Dhani Jones is a star. The NFL stalwart (Cincy Bengals currently) has a new show on the Travel Channel called Tackling The World that begins airing soon; check out the Travel Channel website for details in your neck of the woods. But that’s not the whole story.
I met Jones last week at the Discovery Networks’ upfront presentations, where all the Discovery-owned or -affiliated networks present their existing and future programming to advertisers. Jones showed up at the Chicago event that I was at along with several hosts and stars from all the other channels. The LA Ink crew was there, the captains from Deadliest Catch, big cat guru Dave Simon from Animal Planet, and so on. Jones showed up, played a classical piece on a grand piano in front of a packed house of approximately 2,000 people, aired a clip of him kicking ass all over a professional rugby pitch, and showed me his killer bow tie that he designed himself. Check out his ties here.
Last night, I would have thrown out both of the Top Chef goofballs who made the Vietnamese ‘summer rolls’ as Spike called them. I loved what Boulud had to say about technique defining a chef above all else and was shocked at how many of the chefs simply thought of knife skills when it came to choosing a technique to show off with.
After seeing the new season premiere of one of my former fave shows (Hell’s Kitchen), I am convinced some exec producer made a decision that he or she will regret for the rest of his or her life. The idea that each year they should get contestants (I can’t even call them cooks or chefs anymore since many aren’t) with less and less experience and have them compete to win the job of executive chef in one of Ramsay’s flagship eateries is not just fantastical, it borders on ludicrous. In fact, it is a supreme piece of fakery since I can assure you that NO ONE ASSOCIATED WITH RAMSAY’S LA PROJECT would ever let one of those bumbling morons anywhere near the steering wheel of that restaurant. It would be suicide.
Furthermore, watching clueless non-talent cooking is boring in the extreme, especially in light of the fact that the Ramsay vitriol was fun for the first three seasons and is now stale beyond words. Making that staleness even less acceptable is that he is now abusive and disrespectful of people who he knows in his heart have no business being in the kitchen and have no hope of succeeding. It is like picking a knife fight with an armless man and then pulling out a gun when he starts shaking with fear.
Speaking of TV talent, chef Chris Jacobson (chef “CJ”), who was featured in the third season of Bravo’s Top Chef, will join Asher Miller, 20.21 executive sous chef, to host a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner at 20.21 on Thursday, May 1. Tickets for this event, which benefits the James Beard Foundation, are open to the public. Tickets are available for $175. For more information, check out the event's website.