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Does Top Chef need a new host?

In reading some comments from another post, I started thinking.... nobody really likes Padma on Top Chef, do they? To me she has never seemed like she is enjoying herself. She comes across as a little impatient with Tom and the other judges, and seems to serve no function other than being pretty.

I've also read many articles on line (who knows how much of this is true) that describe her as difficult on the set, unable to speak without being prompted by the producers, demanding and nasty. Since she seems to be merely slogging through it for the paycheck, why can't they find someone with an actual passion for food?

Any ideas?

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  1. I think Padma fits well.. But bobblehead Kelly Choi on Masters has to go.. She is just awful and has no purpose.. She doesn't even judge the food..

    8 Replies
      1. re: SDGourmand

        Agreed - I'll take Padma over Katie Lee (formerly Joel) any day. Now THERE was a wooden doll who talked. Barely.

        And Kelly Choi, while she's not judging any food (although she did do a grilled cheese judging) at least has a smidge of animation in her voice. But her head's always going to be too big for her body...making her bobbleheadedness all the more noticeable. :-)

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I also agree, I'll take Padma any day of the week. Bravo doesn't have the best track record picking TC hosts, Katie Lee and Kelly Choi I'm looking at you, so if they replaced Padma I don't have confidence in their next choice. Plus, I have no problem on how Padma judges the cheftestants.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I have a friend who says that most tv/movie actors have heads that are proportionally larger for their bodies... it is a trait that is very camera-friendly.

          2. re: SDGourmand

            Agree completely. I've read that Kelly has a solid foodie/journo background, but it doesn't show a bit--one does not get the impression that she was hired for knowledge and talent.

            Psst to Bravo: we'll watch guy hosts (generic guy, not Guy), too.

            1. re: SDGourmand

              I think Kelly is a lot more gracious than Padma. I love how she gave her cookbook as a prize last year and she said, "I've personally tried each one of these recipes." Well, I certainly hope so. It irks me that Padma talks like she is an actual "judge." Does she get a vote b/c I didn't think so. Also, her recipes suck, but she acts like she is a top toque. Ugh.

              I want Fabio the Italian guy to host the show. He's actually funny and qualified.

              1. re: jindomommy

                she is an actual judge.she does get a vote.

            2. I don't like any of them.

              1. I think Padma is too tall for Tom.

                That said, there are certainly worse alternatives ... like Rachel Ray, or Giada, or Paula Deen.

                1. I actually think it's silly and outdated to hire models as hosts - especially for a show that's supposed to be about eating. I'd be happy to see Padma go and be replaced by someone who's not there just to be "pretty."

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mojoeater

                    However, she's not *just* a model. She's had published several cookbooks, has acted. Yes, perhaps not to everyone's liking in the cooking realm, but she isn't completely non-involved in the food world.

                    1. re: mojoeater

                      And by comparison - I think both Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks are much better hosts of their respective shows - there's no question that they are more than just pretty faces, despite both being models. To me, Heidi and Tyra both provide a lot of personality as well as substantive feedback to their contestants - which I don't think is true of Padma.

                      1. re: aching

                        This is EXACTLY my point. Personality is what a host should be about, and Padma comes across as either flat or rude. She does not engage, nor does she ever have constructive criticism. But someone like Heidi Klum is not only good looking but also funny, engaging and knowledgeable.

                        1. re: mojoeater

                          Yep, I totally agree. You couldn't have Project Runway without Heidi, but I personally think they could ax Padma - and not replace her with anyone - and TC would actually be better. Tom and judges like Eric Ripert are who give the show its personality.

                    2. I don't have any problem with her. I don't find her flat, as many seem to, and she seems to know food.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: debbiel

                        I think Padma's just fine - in comparison to Katie Lee, she practically leaps off the screen with personality. She clearly enjoys food, has published a cookbook, and contributes to judging conversations. She's more than just "pretty", please.
                        ETA: Comment not directed at you, debbiel, I pressed the wrong button.

                      2. Names that come to my mind are: Frank Bruno, Michael Lomonaco, Jacques Pepin, and Sara Moulton, people, in my mind, that are well-informed, articulate, and might tend to be more instructive rather than destructive.

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: junescook

                          Do you mean Frank Bruni? If so, I'd see him as a more frequent guest judge, but NOT a host. Nor would I put any of the others in a "host" role.

                          The host is usually someone rather innocuous to keep things moving along and explain the tasks. That's Padma material - not for Sara, Jaques, Frank Bruni or Lomonaco.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Of course I meant Bruni.

