Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top Chef - A Melting Pot in the Kitchen

Kranenborg and Jaspers present RTL's nationwide search
for Top Chef 2010
Another set of contestants started this week on RTL's Top Chef, the Dutch version of the culinary contest to find an amateur marvel in the kitchen. If you haven't seen it tune in to RTL5 at 7pm every work day (or record it as we do because it's still bedlam in our house at 7pm.......) and catch up with Michelin star chef Robert Kranenborg and culinary expert Julius Jaspers - they are a funny duo to watch! And even more reason to watch - at the end of each week the pair take the contestants to a Michelin star restaurant in the Netherlands to cook under the beady eyes of top professionals like Nico Boreas and Mario Ridder.

But back to the point of this post...... Every week my husband and I play two guessing games whilst we are watching the first show of the week.  The first is "Who will make it through to the next round?" which is a logical game for an elimination style competition. The second game is a less predictable game that you can play with a Dutch cooking program, namely "Guess the nationality of the contestant".

Now, obviously, the majority of the participants are Dutch. Very clearly Dutch. However, usually at least one contestant a week allows us to play guess the nationality.

This week Elvira, from Suriname, was an easy start (particularly as it was mentioned....) but Megy was a whole different ball game. Our first guess was "East Europe". Then it changed to "maybe a Southern Europe country..." Then we couldn't really decide. Turns out she is from Poland but she has lived in the Netherlands for eight years.

In previous weeks we have seen a Frenchman, an Italian, an Iranian and a Turk and another contestant who speaks at least six languages and has lived in various countries. Expats all. But all speaking Dutch, taking part in a television program and striving to become Top Chef Nederland 2010. The show's participants are as diverse as their cooking abilities and the origins of the food they are cooking up.

This show showcases one of the things I love about living in the Netherlands; the diverse, multicultural blend of people all doing it the Dutch way.

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