Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are Pastry Chefs Getting Their Just Desserts?

I have a meeting this evening, so I'll probably have to watch tonight's Top Chef: Just Desserts Season 1 finale via the magic of DVR. Before it even starts, though, allow me one small rant?

If I were a pastry chef, I think I'd be more than a little bit ticked off at the way the profession has been represented during the Just Desserts inaugural season: Surely dessert chefs can't really be as petulant, flakey (no pun intended), mentally unstable, and emotionally fragile as this crowd has consistently been, starting with the multi-episode emotional implosion that ended with Seth Caro leaving the show in an ambulance and continuing through various chefs' teary moments, the agonies of the Heathers, and finalist Morgan's spot-on impression of a middle-school bully, which reached its apex last week at Judges' Table when he responded to Zac's admittedly unprovoked attack with borderline homophobic (to this viewer's ears, anyway) comments about Zac "jumping around like a little girl." By contrast, Danielle's face-pulling weirdness and Yigit's buttoned-down snark seem positively refreshing.

I suppose the producers think drama is what the viewers care about, but I don't think so: What I care about is the food, and the craft that goes into making it. There's drama enough anyway; I would've like to see from these dessert chefs the same sort of tough-minded, serious approach to the food that we typically get from their counterparts on the Top Chef mothership.

All that said, though, I will be watching.

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