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Vegas Food Critic Gets Grilled By Top Chefs

October 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM | by | ()

Vegas: Bow-tied but not tongue-tied in the bottom right corner.

The finale of Top Chef Masters aired last week closing the chapter on a season filmed in Las Vegas and based in the kitchens of The Cosmopolitan. Our favorite horse came home with the win, but we won't spoil it for those still behind on the DVR. What we will reveal is that the final dishes were judged by a panel of food critics and the hometown rep was Vegas' own John Curtas, co-author of the book on Vegas and lover of the white suit.

Curtas was seated at the end of the critic table, but made sure he made his way into the frame. Never shy in sharing his impressions, but oddly this time not until after leaning over to pick his neighbor's brain. Bravo cameras shot to the the unshaven food critic in frames of gruff and smug before he offered his opinion of a Top Chef Masters finalist dish: "It is embarassingly bad. He should have brought his A game.".

This guy is nothing if not honest and willing to throw it all out there. Personally, we had to laugh since -- in our rather unscientific study -- our opinions fall in direct opposition to his 93.4% of the time. Apparently, we aren't the only ones as fellow table critic Francis Lam called the very same dish "the best thing (he's) eaten in 30 years.." We realize opinions differ, especially at the dinner table, and that's the fun in arguing the merits of a dish, restaurant, or chef. But, Curtas sure didn't seem to make many friends or fans that night.

On the Watch What Happens Live after-show, guest Tom Colicchi asked what the two finalists seated next to him thought of Curtas, a question which received a quick laugh and an arm gesture we didn't interpret as I heart you. Host and Bravo exec Andy Cohen, who had just watched the finale moments before, repeatedly asked who? who? Pinstripes are more memorable, John. Next time.

Website tvgasm questioned Curtas' knowledge and whether he has any cooking experience. It also brings up the Anthony Bourdain/John Curtas Twitter spat that Curtas later edited so that we didn't have to. Yeah, Curtas was that guy. One commenter puts Curtas and dumbassery in the same sentence. Hey, we don't write the comments, we just report them.

Coincidentally or not, Francis Lam -- of (very) differing-opinion-from-Curtas Lam -- wrote a post-finale Bravo blog on what makes a good critic. Curtas is mentioned, but only in reference as the pugilist at the table. Hugh Acheson, meanwhile, comments in his entry that "Curtas continues the trend of men as critics being complete douchebags." Hey, we don't write the opinions, we just report them and smile inside.

Let's review: piss off one of Travel Channel's biggest stars. Check. Play the part of Vegas dumbass douche on Bravo. Check. Perhaps, it's all part of a grander plan in playing up the part of pugilist for Curtas' upcoming Travel Channel reality show. We just hope that premiere party doesn't cast all of Travel Channel's foodies in one room. On second thought, we could use another good Twitter spat.

[Photo: Bravo TV]

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