Ian Kleinman could be a star.

Ask the Critic: Ready for their close-up

Wow.  Last week's Ask the Critic question (which had to deal with worst meals and devolved fairly quickly into a toes-to-top indictment of Denver's FOH crews) certainly had you folks up in arms.

This week, though, I'm taking things in a different direction, one less about food and restaurants in general and more about chefs. Inspired by the announcement of the line-up for the newest season of Top Chef (in which no Colorado chefs are competing) and this week's showing of Top Chef: Masters (in which Frasca's Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson will be competing against Michael Chiarello, Rick Moonen and Nils Noren to cook...something ridiculous), I am asking a very simple question:

What local Denver chef would you like to see get his own TV show?

And why?

Me?  I'm going to vote for two. First, would be Ian Kleinman -- simply because if there was ever anyone out there who could make sense of all this molecular gastronomy stuff and bring it down to the level of the common man, Ian is that guy.  I have never in my life seen someone have so much fun with an eyedropper, a balloon and a tank of liquid nitrogen as he did when last I visited him in his kitchen.

Second, it'd be Biker Jim Pittenger.  And the show?  Every week, Biker Jim would go someplace and pick a fight with someone about hot dogs.  And then, at the end of the show, he'd steal their car and move on to the next city.  (This is funny because Jim used to be a repo man.)

So those are my picks, and now it's up to...

Wait, I have one more!  Matt Selby.  And it wouldn't be a reality show, but a scripted sit-com called Welcome to the Neighborhood where Selby -- as a young chef with a lot of tattoos and a hard backstory -- gives up the grind one day and opens a chicken and waffles stand in the suburbs.  Straight '70s-style, fish-out-of-water set-up, with a laugh track, wacky neighbors, the whole nine. Throw in a couple of hot girls and maybe Kevin Taylor playing the grumpy guy who runs the greasy spoon diner down the street, and we're talking comedy gold.

Okay. That's it for me. Now it's your turn.  Hit that comment button and gimme your best shot...

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