30 Day Geek Out Challenge: Day 20

Only 10 days left of the 30 Day Geek Out Challenge! Today I am recommending a series that you should all watch.

Just as a reminder, the 30 Day Geek Out Challenge is all about what makes you geeky, from fandoms to hobbies, favorite characters and more. I’m going to do this challenge along with my regular schedule of posts, so there will be tons of content from me this month! Thanks to Megan at A Geeky Gal for creating this!

Today’s question is: What series would you recommend to anyone?

My first instinct was to talk about Daria again, but since I just did that yesterday, I’m going to pick something else.

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Top Chef is arguably the best cooking show of all time. And of all series, choosing a reality competition show is kind of weird, but Top Chef is worth it.

For those that don’t know, Top Chef is a cooking competition amongst professional chefs that starts with a set group of cheftestants and whittles them down to the being crowned Top Chef. They spend the season in different locations, including New York, New Orleans, and Seattle to name a few, and they explore that city/state’s cuisine and culture during the competition. There are currently 16 seasons, with the 17th underway, with one of the 16 being an All-Stars season of returning chefs from the first 7 seasons.

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Chef Joe Flamm during a challenge on Season 15

Top Chef is amazing for multiple reasons. First, the caliber that the cheftestants have to be at to compete is pretty incredible. These are professionals after all. And they don’t back down with how hard this competition is.

Second, the judges are outstanding and I definitely believe it is the least bias and most genuine and critical judging in all of reality competition shows. You can tell that their decisions are based on the food and not being driven by producers wanted to keep drama going. Tom Colicchio, the executive producer and head judge, is an amazing chef and restauranter himself so he knows food and the skills and passion to do it well. Gail Simmons, an acclaimed food writer, chef, and the special projects manager for Food and Wine, is so intelligent and charismatic and joyful about food. Padma Lakshmi, who is the host and an executive producer of the show,  knows her way around food and is a great host with intelligent opinions herself. And the fourth judge is almost always a guest judge, with some of these guests being Emeril Lagasse (yes that Emeril), Anthony Bourdain, Ted Allen, Wolfgang Puck, Michelle Bernstein, and so many other seriously impressive chefs.

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Chefs serving the judges on Top Chef All-Stars

Third, the amount of respect they have for food and where they are is wonderful. They go to all of these different places and really showcase that location through the challenges and the food. Because they embrace the location and culture so much, we get to see really interesting challenges. When they went to Boston, they had challenges based on the Revolutionary War and even one set in the actual Cheers bar. Las Vegas had the chefs get inspired by specific hotels on The Strip. Every season has these amazing thematic challenges. They also have challenges that take on the serious side of food, like having kids eat healthier and sustainability.

Last for this post (because I could definitely keep going) is that you learn a lot about food. I personally do enjoy shows where I can learn something, whether it is intentional or not. And I feel like I know a ton about food because of watching Top Chef for 16 seasons. You also get to learn about places, which is a cool bonus.

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Chef Carla Hall on Top Chef All-Stars

I could spend hours talking about Top Chef, and I honestly have with my brother. It is a great show that has gotten better over time and is always interesting to watch. I will say, the first season is a little rough, and the second is worse, so starting with the third is a good place if you want to get into the best of Top Chef. And you’ll start to recognize some of the chefs in other places, like Buzzfeed’s Tasty, judging on Food Network competitions, and maybe at a restaurant near you.

Every season of Top Chef is on Hulu! And new seasons are on Bravo. So go watch it!

Make sure you go an check out A Geeky Gal’s post for this question too!

Do you watch any cooking shows? Let me know with a comment below.


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