                            I think the show should be about the objective evaluation of the food and not a circus and not about the hosts. If the people judging it are flat, fine, as long as the criteria are clear and followed. I guess I 'm looking for someone in the mold of Alex Trebek, articulate and knowlegeable.

                            1. re: junescook

                              I think the show should be about the objective evaluation of the food and not a circus and not about the hosts.
                              How is the show about the hosts? And how are they NOT objective about the food?

                            2. re: LindaWhit

                              I think Sara Moulton would be a great host. I really liked her show and her personality. She taught well, didn't talk down but didn't wound pretentious. She knows food, and I think she'd be really good for and to the cheftestants.
                              What's she up to these days, anyway? I always think of her at Thanksgiving because she had a turkey calculator that was always spot on. I used it for years, just to give myself back up in my guess as to how long a given turkey would take. Never failed me once! :-)

                              1. re: KailuaGirl

                                She's too nice for the drama BS that goes with the show

                              1. re: debbiel

                                Good point, debbie. I was concentrating on the list of possibles from junescook that I didn't even note the implication that Padma is destructive.

                              2. re: junescook

                                Sara Moulton. That would be the last time I watched. Talk about no personality.

                                1. re: cb1

                                  I always loved Sara Moulton's shows!

                                  1. re: debbiel

                                    I like her as a chef explaining things - she's got Julia Child's manner of ease and ability to explain things to the viewer.

                                    As a host for TC? Never ever ever. Not the right fit for her.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I absolutely agree that she would not be a good TC host.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        " like her as a chef explaining things - she's got Julia Child's manner of ease and ability to explain things to the viewer."

                                        Perhaps because she was an assistant to JC on one of the latter's shows when she was younger. Learned from the master.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          Yup, I knew that, which is why I used it as an example. Best teacher in this respect EVER. :-)

                                  2. re: junescook

                                    I would love to see Jacques Pepin or Sara Moulton on the show even as guest judges some time

                                    1. re: ducksalad

                                      Jacques Pepin was a guest judge on TC5 "The Last Supper" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

                                      Carla's squab and fresh peas (which would have been his last supper) was declared one of his favorite dishes of the night.

                                      But I agree I'd like to see him back, and would love to have Sara Moulton on there as well.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        That was one of my favorite episodes ever and I thought Pepin was great on it.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Great episode and it was also the episode that Fabio gave his "top chef not top pussy" one liner..

                                          1. re: SDGourmand

                                            I completely forgot about that line, what a classic. Can't wait to watch Fabio on all-stars.

                                    2. i like padma on top chef

                                      and she was a known cookbook author, tv food personality, and food lover long before top chef.

                                      so i'd say both of your main premises are false

                                      1. She dosen't bother me she seems fine. Someone has to host the show. But at least she didn't become a food 'expert' by marring Billy Joel.

                                        1. I'm fine with Padma, but if I really got to pick, I wish Gail would have taken over the original TC instead of TC:Desserts. I love Gail!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: pollymerase

                                            Sorry, I'll have to disagree, pollymerae.
                                            Sure Gail is editor of Food&Wine, but she always comes across, to me, as unoriginal and lacklustre.
                                            OK, she might be a better than Ryan Seacrest, but I like Padma.

                                            1. re: porker

                                              Gail is lacklustre? She seems to show some of the most enthusiasm of the panel. And as far as Padma goes, I agree with the person who described her as a traffic cop. That's her job, keep things moving (altho I agree it'd probably run fine without it) and while she could be a little more animated, she's fine in that role.

                                          2. I have a feeling that I probably wouldn't like her in real life. But I think she does a fine job for the show.

                                            40 Replies
                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                              i'm pretty sure i'd have a blast hanging out with her. smart, literate, likes writers and food, likes to party, and isnt bad to look at.

                                              what's not to like?

                                                1. re: thew

                                                  She may be all those things, but the thing that strikes me most about her is that I think she's a diva. Some people love divas. I don't click with those types of people and prefer those who are a bit more low-key.

                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                    i dont get that sense of her, really.

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                      I'm not a fan of divas either, but I don't see evidence of her being a diva on the show. Admittedly, I don't follow her comings and goings outside of the show.

                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                        I think she's a diva too, but only based on behind-the-scenes accounts of her.

                                                        There really isn't anything on the show that portrays her as such, just her general malaise/medicated state, which isn't necessarily evidence of diva-ness in and of itself.

                                                        Imagine Padma's personality in the body of an overweight middle-aged woman, would people still think she was a diva or is her "former model" status coloring peoples' view of her?

                                                        And I think the ideal line-up would be Tom, Ripert, Gail S and Bourdain.

