You know, a show like Top Chef is strange to watch in that as viewers we can't taste what the contestants are presenting. That beef tenderloin looks awesome; those butterscotch scallops make me want a heaping helping of hospital food! Also, the human palate is a funny thing. How could anyone like wasabi and white chocolate? Yet on this season of Top Chef, that was a winning dish.
So the viewer has to go by what sounds good/bad, or looks good/bad, or ultimately what the judges tell us worked. Or did not. And that X factor...personality.
This is why there was such a stink raised among fans when Sam Talbot didn't make it to the finale. Because he's so freakin' hawt, why can't we keep looking at him? His dish couldn't have been that bad!
This is why Season 3 champ Hung Huynh was so hated despite being demonstrably the best chef of his class. He constantly bigged up his concoctions and degraded the work of his competitors. Also, his food may or may not have had a soul.
This is why Lisa Fernandes is arguably the most hated chef to ever compete on the show. She doesn't seem to wash her hair much; she has a pierced eyebrow; she is gay (yes, this still kinda bothers some people); she has difficulties working with her peers; she has a tendency to adopt a defensive posture and twist her face into a most unbecoming snarl whenever she is brought before the Judges Table for possible elimination; and oh yeah, she's been up for elimination in six consecutive episodes, including the first part of the finale, aired this week.
The Internet has spewed some insane vitriol towards her these past few weeks, some even accusing the shows producers of keeping Lisa around for the sake of either ratings or improving the odds of the first female Top Chef. This is all, of course, bullhonkey. Lisa is still on because, week after week, someone else has managed to suck just a little more.
I myself had no particular problem with Fernandes. Then I read that goddamn interview.
Oh no, I don't read the blogs – you couldn't pay me to read the blogs. I don't want to know what people who can't even afford to eat in my restaurant, let alone know how to cook have to say about me....
This is amazing. She could have handled the reality of her less-than-stellar online reputation with humor and aplomb, instead she goes the woefully predictable route of "bloggers are pathetic basement-dwelling nerds". Her statement is arrogant, wrongheaded, presumptuous, and should be insulting to anyone who maintains a blog as part of their everyday life.
Lisa Fernandes Top Chef