All right, I admit it. I watched The Chopping Block last night (actually I went back and forth between it and the Knicks game—a pathetic sight). While I still dislike the show, I was thrilled to see my friend Jeffrey Steingarten playing the role he loves: the acid-tongued food critic.
In real life there's a sweet, sentimental side to Jeffrey that's he's rarely, if ever, called upon to show on television. But even when Jeffrey's filling the hard-ass critic role on food competition reality shows, he also manages to be funny, though the joke is often lost on the poor contestants he's addressing. Last night, for example, he commented on one team's Caprese salad by saying, "This is the worst thing I've tasted in two or three years." Ouch. (It should be noted that he then excessively praised the same team's crab cakes). But maybe I can find the humor in such pronouncements because I've known Jeffrey for so long and I know he was just saying it for effect.
I've always wanted to give Jeffrey his own reality show, and after watching The Chopping Block I'm convinced more than ever that it would be a huge hit. I think Jeffrey has the potential to be a bigger reality show television star than, say, Marco Pierre White or Gordon Ramsay.
What do you think: Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, or Jeffrey Steingarten? Cast your vote right here. Maybe the losers have to go on the cooking reality show chopping block.