                                                        1. re: ribeye621

                                                          I think that she wouldn't have the job if she were an overweight, middle-aged woman, especially with her personality. She comes across as overly critical and like she's put out by having to show up for work.

                                                          1. re: agoodbite

                                                            if she were overweight, middle-aged woman she wouldn't have the job, regardless of her personality. yes looks matter on tv. whats your point?

                                                            1. re: thew

                                                              My point is exactly as I stated, "she wouldn't have the job if she were an overweight, middle-aged woman, especially with her personality."

                                                              1. re: agoodbite

                                                                If most actresses, hostesses, pop stars, dancers, cheerleaders etc...were overweight middle-aged women they wouldn't have their jobs. Thank you for adding Padma to this list....I think these revelations will shock the world!

                                                                1. re: agoodbite

                                                                  my point is her personality doesn't enter into it. they want someone sexy and stylish as the face of the show. a dumpy middle aged woman, even if she had the personality of oscar wilde combined with jesus wouldn't get the part.

                                                              2. re: ribeye621

                                                                I think she wouldn't have the job if she were an overweight middle-aged woman because overweight middle-aged women don't tend to get many jobs like this.

                                                                I just don't see the malaise/medicated state that others see in her.

                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                  As a dumpy, middle aged, overweight actress who has been on TV, I think she's awful.
                                                                  PS- Tom is overweight, dumpy, and middle aged. Ever noticed or cared? No, I know you didn't, because of the frightful double standard that exists.

                                                                  1. re: julietg

                                                                    Just for the record, Tom has a huge following in the gay community. So, many people find him attractive.

                                                                    1. re: donovt

                                                                      I remember when one of the gay chefs made a comment about Tom being cute so I thought Tom must be gay, which had never occurred to me. Then realized he was married with kids (which of course doesn't always mean you're not gay) so I'm wondering where the big gay thing comes from. Is there something specific? I think he's striking looking and certainly wouldn't call him dumpy.

                                                                      1. re: Joanie

                                                                        I remember reading years ago that he had a big following in the gay community. I just googled it and see that he was a big proponent for gay marriage and rode a float in the LA pride parade this year. I'm not saying he's gay. Just that he has a big enough following that i've seen him referred to as a gay icon. I wouldn't call him dumpy either.

                                                                        1. re: Joanie

                                                                          he's a big hit in the bear lover community

                                                                          1. re: thew

                                                                            Yes, he rode in the "bear" float in the parade.

                                                                            1. re: thew

                                                                              I just wonder where that started. He's not particularly hairy is he? Well, obviously not on his head. And not particularly big. Whatever, curious if one thing got this rolling altho I guess riding in the pride parade might help (but that chef who thought he was cute was on before this year's parade).

                                                                              1. re: Joanie

                                                                                Not sure what started this, but it's definitely been going on for quite a few years. I don't really see the "bear" thing with him either.

                                                                                1. re: donovt

                                                                                  Maybe that some attribute him to being cuddly like a teddy bear?

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    That's what I always thought it was Linda.

                                                                                    1. re: debbiel

                                                                                      From my understanding, a bear is usually a big, burly, hairy guy.

                                                                                      1. re: donovt

                                                                                        I don't think the hairy part is necessary. I think being big and burly is.

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          But what about when a bear is a middle-aged woman?

                                                                                          (Ha, I didn't realize what "bear" signified until my sons told me that I was probably misleading people on the board with my screen name. I guess I need to be a little more aware of pop culture.)

                                                                                          1. re: bear

                                                                                            So funny. When I saw that someone named bear posted, I assumed we were going to get a final answer.

                                                                        2. re: julietg

                                                                          Did you have a job hosting a reality television show? I'm trying to think of a dumpy middle aged overweight woman who has hosted a television show recently. Can't come up with one.

                                                                          Is there a double standard for men and women? Of course. What's your point? I think she does a fine job hosting. You don't. That disagreement does not indicate that my opinion is grounded in that double standard.

                                                                          1. re: debbiel

                                                                            Did you have a job hosting a reality television show? I'm trying to think of a dumpy middle aged overweight woman who has hosted a television show recently. Can't come up with one.
                                                                            Paula Deen.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Nancy Grace? Does that count as a reality show??

                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                nancy grace needs to not be a padma, for the same biased reasons. she needs to be trusted for what she says, in a way beautiful women sadly are not.

                                                                                similar bias w/ paula deen. she projects home and comfort in a way a sexy model, again sadly, does not.

                                                                                those examples speak to, and not against, the initial point

                                                                                1. re: thew

                                                                                  similar bias w/ paula deen. she projects home and comfort
                                                                                  Not to me she doesn't.

