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Life After Top Chef, or not?

Credit: Trae Patton/Bravo

Credit: Trae Patton/Bravo

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those that spent the evening on Wednesday night glued to the first Presidential debate, and then there are those – like myself – that occupied most of that time slot watching the newest spinoff of our favorite cooking competition: Life After Top Chef.

It is no secret that I’m a Top Chef fan, and between you, me, and the wall, the recaps of Top Chef are some of the most fun posts that I have the pleasure of writing for this blog. But what Bravo has dropped on us now is a different beast entirely. We are seeing Dorothy after returning from Oz and discovering that she can never look at her uncle without picturing him with straw poking out of his sleeves.

The biggest draw for Atlanta viewers is, of course, the prospect of seeing the real life of Richard Blais whilst knee deep in the building of his newest restaurant, The Spence. But, this is not the Top Chef that we have come to know and love. It is all the personality and conflict, without any of the actual competition.

As the semi-official Top Chef blogger for the AJC, I’m stuck in an internal debate. I’m not sure if I should decry this new series as a bastardization of the pure, skill-driven competition show that I love, or if I should embrace it as a natural evolution of the foodie pop culture.

Is Life After Top Chef the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo of foodie shows, or is it a peeling back of the curtain of the rise of televised celebrity chefdom?

It has been suggested that I start recapping this Top Chef spinoff, but I’m not sure that this is something that our readers want, or would care about. So, I put this to you: Are you watching Life After Top Chef? And if so, would you like to hear our (see also: “my”) take on the goings on of the TC alum?

- By Jon Watson, Food and More

16 comments Add your comment

Glenn

October 5th, 2012
6:45 am

Personally, I found the show interesting, not only because Richard Blais was in it (and that was why I originally watched), but because I got to see how other previous cheftestants are doing since the show, and seeing if their on-show persona was a true representation of who they were in the real world. For example, seeing Spike in business with his parents, and being somewhat passive around his Mother, was humorous, and Fabio being such a marketing machine more than a chef, were surprising. Richard, on the other hand, being just as anxious in real life, as he was on the show, is something I think I really expected after seeing him so much, especially in so many emotional scenes. Jenn was also interesting to me in that after he All-Star appearance, where she had her semi-breakdown, I wasn’t really surprised to hear she lost the funding for her new restaurant. What did surprise me is that she almost sounded defeated and bitter about the other’s success at times. I did find the show interesting because of these things.

sansho1

October 5th, 2012
8:00 am

You mean this is a series, and not just one of their one-off specials? I could see the interest in a brief re-visit, but this just sounds like circling the drain of celebrity-hood.

Mike

October 5th, 2012
8:20 am

I would imagine they’ll have 6 episodes or so, which should be plenty.

I enjoyed it alot. I also watched primarily for Richard (and check out The Spence restaurant if you haven’t yet, it’s good!) but enjoyed catching up with Fabio & Jen, too. Spike – not so much. He’s still an immature self-centered bouche-dag.

Regardless, I’ll tune in again next week!

SP

October 5th, 2012
10:34 am

It should’ve been just one show, not a series. I got the whole series in the first episode: Spike is still a tool and needs to go away; Jen’s still a brat and will never get a restaurant with her poor attitude (and please cut that hair! I saw myself fishing blonde strands out of every thing she made, blech!); Fabiano is still more of a flirt than a chef and Richard hasn’t realized home life and business life can not have the same priority (but isn’t that EVERYONE’S plight in life?). Richard and Fabiana are the only people worth caring about having a successful post Top Chef career because they have personality and passion. Yeah, sadly, won’t be tuning into this show.

AJ

October 5th, 2012
11:03 am

It’s 5 episodes. Not too many, not too few. If it does well, I’m sure it’ll be back. This is good, cheap filler programming between cycles of the various Wednesday @ 10PM food competition shows. Hopefully Top Chef Just Desserts will be back in that rotation!

Life After Top Chef, or not? ← Vade Shop

October 5th, 2012
11:52 am

[...] Life After Top Chef, or not? There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those that spent the evening on Wednesday night glued to the first Presidential debate, and then there are those – like myself – that occupied most of that time slot watching the newest spinoff of … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Lisa

October 5th, 2012
12:35 pm

I am watching it. Not exactly a train wreck but interesting to see these accomplished chef’s and the conflicts they face. I kinda felt bad for all of them. Such struggles then face.

Soupy Sales

October 5th, 2012
12:59 pm

*Tangent Alert*: Jon: If you’re looking for some vid-watching candidates after the run of “Life After Top Chef,” you may want to consider re-watching “The Wizard of Oz.” Hunk the Farmhand is the Scarecrow, dude; not Dorothy’s uncle. The fantastic hoofer Ray Bolger played Hunk and the straw man; Uncle Henry (Charley Grapewin) was more of a foxtrot kind-of-guy. (In fact, I believe that a time-honored trivia question is “Who is the only Kansas character not to make an appearance in the Land of Oz portion of “The Wizard of Oz”? A: Uncle Henry.)

Class dismissed.

[...] service industry since …Fabio Viviani, Jennifer Carroll Return for Life After Top ChefLALATELife After Top Chef, or not?Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

David

October 6th, 2012
3:41 pm

Why no Black or minorities? This is getting old, this country has become more diverse.

AJ

October 6th, 2012
10:13 pm

I’d rather watch something based on the content, not the color of the subjects. I don’t care what color, ethnicity, etc. someone is – I try to look beyond that.

Richard

October 7th, 2012
4:20 pm

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Oh wait, hold on….ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Lets move on for Christ sake. JEEEZEUZ~!!

JR

October 9th, 2012
5:32 pm

One show would have been more than enough. Respected Jen much more in her first Top Chef, and now she seems whiny and childish. Spike is such a legend in his own mind it’s not clear why he keeps popping up in these shows. Been to one of his DC places and would opt for Five Guys instead — not the sort of comparison expected of someone parading around as a fine chef! A one-time show following up on contestants would have been plenty.

Edward

October 10th, 2012
12:18 pm

I could not agree more, JR. Blais also comes across as a very insipid personality, more so than he did in Top Chef. I just don’t find any of them that interesting.

Teresa Parsons

October 10th, 2012
8:12 pm

Man you all are HARSH! Jen is not a brat, what chef have you EVER known that didn’t have a huge ego? She was humiliated and angry. Did she handle it properly? No, but I still respect Jen and hope she gets all of her funding in place. She is neither portraying herself as “defeated” OR “bitter” because of her castmate’s successes. I enjoy the show and wish all of them much success.

Elroy

October 11th, 2012
8:55 am

What time are you playing Mobilya ? I would be interested to know about your connection time