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Monday, October 26, 2009

Speaking of 'Top Chef': More 'Masters,' and anyone feel like dessert?

Kelly Choi gotta eat.

Bravo announced yesterday that the spinoff show "Top Chef Masters" will be back for a second go-round (note how I avoided any food cliches like "second helping" or "second course") in 2010. This is good news for Channel Surfers, who largely savored every moment of the nation's best chefs going knife-to-knife, almost completely sans ego, and refreshingly drama-light. Just entertaining challenges (remember the dorm-room fiasco?), fun personalities (like roly-poly Art Smith and his near-constant goofball antics), and food that looked so good you'd bruise your hand trying to grab it through the TV screen.

Wafer-thin hostess Choi (seriously, you host a food show -- eat something) will reportedly return, as well as judges James Oseland, Gael Greene and Jay Rayner.

In addition, Bravo is developing a third second spinoff, this one geared toward that most feared of all dishes for "Top Chef" contestants: dessert. Variety reports.) that casting is underway for "Top Chef: Just Desserts," which will shift the focus solely to pastry chefs.

The sweet stuff has perennially presented the most trouble for the chefs. Team Mission even acknowledged this on last week's Restaurant Wars episode, writing off crafting a dessert first thing when planning their menu. Also memorable was last season's Thanksgiving episode, when guest judge Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters referred to Mimbo Jeff's pumpkin mousse as a "barf-ait." So putting the spotlight on everyone's favorite part of the meal, with cream-of-the-crop dessert professionals, could either be a disaster, or be the cause of an diabetes epidemic nationwide.

So what's with the sudden spinoff mania? According to Variety, "Top Chef" has been such a success that Bravo wants to have some iteration of the show on their schedule all year. This of course brings up the very real possibility of the network rolling their pastry dough too thin. I do hope, however, that they get around to something like a "Celebrity Top Chef," where people like Emeril, Rachael Ray and Anthony Bourdain duke it out. (And heck, how great would it be if they could coax Tom Colicchio into taking part too? Dude's starring in Diet Coke commercials now -- time to put up or shut up.)

Or Bravo could even roll out a "Top Chef All-Stars" edition, like that one-off "Project Runway" did at the start of their recent season. Get all the past winners, some fan favorites (Fabio and the Blais, natch), and great reality TV will ensue.

Looking forward to another season of "Masters"? Will you watch "Just Desserts"? How many Twinkies do you think Kelly Choi needs to eat before she resembles an actual human being? Let us know!

-- Adam Reinhard,

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There'd be more drama if they took Top Chef contestants and made them compete in desserts, since, you know, they all have trouble making one.

By Blogger Ms. Quarter, At October 27, 2009 at 9:04 PM  

Personally, with Zooey Deschanel, Neil Patrick Harris, the Foo Fighters and now Natalie Portman showing up, I think it'd be cool to go SUPER celebrity and have all those folks engage in a "Top Chef" cook-off. C'mon, who wouldn't want to see Tina Fey take on, I dunno, Anderson Cooper in a Quickfire?

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At October 28, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

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