Executives at NBC’s satellite cable Channel, Bravo, are engaged in fierce debates over how their hit reality TV cooking competition show, Top Chef, will implement a highly unorthodox, and potentially offensive new variable for their tenth season – sources reported over the weekend.
“In a time when cooking shows, and especially, reality cooking shows are a dime a dozen, this is a breakthrough we’ve been waiting for,” remarked Andrea Reichswarner, Vice President at NY-based Bravo TV. “For more than a decade, foodie shows have been focusing on what it takes to prepare food, and the experience of how it tastes. In my opinion, considering the other, less discussed aspects of food have been left sorely overlooked.”
In this case, the ‘less discussed aspects of food’ have little to do with working in the kitchen, or sitting in the dining room…
“Food goes into our bodies, and we enjoy it. It also leaves our bodies, and let’s face it, we enjoy that as well.” Added President of online marketing, Phyllis S. Hybertrauff.
“After months of researching this question in everything from intensive focus group sessions to wide-spectrum online polls, we know it’s time to add this new angle to our flagship gourmet cooking competition.”
Although executives at Bravo’s Rockefeller Center offices were mum on the exact details of how the show’s infamously candid system of judging will be affected by the new variable, officially dubbed: ‘intestinal payoff”, speculation was available from sources at the Travel Channel, which has been shopping this very idea for no less than the last year.
“If they use anything like the approach we were planning to use for Anthony Bourdain’s proposed new travel show, ‘The World is My Toilet‘, or Andrew Zimmern’s upcoming vehicle, ‘Best Seat in the House‘, post bowel-movement interviews will be inter-spliced with scenes of eating and cooking, turning the whole experience into a single, seamless tapestry of tastes, sensations, and impressions,” said Travel Channel Producer, Ralph Richardezo. “Judging the bowel movements will probably involve considering the duration, consistency, ease of flow, and of course, odor.”
“We think that the dishes rated highest in this category will not just evacuate themselves, but compel a general intestinal cleansing as well,” added Richardezo. “Chefs should aim not just to feed people, but leave them with a feeling of inner balance as well.”
For the household names involved with this show, however, the addition of this new angle isn’t just a logical step for a food show, but something deeply personal.
“My family comes from India,” said Top Chef’s Co-Host, Padma Kakshmi, “so you know that bowel movements are an integral and often-discussed part of our home life. It’s a real shame that toilet-life is such a touchy subject for Western audiences, and I commend our production team for finally stepping up to the plate and thinking outside the box.”
Not ever, however, agrees.
“Frankly, I don’t understand the need for it,” wrote Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel’s Man Versus Food. “Have you ever tried going to the bathroom the day after eating half a dozen Habaneros? Half the food I eat feels horrible coming out. Doesn’t mean it’s bad food, just means that the experience is all in the eating. If I cared about how it came out, I’d be on a diet of oatmeal, yogurt and branflakes.”
Executives at Bravo’s parent network, NBC, still have several months before season 10 starts filming to decide exactly how this new angle will be rolled out to Bravo’s historically liberal and open-minded market.
“Season 9 will be the last season to follow the old blueprint,” Richardezo said in parting. “But don’t be surprised if you start seeing Tom or Padma dropping hints regarding the new ‘intestinal payoff’ variable. It’s sure to get the presses rolling.”
Whether this new trend in food TV sticks around, only time will tell.