You'll need to carve out a week to read The Onion's interview with Anthony Bourdain, but it's worth it -- and not just for the local connection briefly contained therein. During the Q&A, Bourdain's asked about his experience as a guest judge on Top Chef -- specifically, whether "the judges' deliberations as lengthy and protracted as they seem." Contained within his response is the answer to another question folks often have: Do the producers cajole the judges to keep popular chefs even if their food ain't up to snuff?
I've never seen, never even smelled interference or suggestions from producers on how the judging should go. I've actually seen their faces collapse in pain. [Laughs.] I'm sure that when they send an audience favorite home -- like Tre [Wilcox] last year -- I'm guessing that the producers are probably displeased. But I never sensed that anybody would ever mess with the process. The best cook wins.
Speaking of Wilcox, I just noticed on his Web site that on February 24, the Top Chef will be on Iron Chef America. I also noticed that his Web site is scored by a soft-core porn composer. --Robert Wilonsky