I'm a little late getting to this, but Season 3 of Top Chef got off to what I thought was a pretty good start last week. The series airs Wednesday nights at nine o'clock (central) on Bravo TV.
It is - as always - a show about cooking AND characters ..... face it, when it comes to 'reality' shows, the best way to get more airtime is to be more outrageous in what you say and do - that's show business, even if that's not what you are in real life.
Someone who has already established his character presence is Hung, a sous chef from Las Vegas, Nevada, who happens to be a friend of one of season 2's more memorable character's, Marcel. "Somebody has to be the bad guy," Hung says at one point, "and I am really good at it" He's also a really good cook.
Not as much of a character - in the first episode, at least - but every bit as good a cook, is Tre, a chef de cuisine (at Dallas' Abacus Restaurant) from Cedar Hill, Texas, and the winner of the first week's elimination challenge (in seasons 1 and 2, the winner of the first week's elimination challenge went on to win the season). I rather like Tre's mature manner ......
..... especially in contrast to Joey's manner. Joey, an executive chef from Long Island, New York, seems determined to bring as much attitude spice as actual spice into the kitchen, channeling the spirit of Tony Soprano, and finding a way to drop the 'f-word' into absolutely every sentence that comes out of his mouth ..... I hope he gets fired soon.
And speaking of 'fired,' there's Clay, a sous chef from northern Mississippi, champion of southern cuisine, and a genuine good ole' boy character, in mostly the right ways. Unfortunately, his cooking was not up to his character, and he lost both the Quick Fire Challenge, then the Elimination Challenge, and became the first of season 3's contestants to be told, "pack your knives and leave."
All in all, a good start to the season ..... I will definitely tune-in for this week's second episode.