Thursday, December 11, 2008

In praise of arrogance

I've come to a decision:

My favorite chef on this season's Top Chef is Jamie.

Sometimes you can just look at a chef's food and be able to tell that they know what they're doing. I think this is probably the case with Jamie. She cooks things that she likes to eat -- and she does it well. You get hungry watching her cook.

Even when Jamie was on the chopping block two weeks ago it wasn't because her food was bad -- it was because the egg on her frisee wasn't finished. That happens.

But the other thing that I like about Jamie, quite frankly, is the fact that she's something of an arrogant asshole. She knows how good she is and she doesn't try to hide it or deny it. When she's finished runner-up in two quick fires and two eliminiation challenges she's furious -- because she knows her food is better than that of her competition.

That sort of arrogance... well, it's not usually an attractive quality. Unless it is. (And it almost always is when you're talking about an artist with real talent.)

But there's something about the whole Jamie package that I like. I like the fact that she's slightly overweight and a lesbian with tattoos. I like the fact that she's moody and doesn't give a shit what you think of her. She's the sort of schlub that Rogen was not in Knocked Up but in The 40-Year Old Virgin -- i.e., a cool schlub.

(It's slightly odd that I like Jamie as much as I do -- because she's the exact opposite in terms of temperament of my crush from last season, the always sweet and good natured Stephanie.)

The other shocker of this season of Top Chef, is the fact that I think my second favorite of the season is the far bigger asshole, Stefan.

I wouldn't have felt this way until last night's episode in which we learned that Stefan has a thing for Jamie.

Given her aesthetic flaws, the fact that she's a lesbian and her general ambivalence about him, this says the he, too, senses something deeper in Jamie. The man clearly has good taste. Something crucial for any Top Chef.


And as long as we're on Top Chef, the big shocker of the night for me was the fact that it appears that Gail Simmons is Jewish?! WTF!

Sigh... I miss Ted Allen.