Will "Top Chef: Washington D.C." Make The Capital A Food Capital?

by BILLY GRAY · May 13, 2010

    Top Chef is moving from Sin City to Spin City as the show's D.C.-based seventh season prepares to debut June 16th. What can we expect besides the exposure the series will give a town whose restaurant scene, let's be honest, has never made big waves?


    Buzz Aldrin's Bizarre Televised Renaissance Is Here To Stay: The man who subsisted on nothing but Tang for a healthy portion of his life will show up on the next season of the foodie's episodic Superbowl. It all began with the spaceman's grievously brief stint on Dancing With The Stars in March. (The second man to walk on the moon was the third to foxtrot off the set.) Then he showed up on 30 Rock. And now he'll be dishing about Rogaine secrets with follically challenged Top Chef master Tom Colicchio. For real though, Aldrin's got a much healthier mop now than he did in '69.

    The Top Chef-Toby Young Frenaissance Is Over: Forced quipmeister Young wasn't exactly a Top Chef fan favorite. Producers scaled back his face time last season. And even when he did show up, he inspired more glares from Padma Lakshmi and Colicchio than a poorly seasoned rack of lamb. With silver frog Eric Ripert taking up permanent residence in the fourth judge's chair, Young might be old news. On that note...

    ...Eric Ripert Isn't As Devoted A Chef As We'd Thought: Ripert's Le Bernardin is consistently ranked among the top restaurants in NYC. And many in the culinary world give him props for staying put in one glorious kitchen rather than opening offshoots worldwide and jockeying for Food Network airtime. That's unlikely to change all that much, but Ripert's new regular gig proves even the most dedicated chef needs to step away from the GLAAD FAMILY OF PRODUCTS-replete kitchen every now and again.

    What else might be in store for viewers? Surely we can expect at least one pork barrel-inspired quickfire challenge to suit D.C.'s congressional backdrop. Bravo might also throw in a cornhusker kickback joke or three for good measure.

    And as the cable network readies its Real Housewives D.C. unveiling (which will include America's most famous gatecrashers, the Salahis), why not post the ultimate challenge and have the aspiring top chefs furtively get their plates in front of the First Family?