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Last week, reader and blogger Jenna challenged me over my lack of enthusiasm about Top Chef filming its next season in D.C. It was a gentle gibe, and she immediately followed with another, gentler question to prove it: She wanted to know what local spots I’d like to see featured on Bravo’s reality show.
Here was my response to both lines of her inquiry:
I don’t know. I guess I’m pleased. I’m more fascinated by the prospect of how Bravo will portray DC. I have to admit that because of the national nature of Bravo’s audience, the program will likely focus on D.C.’s obvious strengths and not on it scrappier, more interesting elements. I suspect any number of people will be pulled to serve as judges and/or their restaurants will serve as locations: Jose Andres, Michel Richard, and the Ali family. All of which is fine. But if you really wanted to do something D.C. oriented, why not have cooks try to make their own banh mi, as a nod to one of the country’s largest Vietnamese communities? THAT would be a challenge I’d watch, not just another fine-dining meal meant to impress Richard or Andres. Or why not have them cook a meal designed to be paired with beer, as a nod to one of the most impressive temples to suds in the country, Birch & Barley/ChurchKey?
Jenna’s question is good enough to put to everyone: Where do you hope the Top Chef crews go in the District? E-mail me, and I’ll post the best responses on the blog.
When I asked this question yesterday in the Young & Hungry newsletter (sign up at right!), I immediately got a number of responses. Some of them were self-serving or self-deprecating. Or both, like restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum‘s e-mail, which offered this suggestion on where to send Top Chef crews:
well, duh…the quarry house, of course.
now THAT would be TV worth watchin 🙂
She, of course, is referring to the postage stamp-size kitchen at the historic, post-Prohibition pub in Silver Spring. I’d actually pay to see that episode!
Photo courtesy of Top Chef and Bravo