Show of hands: Who’s watching “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo Wednesday nights at 10? I loved last night’s ep, in which famed molecular gastronomist Wylie Dufresne (chef/owner of wd-50 in New York) had an f-bomb-throwing meltdown after he screwed up a Dr. Pepper reduction (don’t ask), then left the chicken off a judge’s plate of chicken and egg. Doh!
Over the next several weeks, 24 of the nation’s leading chefs will vie for the title of Top Chef Master. In addition to Dufresne, they include Hubert Keller (San Francisco’s Fleur de Lys), Cindy Pawlcyn (Fog City Diner, Mustards Grill), Michael Chiarello (founder of Tra Vigne in St. Helena), Rick Bayless (Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo) and Art Smith (Oprah’s former chef). It’s a stellar lineup.
My only disappointment? No Sacramento chefs. I hate to sound provincial, but I think we have a few chefs who could stand up to the likes of Dufresne. What about Rick Mahan, owner of The Waterboy? Or Randall Selland of The Kitchen and Ella Dining Room & Bar? I’m sure Selland, with his flair for the dramatic, would provide TV-worthy fireworks along with great food. Bravo, if you’re listening, here are some other local chefs worth scouting for next season: Patrick Mulvaney (Mulvaney’s Building & Loan), Matt Woolston (Supper Club), Mai Pham (Lemon Grass), Michael Tuohy (Grange) and Kurt Spataro (Spataro).
What do you think? When Bravo goes casting for the next season of “Top Chef Masters,” which Sacramento chef should get the nod?