Some random thoughts on the first episode of Top Chef Chicago:
- Why, oh why, did they have to start with the Chicago institution that has been turned into a TGI McFunsters (a Bourdain-ism)? I probably know why -- I'm sure Uno's paid for the placement. I would have preferred Gino's East, although my sister would pick Lou Malnati's. My sister actually has Lou Malnati's delivered to her home in Florida! I had it delivered to me here as a gift, and I have to say that it was better than anything I've had here. (I love just about everything about Rochester, except the pizza. If a reader from Rochester wants to prove me wrong, I'd be thrilled.) But I digress. There are so many ways you could go with Chicago cuisine -- I hope they get less predictable in future episodes.
- The contestants who didn't have a deep dish pizza at the ready were not well prepared. Come on, that couldn't have been more obvious (or fair, as challenges go). The contestants should know how they might tweak a Chicago hot dog. They should be ready to cook with beef and should know their sausages.
- I loved all of the shots of Chicago. Chicago is beautiful, clean and gleaming. Chicago is uplifting and energetic. Chicago is friendly. This show is going to make me seriously homesick.
- The elimination challenge was interesting. They do seem to want their chefs to know the classics. When I heard chicken piccata, the only thing that came to mind were capers, which I've only recently began to tolerate. They look like little turds to me. I know there's an animal that has turds that look just like capers. If we still had "Everyone Poops" in our library I'd look it up, but it wound up in the donation pile awhile back. (More boy influence... sorry if you were eating as you were reading...)
- Cool that Anthony Bourdain was a judge. I'd love to see him be a regular, but I suppose that would interfere with his globetrotting. No more Rocco -- bring on some Chicago chefs! Gale Gand ... Rick Tramonto ... Rick Bayless ... Charlie Trotter ... I hope they all make an appearance.
- The winning dish was impressive. I was glad to see my hometown girl win!
- With all these reality shows, they seem to show the person who gets eliminated the most, don't they? First her dish was under salted, then over salted. Seems like Cooking 101 to me.
Now I will ... not ... waste lots of time going to check out the blogs on the Top Chef site. Will ... not ...