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Sep 3, 2009 01:23 PM

Cooking Reality Show cliches

Having watch all of the Top Chef seasons so far, as well as much of the original Iron Chef and some of the Iron Chef America, my ears are becoming ever more sensitive to the overused cliches that pop up. So here is my short list. Add on as you please:

"I'm going to bring my A-game, next week." Generic contestant vow after getting hammered by the judges.

"I have a PASSION for cooking, and I will show the judges that in the next challenge." The thing the person who gets eliminated the following week will inevitably say.

"The judges just don't understand my style." See above.

"I take full responsibility, but there is an explanation..." Any and all contestants at Judge's Table

"Sou-vide is easy." Contestants who's never done sou-vide

"I stand by my dish!" Contestant defense after crashing and burning at Judge's Table

"I really don't like the way you cook your eggs." A certain judge on Top Chef.

"It's so sophisticated!" From the Original Iron Chef, usually some unknown, but cute starlet.

"Its so oily." A certain Japanese judge on ICA.

"Salad is not cooking." A certain judge from Top Chef

"Its not what they have done throughout the contest, its what they have done that day." Same judge on his blog.

"(A certain thing) is like (another certain thing that has nothing to do whatsoever with the first thing.)" A certain British judge on Top Chef.

"Three and a half stars." A certain judge on TCM on any Michael Chiarello dish, no matter if it is good, bad, or indifferent.

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  1. LOL! i love the last two, Phaedrus...but i think the one about Akiko Katayama is my favorite :)

    i'll add a couple more:
    - "i'm not going to throw anyone under the bus." (usually said right before blaming a team fiasco on another chef)
    - "people were coming back for seconds and thirds and telling me how much they loved the dish!" (*always* said by a chef who lands in the bottom 3 after a buffet challenge.)

    1. I dunno -- does "MOST. SHOCKING. EPISODE. EVER!" qualify?

      1. "I didn't get a chance to show the judges what I could do/that I could cook." (Well, what were you waiting for?) Said by contestant after being kicked off.

        1. LOL! Loved the one about a certain British judge, Phaedrus. Could have figured that out without the notation that it was a certain British judge on TC.

          I have another one that's become a buzz-cliche in the past few seasons of TC:

          "This is not Top (whatever), it's Top Chef!" Although maybe it's just that I've seen a variation on that phrase used here on CH threads about TC!

          3 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Oh, it started in season one. "It's not top sous chef" to Miguel and "This is Top Chef, not top sommelier" and "This is not top waiter" to Stephen...well, a few different times. It seems to have stuck. It's all Tom's fault! He was the one who said them aaaaaaaall in season one.

            1. re: spellweaver16

              I had forgotten the top sous to Miguel and top sommelier to Stephan. Fabio just elaborated upon it with "This is not Top Scallop!" - in his inimitable style. :-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                <3 Fabio so much. He and Carla made season 5 awesome. I still crack up at "bunky bed"!

          2. Both of these cliches are out of date by 8 to 10 years, but this guy uses them often.
            "That's the bomb!"
            "That's Money!"