Damn, the things you miss when you’re out videotaping large, chain-let restaurants that aren’t quite as large as they think. On Friday, Bravo announced the 12 contestants for the debut season of Top Chef: Just Desserts, and among them are D.C.’s Heather Chittum, pastry chef for Pure Hospitality‘s two Georgetown properties, Hook and Tackle Box.
Chittum got married last month, presumably after taping Just Desserts, and is now, according to her Facebook page, going by the name Heather Roth. I don’t know if she’ll continue to go by Heather Chittum professionally, but I do know this: By whatever name, she’s a terrific pastry chef.
Chittum has not only created one of the most memorable desserts in recent history and won herself the top pastry honor in town in 2008, but she’s done something perhaps even more challenging: She’s managed to successfully navigate the treacherous waters at Pure Hospitality, where chefs on the savory side get tossed overboard with alarming regularity.
Her survival skills will be important on Top Chef: Just Desserts, which will be hosted by Gail Simmons and will premiere at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15, presumably to get some spillover viewers from the Top Chef episode before it. The way the teaser video above plays out, the producers of Just Desserts want you to understand that pastry chefs can be just as mean and backstabbing as their cousins on the savory side of the kitchen.
Watch the video and check out the nasty comment directed apparently to Chittum: “You can almost taste the resentment in her cookie.” (Or maybe the judge says, “cooking,” I can quite tell.) A fellow contestant then piles on in classic Top Chef fashion: “Heather, you weren’t forced into anything.”
The look on Chittum’s face is priceless.
I suspect we’re supposed to draw the conclusion that Chittum isn’t long for the contest. Personally, I wouldn’t make that assumption. Not by a long shot.