Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Love Letter to: Top Chef while filming in Texas

Dear Top Chef team,

First of all, love love love your show.  I love the regular show, the all stars show, and even the dessert show.    When I first heard that Bravo was going to do a Project Runway-type show with food, I thought, "How is that going to work?  We can't taste the food!"  But it does!  And I'm addicted.

So, rumor is that you are currently filming in Texas.  That is wise, as we have really wonderful food here.   When I was in New York two years ago, I thought, "Yes, the food is good.  But we have good food in Texas.  So I wouldn't come here just for the food."

Tom, Padma, and Gail:  I love you.  I hope you bring Ruth with you because she is hilarious.

Your show is currently filming the 9th season of the regular show, and so I thought you might need some help coming up with some challenges.  So, here are my recommendations for your Texas season:


  • Cow butchering challenge.  You've done a steak and fish carving challenge before.  You are in Texas now -- do a whole cow!
  • Chili cook off challenge.  Best chili wins.  People using beans are immediately let go, and possibly have their knives taken away from them in order to encourage them from stopping cooking as beans in chili Is Wrong.
  • Salsa challenge.  Best salsa wins.  And there's a lot of different salsa you can make -- verde, pico de gallo, I even made artichoke salsa the other day.  
  • Small town Texas wedding challenge.  You've had the wedding challenge several times.  It's generally a disaster, which is good TV.  I grew up in a small town, where inviting 800 people to your wedding was common.  When I got married here in the city, my mother kept apologizing to people that weren't invited because we had a "small" wedding (400 people invited; about 200 came).  So, I say do a small town theme and turn up the volume of people!
    • In addition to having to serve a giant number of people, there will be the joy of creating not just one cake for 800 people (and the cake is always a problem) but TWO since you have to have a groom's cake here too.  And have you tried piping buttercream in 100 degree weather and 100% humidity?  It melts.  Hilarity will ensue!
  • I don't even need to suggest this of course, but barbecue.  I've heard you've been to the Salt Lick, and I approve.  
  • Outdoor challenge.  All prep and cooking must be done outside.  Fainting chefs are eliminated.  
    • You may also consider that just using the sun as a cooking method, as if your filming continues into August, you may be able to boil water simply by putting it outside. 
    • And whose idea was it to come to Texas in the middle of this heat?  You should fire that person.
  • Bacon.  Not particular to Texas, but it's really good.  You should totally have a bacon challenge.  I can't believe you haven't done that already, actually.  
I'm willing to attend any events if you need someone.  You frequently do an "annoying woman with food aversions" challenge (Natalie Portman, vegetarian; Zooey Deschanel, vegan), and I'm a prime candidate for that role, as I'm allergic to shellfish, mushrooms, avocados, and tree nuts.  

I'm here for you Top Chef team!  Call me!

Love,
Cynthia