Friday, November 10, 2006

Stephen: 10lbs of Pretense in a 5lb bag

So while wandering around Wikipedia I found out that Stephen from Season One of Top Chef has his own web site. I eagerly went there, hoping for something that could capture the incredible pretension and self-absorption of his television personna, or a site which would refute that personna.

If you've watched the show, you probably already know which of those two options is confirmed by the site. Yup, he's just as pretentious as you would imagine. It's wonderful.

The opening page features this quotation: "The quintessential epicurean experience is achieved through a balance of the senses and the harmonious marriage of food and wine." Is that true? Sure, I imagine it is. Is it something that only a pretentious, absurd man would feature as the opening page of his food site--you betcha. All this said, in the interest of full disclosure, Stephen was my pick for a good portion of season 1. I loved his presentation and thought he was just too funny not to root for. Someone that arrogant, that annoying, that cocksure. He was like the anal retentive version of Santino.

This season is shaping up to be even better. Marcel is playing a fine variation of Stephen. He's confident, prone to really strange choices for instance making avocado and bacon ice cream for children. It's hard to imagine the thought process that occurs in a chef's head whereby he decides that a) avocado and bacon belong as ice cream flavors or b) that even if they're acceptable flavors that children will want to eat them. This is reminiscent of Stephen lecturing kids at the Boys and Girls Club about the proper French pronuciation of his food, "gafrette." Marcel is also fantastic because he looks like the Top Chef version of Buddy (Syndrome) from the Incredibles.

Seriously, that's disconcerting. I do wonder whether Marcel will try to kill a fat chef whom he once idolized. I can only hope.

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