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Reading Between the (Top Chef Judge's) Lines

August 9, 2007

Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio is quoted in New York Magazine this week for a lengthy Bravo reality show exposé.

He claims his producers don't attempt to influence show judging. His example is that one popular contestant “would never have been eliminated if it were up to the producers.”

If the producers are trying to voice their preferences without implying that judges should fall in step, they're walking a thinly implicated line.

I, personally, would never be able to manage it.

Colicchio drops other misty details, like the producers' past insistence on casting the show more for reality-star personalities than cooking talent. Really!…

And yet you say they remain hands-off in the ongoing reverse-casting of which chefs will stay and which will go, when the matter involves engaging viewers?

—Sarah Outhwaite