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Feb 7, 2007 07:10 AM

Who would be a good Top Chef host?

Honestly, I had a hard time watching Top Chef consistently because of Padma Lakshmi. Granted she was so much better than Mrs. Billy Joel but that's not saying much! The host should at least be into food/know about food! Look at Project Runway - Tim Gunn may be leaving but he was awesome! and he knew about fashion . .Who would you pick to host Top Chef next season? My vote is for someone like Alton Brown.

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  1. I like that they switched hosts from last year and I hope they will do it again, to keep it fresh. That being said, I didn't think Padma was so bad, once you got past the over-the-top wardrobe (though my husband really liked her and her outfits- - or lack thereof). And she does have pretty extensive food background- a few cooking shows, a cookbook, contributing writer to foodie mags: check her bio on the Bravo website. I also like to see a former model/actress who knows how to tuck in to good food.

    I would love to see Curtis Stone (take home chef) or Jamie Oliver or Duff Goldman (ace of cakes) host, but that's just a personal fantasy. Oooh- or one of the Deen boys, but I'm not sure I could take their "aw shucks, this is the best dang _____ I ever ate" for a whole season.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kloomis

      Interesting . . . thanks! I didn't know that she had a food background. I just thought she was a model married to a famous author!

    2. Personally, I thought Padma was one of the few very good things about the show. Perhaps I don't see the point in watching a bunch of people cook when there is little instructional value and it is edited to the point where there is no way to get an honest sense for what is actually transpiring in the kitchen or more generally between individuals on the "dramatic" front. Same can be said of any competition-style reality show I guess. Maybe I'm just missing the boat on this one.

      1. heheh, i know guys who only watched b/c of Padma. guarantee you it will be a chick and a good looking one - it's tv, it's all about ratings - not about serious food

        alton brown - not sexy and that's part of the TC host job...

        1. What I'd really like to see is someone more in the Tim Gunn mentor role -- not the host and not a judge. Especially with the behavior this season, it seems that the chefs would benefit from someone in the kitchen more to help them develop. Since Bravo loves Ted Allen so much, why not put him in that role?

          6 Replies
          1. re: djdebs

            Agreed, they really need a Tim Gunn on this show, and I think Ted Allen would be fantastic.

            1. re: djdebs

              That's what I keep saying, too. Even if the solution is shifting Tom Collichio's role so that he becomes a mentor and does not participate in judging. I don't understand why they send him in to interact with the contestants when as a judge he can't actually do anything other then say "What are you cooking?" and then walk away.

              1. re: jzerocsk

                Tom's explained in his blogs why mentoring doesn't make as much sense on TC as on PR (it's not like they can change direction as easily in a recipe as they can on an outfit), but yeah, I'm not clear why he pops into the kitchen to visit if he can't say anything particularly constructive.

                1. re: momjamin

                  He did make that comment to Marcel about the humidity and the teardrop whatever he was constructing....couldn't that be construed as mentoring? (well, if Marcel had been listening, that is)

                  1. re: susancinsf

                    I think you're right and that the moment you've described demonstrates both the place for this type of mentoring in a top chef show as well as Tom's desire to be able to give tips. I'm completely in agreement with djdebs et al's assessment that it would be good to throw in some education as part of this show. I think that it would be interesting to watch, but I also think that one part of excelling in any creative endeavor is knowing how to incorporate advice or criticism, and if some people listened better than others, their resulting success would be completely appropriate.

                  2. re: momjamin

                    It definitely wouldn't be the same type of mentoring, but then again I think Bravo is trying to make Top Chef stand on its own and not just Project Runway in a kitchen. I'm going to conveniently ignore Top Design for the purposes of this discussion.

                    But changing an outfit when you're far along and have limited time and materials is about as tough as changing a recipe when it's underway.

                    What I envision, though, would probably be the chefs talking with the mentor at some point and discussing what they have in mind and the mentor saying "Ilan, you might want to branch out from Spanish cuisine just a tad..."

                    The mentor character could still wander through occasionally and offer advice that could help with last minute tweaks or presentation, or making the best out of concepts that aren't coming together as planned.

              2. Would love to see someone like Anthony Bourdain! or Gordon Ramsey!!!
                They may have to bleep them out a few times but the brutal honesty would prevail!
                I would doubt that either one would be interested but I dare to dream

                3 Replies
                1. re: mcbinfla

                  Definitely least it would be funny.

                  1. re: mcbinfla

                    HOLY smokes imagine the possibilities!!! F bombs every other word, contestants crying as they work over a hot stove. That would be awesome!!!! I think Ramsey would be better, Bourdain is too sarcastic and ironic for some of these chuckle heads to know that they are being insulted.

                    1. re: mcbinfla

                      There is a reason I don't watch Hell's Kitchen, and a reason why the critics hate it. I would stop watching Top Chef if Ramsey was on it.