                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                    Not to worry - I'm not a Nancy Grace fan. But I thought we were trying to think of middle aged slightly overweight women who hosted shows.

                                                                                    Personally, I think this horse has been flogged.

                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                      Ina Garten?

                                                                                      EDIT: PS, I'm pretty sure that I've lost track of what the point is supposed to be here, but there are heavier-middle-aged women on television. They are certainly rare, but they are out there and can have credibility.


                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  Close, but I don't consider that a "hosting a show" job. It's having a show. Hosts have a less major role.

                                                                            2. re: ribeye621

                                                                              Love that line-up! Especially Ripert and Bourdain!

                                                                        3. re: thew

                                                                          Thats funny because - I hate her as a host - I think she is stiff , boring and wooden...but I agree - I wouldnt mind hanging out and sharing a meal and a smoke with her!

                                                                          1. re: thew

                                                                            I saw her once in person, eating with her famous ex-husband. She didn't stand out at all (as in didn't seem especially pretty - and I think she looks gorgeous on the show) and she just sat there glumly, not talking, barely eating. Of course they later broke up, so maybe it was just a bad day, although they had one of their parents with them so you'd think they'd fake it if they were mid-fight.

                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                              I saw her in person as well. She was working out at my gym, which is next door to the Hilton where they taped the DC show. With no makeup and in workout clothes that covered her arms and legs, hair up, she look kind of ordinary, and as Lulu's Mom wrote above, not especially pretty. She was on her cell phone a lot. At the time, I doubted it was she -- her face was rounder, puffier cheek bones, about 5'5". But when I saw her on the show a few weeks later, I was certain it was her. She was working out with light free weights (when she wasn't on the phone).

                                                                              Two days later, I saw Tom C. downstairs at the machines. I didn't realize I was staring until he glared at me.

                                                                        4. She has written 2 cookbooks...she was a well known and sought after model and actress,which lead to Padma's Passport on Feed Network, which became Melting Pot in 2001.

                                                                          She does not have enough airtime to bother me ...

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                            Padma may have an aloof attitude, but I don't mind her at all. She's a feast for the eyes and fun to watch, eye candy for the men and some of the women in the viewing audience.I'm sure there are others who have more culinary cred, but really isn't that what Colicchio is there for? I like Jacques Pepin and Sara Moulton as much as the next person, but as Top Chef host? No way. Padma fits the job description just fine.

                                                                              1. re: tangovoxtrot

                                                                                "a feast for the eyes". That is a perfect description!

                                                                              2. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                                The Cooking Channel has aired her Passport show recently. Padma is so unpolished on that show. They must now allow for retakes. Even so I liked the show. Padma is okay as TC host. I have no issue with her.

                                                                              3. I have no problem with what she says, just her cadence and horrible speech drives me NUTS. Her elongated and nasal vowels, and her inability to hit aspirated consonants reminds me of my little sister when she was 13. So grating. And LAZY! Where is Edith Skinner when you need her??
                                                                                "Tah Sheh. Dull Newtrahsk."
                                                                                And on the side- those interstitials where she is looking at her computer or throwing confetti, or sipping champagne, etc? HATE HATE HATE. Yes, I know that's the producers and not her, but jeez. She's so non-genuine.

                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                1. re: julietg

                                                                                  do you think it's laziness, or the traces of the accent that comes from being born in southern india?

                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                    I am not so sure it's the Indian. Lots of Indian folks who learned English speak with a high British accent, which takes care of all of the sounds. Also, Indian itself has a lot more music to it. She's monotonal, and reminds me of a pre-teen from the Valley.

                                                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                                                      she did grow up in the valley after coming from india as a child

                                                                                      and- having spent time in india - it may take its cues from high british, but there are definitely different consonants and vowels than you will find in london

                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                        So it IS the Valley. That explains A LOT. She sounds just like a model from the Valley.
                                                                                        The absence of speech training nowadays makes me crazy. You're paid to speak? You should actually understand how to do so with flair and professionalism.
                                                                                        If she were sitting near me on the train, talking on her cell phone, I would have made quick judgements about her age, intelligence, and wealth. Then put on my headphones.

                                                                                        1. re: julietg

                                                                                          My $.02, I think Nigella Lawson would be splendid as TC Host.

                                                                                      2. re: julietg

                                                                                        Wow. WOW. Not sure which language you're referring to when you say "Indian", but I'm finding your judgments a little heavy-handed. Like someone said downthread, as long as I can understand what she says, I don't think it's necessary to get into how "unsophisticated" she sounds, or how her voice doesn't match her background. Both of which I don't understand or agree with, in any case. I'm just surprised to read these kinds of comments on this board.

