Top Chef:Just Desserts Actually Looks ... Good
Maybe it's because we're so worn down by this season of Top Chef -- which blessedly will be put out of its misery tomorrow night -- but its spin-off, Top Chef: Just Desserts, actually looks like it might potentially, hopefully, possibly be pretty good. Maybe even good, period.
Having watched an advance screener of the show, which premieres tomorrow night, we've had time to consider why this might be, and we've come up with the following explanations:
1. Gail Simmons is a way better hostess than Padma Lakshmi. Watching Top Chef, we'd suspected as much. Despite the best efforts of Padma's cleavage to convince us otherwise, not only did Gail have way more natural charisma and presence than Padma, she also didn't seem to be trying too hard. Or obviously reciting cue cards. On Just Desserts, she's relaxed and natural, and, unlike Padma, she appears to actually want to be there.
2. The gays. Yes, saying that all male pastry chefs are homosexuals is both a stereotype and patently untrue. But the Just Desserts pilot gives us no less than three proudly out male contestants (and from the looks of it, at least another who isn't exactly in). San Francisco's Tim Nugent announces that he's known as "the snow queen, because my food is frozen and I'm gay." He then declares a "battle of the queens" between himself and Yigit Pura, a fellow San Franciscan. Meanwhile, Zac Young, the pastry chef at Flex Mussels, sprinkles disco dust on his creations and generally sets (figurative) fire to everything in his path. All of which makes for a much more engaging spectacle than that of a bunch of psuedo-macho savory chefs trying to out-grouch each other.
3. One sulky, possibly violent heterosexual. That would be Morgan Wilson, Texan, single dad, and rock climber. When told that the judges have an issue with one of his desserts, he responds, "Whatever," and curls his lip. Highlights from future episodes show him actually threatening his fellow contestants, which makes us hope against hope that we'll get to see Gail put him in a headlock.