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?
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.
There is a reason that we keep tuning in to Andrew Zimmern's podcast Go Fork Yourself (and not just for Sriracha feuds or celeb chef spotting etiquette). If anything, Zimmern and his sidekick Molly Mogren continue to be our voices of reason, and nothing quite illuminates their sanity than the latest episode of Go Fork Yourself.
In a piece for The Guardian, Lucy Cavendish and William Skidelsky launched into a debate over whether today’s TV chefs need to be sex symbols in order to succeed, citing, as their primary example, Paul Hollywood. For those of you unfamiliar with the food TV scene across the pond, Hollywood is the piercingly blue-eyed, salt-and-pepper-haired host of The Great British Bake Off, whom the piece describes as “handsome, well-groomed, authoritative and yet somehow reassuringly manly.” Maybe it’s just the name, but he sounds an awful lot like a certain flame-shirted “bad boy” we have Stateside. But more on that later.
The piece also references Heston Blumenthal’s “smouldering geekiness,” which leads us to believe that an anthropological study is required to analyze traits Brits think are sexy versus traits Americans think are sexy, because some fundamental difference in culture and upbringing is the only way we can think of explaining how Heston and Paul are the key references for a sexy chefs dialogue.
Here are five TV chefs Stateside, who we think best represent the thesis that sex appeal is key to a successful reality TV empire.