                                                                                        1. re: sgogo

                                                                                          You're right, Indian is not the right word. Hindi. Pardon. And I thought I was saying that folks who speak Hindi have much more beautiful cadence and pronunciation than those from the San Fernando Valley.

                                                                                          My point is, her cadence and the way she treats words makes her sound apathetic IN MY OPINION, and I have always gotten the impression from her speech that she is bored, or put upon. Katie Lee Joel sounded robotic, but Padma sounds like she's over it. From her TONE, I feel like Gail Simmons is engaged, and excited to be there. From Padma's tone, just the opposite. Since her job is to announce the rules, the challenges, and the losers, then, yes, I do think it's important that she ennunciate properly.

                                                                                          Good Lord, is this woman some sacred cow or something? (yes, all cultural inferences intended)

                                                                                          Also- Top Shakespeare - LOL!!

                                                                                          1. re: julietg

                                                                                            That's kind of what I was thinking. I get it that the host doesn't need to be a food expert per se, but she does sit in on judges' table. I don't know, I just find her kind of... apathetic. Like they have to drag her to the set and force her to speak. Like she would much rather be somewhere else.

                                                                                            1. re: julietg

                                                                                              No. She's not a sacred cow. You've just come off as a bit of an attack dog on this. I don't find her to be the best speaker in the world, but I dont' find her underqualified for the job. Combine her adequate presentation (and I don't mean bad, just adequate) and the fact that she has a food background, she seems an appropriate choice for host. Not the only choice, but an appropriate choice.

                                                                                              1. re: julietg

                                                                                                I thought I was going to blow a gasket w/ irritation the first season that Padma was on the show. She could barely rouse herself to speak and when she did speak; she was completely apathetic; her speech was nasal, monotone and kind of dragged out. I was AMAZED that she had gotten the job and sure she would be gone the next season. Unfortunately for me this did not happen, I noticed that her speech was vastly improved the next season, so they must have had a great many complaints about the woman and made her take speech training. Remarkable for a woman who has made a career as an actress and briefly had her own show.

                                                                                                I think that Padma is there for her looks and because someone on that show likes her. She wrote a cook-book, so what? How many entertainers and monor celebrities have "written" a cook-book? They are legion and it doesn't make them experts on the crafting of fine food. Same deal for people with their own food shoes. Have you seen what's out there these days?

                                                                                                Padma is lacadaisacal, lackluster and at times just plain RUDE to the chefs. She also makes comments about the food that seem completely arbitrary as the other judges do not voice a like opinion or even respond to hers... who of us can tell without being able to taste? To put this model/actress who probably has a flair for home cooking (not on the level of a professional chef) as a JUDGE on a par with people like Eric Ripert, Tom Collichio, Hubert Keller, Gails Simmons and Green.... Well it is ludicrous.
                                                                                                Fine, fine, let the pretty lady host if someone important on the show really likes her, but let her JUDGE?? Oh My God, what a joke.

                                                                                                On a final note, Padma has discussed in the press that she was raised vegetarian and that she is still "sometimes becomes squeamish" when tasting cultural delicacies. Taken in the context she says it, could she be discussing "cultural delicacies". Including MEAT? (sigh)

                                                                                                I AM a fan of Gail Simmons, she's animated, cheerful, knowledgableand expresses the impression recieved from the food so well. But if I could choose a host for Top Chef it would be Ted Allen. I feel that he would give the job the respect it deserves. With Padma I more get the impression that it's all about her, and... well, unfortunately for me ('cause she isn't going anywhere) I just don't get it.

                                                                                                1. re: weewah

                                                                                                  she was raised vegetarian, but also snuck meat since her teens and ate meat fully shortly after. it isnt like she just started eating meat 6 months before top chef.

                                                                                                  1. re: weewah

                                                                                                    Ted Allen would be great. He could draw out pertinant comments from the judges and cheftestants (why are we not using that word anymore?) with aplomb.

                                                                                                    It's a pipe dream, though, since FN has him. Ah, well.

                                                                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                                                                      Cheftestant should be banished along with chillax and staycation.

                                                                                                      If Ted Allen were ever the host, hopefully he'd be his old QEFTSG or Top Chef self, not the automoton on Chopped.

                                                                                                      1. re: julietg

                                                                                                        cheftestants (why are we not using that word anymore?)
                                                                                                        I hadn't heard that we weren't. I'll continue to use it, as I think it's a perfect description of those that are chefs and contestants on shows like TC.

                                                                                                          1. re: julietg

                                                                                                            Ted Allen would be the pits. He always talks like he's reading a script

                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                              Did you ever see Queer Eye? He was amazing.

