Kelly Liken returns for tonight's Top Chef reunion episode

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

We'll be seeing Vail's Kelly Liken at the Top Chef Reunion tonight. Kelly was among the four finalists who went to Singapore, then was sent home in the penultimate episode -- but not before cooking many dishes that won the judges' praise. Interestingly, Kelly said several times on the air that Kevin -- the ultimate winner, but consistently underrated on the blogosphere until then -- was the one to beat. After his win, he said exactly the same about her.

It's always nice to see the chefs interacting without all the crazed stress of the competition, and you hope they'll be a bit more forthcoming on some of the questions that have been teasing away in our minds all this time. Here are some they might answer, but probably won't:

Did they find some of the challenges as dumb as I did -- the partisandwiches, the food for Padma and Tom's babies, the "easily executable" fare for the Hilton Hotel chain?

Do they think the judges have completely free rein in making their decisions, or do network powers sometimes intervene?

Is there a judge whose tastes and/or food prejudices they find suspect? Another whose opinion they particularly value? Do they think the judges are sometimes petty, vindictive or plain wrong?

Given the editing, did they recognize themselves or their competitors when they watched the show later? What was the biggest misrepresentation or distortion they perceived?

Were any of the winning dishes really horrible?

We can tell some past winners are sincerely admired by current competitors. Are there others whom no one really respects?

Why all the Frenchification? Why can't anyone just call it custard instead of creme anglaise?

Is it true that the show favors pretentious fare with multiple ingredients -- exotic and hard to obtain, if possible -- over beautifully executed classical dishes and new, trendy techniques over the tried and true?

No, I don't think Tiffany and Ed were having an affair, and also I don't care. I've stopped being annoyed about Arnold being sent home when it was Lynne who sabotaged his pasta. I know I'll never figure out whether Kenny is a true beast in the kitchen or a bullshitter. But I do want to know if anyone saw Alex make that damn pea puree.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.