Yesterday, ever-cantankerous Bret Thorn got on the case of Top Chef, “because I think the fans it cultivates are bad for the restaurant world, shifting the focus from food to personalities and drawing a lot of annoying, tittering idiots into my line of vision.” Today, Bruni scolds him for being “a tad too grumpy,” and basically reiterates what we heard from the Astor Center panel that included Gail Simmons — that while TC is instructional in “how wonky and geeky and particular it gets about the food itself” (good for the industry, thinks Bruni), it’s also messing with the minds of young chefs: “The show is yet another promise to young cooks that they can use, and should see, the role of chef as a road to celebrity. It gets them thinking more about mass-media glory — about big, quick fame — than about disciplined professionalism, dedication, sacrifice.” Clearly this discipline needs to be restored. Maybe via a spinoff show called Chef Boot Camp, in which an army mess-hall cook berates former cheftestants back into submission. “Shilling for Red Stripe, Private Blais?? Drop and give me twenty!!!”
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