                                                                                                              1. re: julietg

                                                                                                                Amazing, maybe going too far for Ted on QEFTSG. The cooking segments were all pretty pathetic and Ted was probably 3rd or 4th fiddle on the show so he never had to do too much.

                                                                                                                Ted is a pretty good host on Chopped but he's really no more qualified than Padma.

                                                                                                              2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                Totally agree. I think he's good as a supporting role, but weak to host a show. Loved him as a TC judge. Loved him as one of the Fab 5 on Queer Eye. Wasn't too fond of him as a Chopped host.

                                                                                                2. I don't think that the "hostess" role actually adds to the show at all (and I don't particularly like Padma). I think you could get rid of Padma and only have Tom, Gail, and the guest judges to introduce the challenges, and it would be a better show. Clearly, someone over at Top Chef thinks that it's important to have a hostess for eye-candy, but judging from the responses on this site, as well as my own opinion, I think they would do better to show more of the cooking and the food, and less T&A.

                                                                                                  1. I was one of the people, I think, who made a negative comment about Padma in the other thread. Again, I've only watched Top Chef for one season, this season, and only about half of it. (I think I started watching when they were doing the quickfire with butchering the fish).

                                                                                                    The first time I was really annoyed with her was at the Emmy's when Top Chef won its award. The guy (director? not sure) said, "I didn't think we'd ever win" or something appropriately humble to that effect, and Padma jumped in, and said, "I did." Now, winning an award like that must be completely exhilarating, and I'm sure she was just proud and happy etc. But, I thought it displayed a lack of humility and respect--toward the person who was speaking and the other nominees.

                                                                                                    And that's what annoys me overall. I suspect I've been watching too much Iron Chef, but Top Chef is supposed to be a competition among these people who have supposedly risen to the top of their field, through hard work, creativity, talent, and so on. And she seems to treat them with no deference or respect whatsoever. Her comment to Kevin, "What's wrong with you," felt like a perfect example to me. I just thought that was a disrespectful way of making that point. Maybe she was just being funny-- I don't know the dynamics or editing or anything like that. And she's just human--she was probably as tired and as jet-lagged as everyone else.

                                                                                                    But, I guess I just wish she'd display a little more respect for these very talented people who are at the top of their fields, whether that be television production or Cheffing. I'm not saying she should bow and scrape, etc., but just a tad more respect would go a long way with me. I might not even have noticed as much if I hadn't seen her on the Emmy's.

                                                                                                    I have to say, though, I crack up every time she says, "Hail to the Chef." I repeat it with her every time she says it (which I'm sure my husband finds absolutely annoying. )

                                                                                                    I'm going to miss that next season!


                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      I still think the "what's wrong with you" was a deadpan joke delivery.

                                                                                                      I just don't get all the padmahate here.

                                                                                                      1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                        it clearly was, and he laughed when she said it, as did she

                                                                                                        1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                          Sorry, I didn't think it was funny. I thought it was rude. It wouldn't have mattered to me if her delivery was smiling and laughing. I didn't think Kevin thought it was funny, either. His response seemed awkward and defensive to me. And I don't think this is all so "clear" or there wouldn't be people on both sides of the discussion.

                                                                                                          But, as I said, this was the episode I watched after I saw her being rude on the Emmys, so, I am willing to accept that it's possible my perception was filtered in a certain negative light.

                                                                                                          EDIT: PS and, again, this is my first season (half season) of watching TC, so, maybe I just don't "get" her.


                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            I agree w/ your impressions; I felt the same way.

                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                              I thought she said what we were all thinking. Finals in Singapore and you've never cooked in a wok? It's one of the reasons I'm irked he won. Just like many of us were pretty appalled that Ed didn't work on any desserts during downtime it would've been prudent for Kevin to get the hang of a wok.

                                                                                                              With many of the the chefs having egos the size of small planetoids I don't think deference is what is needed when it comes to dealing with the cheftestants.

                                                                                                              I agree she brings little to the party but if she is at all key to higher ratings then I say keep Padma.

                                                                                                        2. I like Padma...she adds spice!

                                                                                                          1. So there's an idea for next season's lineup: "Next New Top Chef Host Competition."

                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: junescook

                                                                                                              I wonder- how many of we detractors are women and how many of her supporters are men?

                                                                                                                1. re: julietg

                                                                                                                  Me=Hetero woman with a bent toward being judgmental about beautiful women=supporter.

                                                                                                                  1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                    Alright ladies. It's not a completely sexist thing. That makes me feel better.

