Bourdain said that last week in the post-plane-food judging table but it aptly describes what became all to clear on last night’s Top Chef ep: formal training might be what separates Dale, Brian, and Casey from Hung, the possible winner from the, er, non-winners. [My vote is for Casey because she can cook, even if she doesn’t chop fast, and she seems better liked by everyone i.e. she’s a team player].
Last night, it was clear who had formal training and who had been scraping through the competition by just “cooking”. Not that there’s anything wrong with "cooking", some of the yummiest spots are run by informally trained cooks. But then there's skill and technique, and those won out last night.
Hung may not be a team player and obnoxious and like an elf on speed [really, I know no one that likes this guy, which def. makes for good TV] but last night was his night. And if the next few challenges rely on a traditional French cuisine background Hung might be the next winner. But Casey, I’m rooting for ya!
PS I think Bourdain should blog more, I think it’s his forte. And I’m surprising myself by saying it. I read Kitchen Confidential; it was drek. The article it was based on was fun but it was short. Short is good for him. Really, he should forget the books; he’s not a novelist nor even a good creative non-fiction guy. Really he’s not. But Bourdain as blogger doing it quick and dirty? He's some kind of wonderful.