Emeril joins 'Top Chef' as new judge: Bam?

Emeril

Image Credit: Jakes Van Der Watt/PR Photos

I would have loved to see Anthony Bourdain go full time on Top Chef. Or that bald guy from MasterChef who likes to stare at people really, really hard. Instead, the Bravo reality competition show has hired Emeril Lagasse as its new judge, along with another lesser-known chef, Hugh Acheson (who previously competed on Top Chef Masters).

Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons and head judge Tom Colicchio will remain on the judging panel for the upcoming ninth season along with Lagasse and Acheson. Instead of focusing on one city, the show is going to three cities in Texas (Austin, San Antonio and Dallas) and returns later this fall.

In other reality news: Lifetime has ordered America’s Supernanny, a new series seeking to prove that you don’t need to a British accent in order to tell kids what to do. Guess the cable network saw an opportunity since ABC has (unofficially) cancelled Supernanny.

What do you think of the changes to the Top Chef panel?

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  • BS

    The TC ALl stars was crap with the judging. AB was supposed to have been a replacement for Ripert, and yet AB was hardly ever there.

    • bob

      and I will continue to miss Bourdain this season because he’s the only judge (other than Tom) who can be totally frank, honest, and objective. That’s why I liked him so much, he understands what food is about and appreciates effort and execution more than flair

      • Julia

        Bob, I agree completely! I so disappointed and dismayed. Every time Bourdain was on, he was funny, smart, perceptive, honest and actually appreciative and warm when the moment called for it. What is it happening over at Bravo? They used to be sophisticated and cool.

      • SNIKT!

        BAM! Ummmm…NO. BOO! Emeril is SO last century.

    • Barney

      Yeah but Ripert was barely there either (he was in, what, four episodes that season?), so it worked out just fine.

    • abadstroller

      Reserving judgment on Emeril…trying to be as charitable with Hugh, though. Hugh just got on my nerves while I watched him on TCMasters. No matter how good a chef he may be, the snarky passive-aggressive biting was undignified and irritating. Previous chef/judges I admire for their integrity and personal style: Hubert, Ripert, Bourdain, Colicchio…I’m waiting to see who else I like, but still withholding my opinions on Hugh and Emeril.

  • Krystal

    The “bald guy from Masterchef” is Joe Bastianich, who is by far one of the biggest effete snobs I have ever seen. If you get the displeasure of watching him on his mother Lidia’s show…pass. The man thinks he’s God’s gift to the bar…and Emeril? meh…I suppose he’s not making as much money now that Martha owns him.

    • mae

      he is such a snob on that show. it’s super annoying. but poor graham elliot who i actually knew before is relegated to be the person who has to pimp the masterchef product.

  • AJ

    sounds like too many cooks in the kitchen.

    • Lena

      I second that!

      • cathi

        third that

  • Callie

    Hugh Acheson?! Seriously?!?! That guy was the first one kicked off his season of TC Masters… only saved by someone else bailing. How is he worthy of being a judge?!

    • John

      Ummm, because he was on Top Chef: Masters?

      • Jennifer

        Given that season 3 of Top Chef Masters was lame and the cast was overall not impressive (certainly not compared to season 1 and Hubert Freaking Keller!) his having been on it is hardly much of a credential.

      • Flippa

        ^ agree with jennifer. season 3 was a huge drop in talent compared to season 1 & 2!! blegh.

    • Dawn

      Maybe it’s the fact that he was full of one-liners and therefore “makes good tv”.

      • Dawn

        Because on Top Chef, you can’t judge a dish without being quippy. ;)

    • RK

      He’s pretty funny…

      • Julia

        Not that funny… Kind of smug and pleased with himself.

    • orville

      And because he can be *supremely* b!tchy and diva-ish too.

    • Karate Pants

      Yuck! Hugh and his disgusting unibrow are totally unwatchable. Why are they doing this? Whyyyyyy???

      • frank

        He looks like an eagle

      • krmh

        I agree! Hugh’s unibrow was so distracting/disturbing..I had trouble watching when he was on!

      • nykolus

        frank, sam the eagle from the muppets!!!

      • Karate Pants

        And his personality is gross too!

  • Pete

    Really? Emeril? What is this, 1995? This is a bad decision. I’m suddenly less excited about the return of Top Chef.

    • Steve

      Have you ever made one of Emeril’s recipe’s, or eaten at one of his restaurants? Emeril is a culinary genius.

