OK, so a few folks from the neighborhood gathered last night to watch the second installment of The Next Food Network Star, since, well, Suze's Lisa Garza actually lives in our neighborhood. And, sure, we're rooting for the home team and all -- but, noted a high-school friend and Farmer Ted fan, "Whoever wins this is competition is going to look like king of the dipshits." Which is a pretty apt description for an amateur hour on which an episode's winner -- Garza, last night -- is crowned king of the chefs for making French toast "exactly what it should be," noted Bobby Flay, and not a danged thing more.
Because say what you will about Top Chef, but if any one of the cheftestants past or present had turned in any of those dishes last night -- among them, raw eggs, bread pudding that looked like Fix-A-Flat and "sexy" crostini they wouldn't offer at The Cherry Pit -- Anthony Bourdain and Tom Colicchio would have had them executed on the spot. Still, though, Garza, toning it down and paring it down, acquitted herself after last week's Three C's debacle. Only, will there be another watching party at Suze this weekend? --Robert Wilonsky