Top Chef, E. coli and girls’ hockey

This is what I hate about Top Chef.

When it comes to eliminations, the hosts all look like they have to pass a huge stool as the camera goes for pregnantly pregnant pauses.

The dramatic music. The looks. And then, Collect Your Knives. Bye-bye.

Heidi Klum on Project Runway is so much more Germanically efficient. You have been eliminated. Get out.

Every time I watch one of those shows I’m reminded of coaching rep or travel team girls hockey back in Canada. Imagine, you’ve got 40 little kids vying for 20 spots on a hockey team, and you call them into the dressing room, one-by-one, with the coaches there, cameras rolling, dramatic music, the knowing stares, and then, you tell a 10-year-old, your risotto, or your skating, sucked, go home.

I asked Amy if she wanted to blog weekly about the food safety mistakes that occur on Top Chef as I attempted to feign interest in the show.  She looked at me like I had just been cut from the family. After all, she’s pretty pregnant (that’s a double entendre, one of those fancy words I learned to use in my school).

That’s OK. Others are already spoofing the show.

Last night’s season premiere of "Top Chef" may be the only episode you see all year!

Production on Bravo’s popular reality cooking show has been shut down by the New York City Department of Public Health after an E. coli outbreak was traced to the "Top Chef" kitchen.

"It seems that some of our more eager contestants may have cut a few corners in the ‘Make a meal out of raw meat in 8 minutes’ quickfire challenge," said co-host and head judge Tom Colicchio. "In hindsight, we probably should have more thoroughly checked their work before letting them serve it at a Brooklyn street fair."

By the evening after Bravo finished shooting at the street fair, local officials reported that 24 attendees who sampled "Top Chef" contestants’ food had been hospitalized and three were dead. The next morning, health inspectors raided the "Top Chef" kitchen just as co-host Padma Lakshmi was explaining that guest judge Rocco Dispirito had been delayed at his weekly plastic surgery session.

"All I have to say is that anyone convicted of spreading E. coli will likely find themselves in danger of elimination at our next judges’ table," Lakshmi said when asked for comment.

This entry was posted in E. coli, Food Safety Policy and tagged , by Douglas Powell. Bookmark the permalink.

About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time