      • cathi

        I ate at one of his restaurants and I could have saved some $$$ and did a better job at home. This was in Orlando at Universal

      • DMR

        Ignore the over-the-top-personality of some of his shows and his commercialism (that’s to entertain) – Emeril is a GREAT chef, knows his food, and has great passion for what he does. Bourdain or Brown would have been great too but I’m happy Emeril is around.

      • Pete

        Perhaps. But I won’t be eating his food, I’ll be watching him on TV, and that doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

      • Obvious Man Says

        I ate at Emeril’s Delmonicos in New Orleans once. Threw up the entire meal a few hours later. Of course, it might have been due to all the drinking I did afterwards on Bourbon Street, still…..I don’t like the guy anymore.

      • Steve

        Yeah, I’d say maybe that was due to the alcohol. I’ve eaten at both “Emeril’s” and “Delmonicos” in New Orleans, and they were both outstanding. Some of the best meals I’ve ever had in restaurants in the US. And better than meals I’ve had in Michelin starred restaurants in Europe.

      • Megan

        I ate at one of his restaurants, Delmonico in Vegas, and it was terrible! Both my husband and I were sick after eating there (and we only had a beer each so it wasn’t due to drinking). I’ve eaten far better tasting meals at home, not to mention we haven’t been ill off anything I’ve made.

    • Katie

      They just ruined Top Chef! I can’t stand Emeril :(.

      • bonanified

        i know. he may be a good chef, but this is a television show and they picked two of the most intolerable guest judges. I am not a bordain fan (i think he’s a grandstanding egomaniac), but he had his entertaining moments. I LOVE Eric Ripert and wish he was on the show more but I think his politeness and inherent kindness and desire to build people up make for bad tv (in bravo’s mind). I cannot stand emeril – greasy and annoying. As far as Hugh what’s his name – he was so full of himself and smug and NOT all that funny (please Bravo, make it part of his contract that he HAS to get rid of the unibrow).
        Even though they gave Rocco Di Douchio his own show, I think they’re done w/ him on top chef, which is a small relief.

  • Dawn

    Excited about the Texas stuff though!

    • Laurie

      Yes coming to Texas and skipping its biggest city and culinary hotbed Houston. Way to go Top Chef! I guess all they want is BBQ, Tex Mex and Austin doucheyness.

      • Melly

        Doucheyness…love it!

      • Kim

        Bravo said that Houston wasn’t “Texas-y enough”.

      • Ang

        I agree with you completely, Laurie. Houston is the most cosmopolitan city in Texas, with amazing cuisine of all varieties. They would’ve been better off skipping those three cities and staying in Houston instead.

      • Steve

        The real joke is coming to Dallas. Anyone living here has to know that Dallas is the culinary hell of America. You won’t find another major city with fewer great restaurants than Dallas. Sure, you can get a killer steak here. But Texans don’t seem to realize there’s more to culinary life than a steak.

  • Richard

    The judges, for the most part, are irrelevant, other than to yell at when then send home the wrong person. It’s the contestants that make the show.

    • Julia

      They’re not irrelevant. Top Chef Masters was unwatchable when the skinny, shrill young woman (whose name I’ve forgotten) was on. Or when that smug British writer who knew nothing about food was on Top Chef … very unwatchable and frustrating …

  • nykolus

    hugh and emeril??? zuh??? juh??? guh???

    • jane

      Yep – Emerial can be a softy on the contestants. I will miss the candid Anthony Bourdain.

  • Boof

    Top Chef season two there was a guy named Howie who used to sweat all over the food. That, and the lower than average IQ of most of the contestants have completely turned me off from dinning out.

    • JMM

      He isn’t the only contestant to sweat into the food. There have been many over the years. Can’t believe there are not health rules mandating sweatbands on these idiots.

  • tim

    as long as Gail is still a judge i don’t care

  • TLS

    Why on earth would they hire Unibrow to judge? Ugh, he was barely watchable on TCM. Bad decision….

  • Corrola

    I love Joe Bastianich!! I think he is great.
    I love Top Chef and Master Chef. I have learned a great deal watching these shows.

  • Gigity

    Two incredibly awful additions to the show. And don’t request Bastanich. The guy is a clown.

  • Carrie

    Underwhelmed. Maybe they’ll make good judges, but they don’t make me go I gotta watch it like some of the judges past have. I’m starting to burn out on Top Chef, we’ll see if this changes that.

  • annie

    Hey I might starting watching Top Chef! Emeril is a very cool genius! I love it when he says BAM! Sorry to read that ABC cancelled The Supernanny.

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