Baratheon is "a brooding, humorless man, known for a hard and unyielding sense of justice...obsessed with slights real and imagined." Can you think of a better candidate for the true heir to the Iron Throne than ruthlessly opinionated Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio? We think not.
18.Padma Lakshmi | Melisandre And who's the beautiful neck turning Tom's head to her every whim? Why Padma Lakshmi as Melisandre, of course. Like Melisandre, Padma has partial knowledge of the future when it comes to executing cheftestants, but she also acts as an informal judge on the panel, in spite of being hired as the beautiful priestess (host). According to her bio: "Unlike many other people in Westeros with access to prophecy, Melisandre has absolute faith in her own interpretation...she convinces Stannis of this by using various methods, including seduction." Duh.
19.Hugh Acheson | Renly Baratheon Renly Baratheon (played by lesser Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson) is convinced by his "secret lover" Loras Tyrell (played by Bravo's EVP of Original Programming and Development Andy Cohen) that he'd make a better king than his elder brother Stannis Baratheon (Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio), who is the rightful heir to the throne, because Hugh/Renly is "handsome, jovial, throws extravagant balls and masquerades, is a master jouster but is not fond of fighting or bloodshed, and would rather make friends than kill enemies," whereas Tom/Stannis is, as previously stated, "a brooding, humorless man, known for a hard and unyielding sense of justice...obsessed with slights real and imagined." ART IMITATES LIFE, YOU GUYS.
20.Gail Simmons | Margaery Tyrell Besides the obvious doppelganger parallels we can draw here, Gail Simmons is clearly the beautiful, quirky, canny, and cunning Margaery Tyrell: savvy widow to Hugh's Renly, who is now betrothed to Marcel's King Joffrey for the sheer power she will inherit. (Abort mission, Gail! Abort!)
21.Anita Lo | Brienne of Tarth Frighteningly impenetrable. Stronger than most men. Valorous. Yeah, Anita Lo is definitely Restauros' Brienne of Tarth.
22.Amanda Cohen | Osha One particular ladychef immediately came to mind when we racked our brains for someone to play kooky savant Osha: Amanda Cohen! Obviously. Bonus: we also happen to think Amanda would make a great Tonks in Harry Potter.
23.Magnus Nielssen as Himself Magnus Nielssen should be written into the show because his name sounds like he should be a character, and he definitely lives Beyond The Wall. See: this video of his Swedish homelands.