                                                                                                                  2. re: junescook

                                                                                                                    I'd like to see the judges make a gourmet meal out of a gas station vending machine and cook it on the beach and see how THEY fare.

                                                                                                                    1. re: porker

                                                                                                                      do you also think umpires need to be able to hit home runs against major league pitching?

                                                                                                                      1. re: thew

                                                                                                                        No. I think umpires make decisions rather than critique style, besides, they are not baseball players.
                                                                                                                        However, Tom Colicchio is a chef and he judges the contestant chefs. Oftentimes these contestants are in very difficult circumstances and Tom critiques them harshly, which BTW, is quite understandable.
                                                                                                                        I simply think it would be amusing to turn the tables and see how the judges perform under similar circumstances.

                                                                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                                                                          that's called "top chef masters"

                                                                                                                          1. re: thew

                                                                                                                            Yeah but since they are "masters", the critiquing is somewhat muted. I'd like to see the high jinks ensue when someone rips Colicchio a new a$$hole for trying to make coq au vin out of a chicken rather than a rooster, or kick Gail in the shins for accidently making poached pears cloyingly sweet...

                                                                                                                    2. re: junescook


                                                                                                                      Co-hosting the NNTCHCompetition, If we've got Guy, don't you think Gordon Ramsay would be perfect? (and I am loving the image of Tom and Padma racing from the vending machine down to the beach to make "the finest meals of their lives."

                                                                                                                    3. Just watched TC Just Desserts and though Gail did a great job as the hostess. She came across as really friendly and warm. I really did not like Padma's comment to Kevin about his wok skills on the Finale Part 1 - I thought it was really rude and good on Kevin for not saying anythign nasty back to her.. although of course Kevin couldn't because she is one of the judges after all! Yeah Padma is great eye candy but maybe someone with a bit more warmth in their personality as the TC host would make for a nice change.

                                                                                                                      What they should do is an episode with the Muppets and have Swedish Chef host that one!! LOL!

                                                                                                                      1. actually, padma's grown on me. She used to have a really annoying way she would draw out her words. Kinda pretentious.

                                                                                                                        1. How about Guy Fieri?

                                                                                                                          Kidding of course...Padma's fine. A traffic cop with a few opinions. And not sure anyone can top her judge's table death stare!

                                                                                                                          1. Top Chef doesn't need a new host. Padma is just fine.

                                                                                                                            Top Chef does, however, need more interesting judges. I'm a big fan of Eric Ripert as a chef but I'm not sure what he brings to judges' table makes for good TV. it seems that he needs Anthony Bourdain or some other friendly, external prodding to become interesting. Gail Simmons is just plain boring.

                                                                                                                            Tom Colicchio has done a good job of upgrading contestants over the years. Producers need to do an equal job in upgrading judges. Toby had potential, too bad it didn't work out.

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                              Frank Bruni would be awesome to have as a permanent judge.

                                                                                                                              1. re: SDGourmand

                                                                                                                                Bruni has promise. I've enjoyed his NYTimes missives from Rome when he was in the bureau there as well as his stint as Times food critic. I'm not sure how that translates to a week-to-week TV gig with Top Chef but I'd sure like to give it a try.

                                                                                                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                Wow. Of allt he judges you mentioend there, Toby was my least favorite. By a long shot. I didn't feel he added much useful about the food at all, but plenty in terms of rudeness. I like Ripert and Gail as judges. And certainly Bourdain.

                                                                                                                                1. re: debbiel

                                                                                                                                  I was surprised that I wrote that. In retrospect, it appeared to me that, over time, he grew in the role and dropped the sophomoric snarkiness he wallowed in early in his tenure. I suspect a personal trainer and a hard look in the mirror may have been contributing factors. In short, he grew. In the process, he became interesting.

                                                                                                                                  Gail, unfortunately, is not interesting to me. She is incapable of uttering a simple, declarative sentence without raising her voice, upping the pitch and employing school-girl facial gestures. Boring.

                                                                                                                                  Bourdain can be good. His easy-going style makes long-time friend Eric Ripert interesting when they are together. Without Bourdain, and I think the producers get this, Chef Ripert doesn't have the chops for this particular TV show. Bourdain gets along with Colicchio and this comes across on camera. Bourdain, without Colicchio, is not as interesting. Together, they make for compelling TV.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                    Chef Ripert, along with Hubert Keller, is eye candy to this straight female. :-) I'd much rather gaze at them than at Padma.

                                                                                                                                2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                  "Gail Simmons is just plain boring."
                                                                                                                                  - thank you.
                                                                                                                                  I'd add "un-original" as well...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                                    I understand, soy, but I remember that sticky went up when we were all making fun of Sandra Lee and her Kwanza Cake. (google it for a giggle)

                                                                                                                                    This show just won an Emmy. I believe the mods feel that TC can take it. Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee perhaps not.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                                                                                                      Really? Do you think any thread dedicated to the bashing of a particular celebrity adds to the usefulness or credibility of this site?

                                                                                                                                  2. The whole crew needs a face lift. Tom is sour and predictable- his comments seem less and less driven by a struggle to find something new and interesting than by a reflexive, inarticulated standard. Padma looks bored, and Gail is a frumpish blank. What was refreshing about Bourdain's appearance this time was that he actually argued and disagreed. Yes, open the discussion up among the panal members..more transparency, for godsakes. Most of all, stop this stern prison guard look when the contestants come in to be judged. It looks stupid and fake. Instead, take a look at the Australian Master Chef shows---bright colors, pleasing give and takes between judges and cooks, recipe episodes where the cooks show and tell--on the whole, a production that is more serious and more fun loving and more open. Oh, and find somelike like Tim Gunn (project runway) who can bring a little humanity and elegance into the cooking prep scenes. IN any case, the Uncle or Aunt who comes in during the prepshould not be a judge but a fellow mentor. (Again, I find Tom C grim and utterly uninspiring.)

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. Well Bourdain is the new regular judge for season 8 top chef all stars.. Was reveled today

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: SDGourmand

                                                                                                                                        Sounds good.
                                                                                                                                        In a perfect world, rotating in Ruhlman, Ripert, Gabrielle Hamilton, April Bloomfield, Nancy Silverton would also make sense. Adding Judy Rodgers to the rotation would be icing on the cake. Dropping Gail Simmons would complete the deal for me.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: SDGourmand

                                                                                                                                          Happy happy joy joy! :-)

                                                                                                                                          I see he'll be alternating with Gail Simmons as "regular judge" and there are 18 previous cheftestants vying for another chance. And Cookie Monster, Telly, and Elmo will be guest judges! LOL

                                                                                                                                          Premiere date for TCAS is December 1st.

                                                                                                                                        2. If anyone has just watched the Top Chef Reunion show, where they just showed the outtakes from Judges' Table or Challenge set-ups by Padma, I think they'll realize that Padma *does* have a sense of humor - she and Tom were hysterical together! Just wish they'd be able to show some of the sillies during the season. :-)

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            I agree... I wish more of that dynamic came out during the regular episodes. They are all very funny before editing.

                                                                                                                                            Also, as the OP I just wanted to say that I never meant this to be a thread bashing Padma, I was more interested in how the show has changed since becoming so successful... I thought the producers and viewers might welcome a change in format and personnel. My own opinion is that the show needs to seriously deviate from its formula if it wants to stay interesting, but that's another post.

                                                                                                                                            Moderators, I apologize if I inadvertently started a "bashing TV host" thread, it was not my intention.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chorosch

                                                                                                                                              I'll also say that the outtakes were very funny and showed other aspects of their personalities....they should include more of these....

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                                                                                                I second that.. It's great to see some laughter in there.. Doesn't have to be so serious all the time..

                                                                                                                                          2. Padma...sheesh what a pretentious windbag! Purge her.

                                                                                                                                            1. I nominate Donatella Arpaia. She's smart, edgy, knows food, and is very attractive. My other choice would be Gail, but I like her in her current role. This being said, I am okay with Padma, as I think the show is fine with her.

                                                                                                                                              1. I think Padma does well as host.

                                                                                                                                                You know she's present without having to speak. She doesn't have an overpowering personality or demeanor. Also, she doesn't come off as forced like Kelly and Ted.

                                                                                                                                                It's not the Padma show... It's Top Chef where the judges and chefs should bring the drama.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. I agree with you whole heartedly. She is just too in love with herself and seems so fake. I doubt that the chefs have much chemistry with her at all. Could do with a lot less of their ridiculous challenges and too much talk time from judges. Most of us want to see more of the cooking and hear the chefs talk about how they are coming up with their menu and food.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Padma seems to have no genuine passion for the show. Her delivery is very dry and robotic, and lacks warmth.

                                                                                                                                                    Someone with more charisma like Fabio Viviani would be a welcome replacement.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                      The judges remind me of an 'admissions' panel. Humorless/dry/disinterested/'nit-picky'/but at the same time appearing tired and bored.
                                                                                                                                                      Time to 'get rid' of the lot of them IMO.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                        The guest judge that I really like is Emerald. Not overly critical and nit picky. And when he is I think the editors are making him say stuff that is out of character for the drama effect.

                                                                                                                                                        One think to keep in mind. There is little reality in reality TV