Evil Reality Show Chefs

Nasty characters are among the most memorable reality show cast members. Omerosa from The Apprentice, Nene Leakes from Real Housewives of Atlanta, Danielle Staub from Real Housewives of New Jersey and the entire cast of Jersey Shore (except for maybe Pauly and Vinny) are famous mostly because of their inability to get along with other people. Until this season, cooking shows have been relatively free of the nasty personalities that make other reality shows so much fun to watch.

Yeah, Gordon Ramsay yells and screams a lot. But in the end, he almost always turns into a big sweetheart. Jeffrey Steingarten, the over-blown stuffed shirt judge from Iron Chef, doesn’t count. He’s a food writer, not a chef. In truth, he’s a Harvard Law School graduate, but eating got in the way of practicing law. He clearly relishes food and should be required to wear a bib.

Gordon and Jeffrey are no longer the nastiest people in the kitchen. This season, several cooking shows added at least one nasty character to the cast. Here are my picks for the most evil reality show chefs.

Joe Bastianich is the bald-headed judge on Master Chef. He takes nastiness to a new level and is the most condescending person on television. As a judge, he makes Simon Cowell of Idol fame look like a nice guy. Even when he’s pleased, he’s pissy. If it wasn’t for Gordon Ramsay and super sweet Graham Elliot, the other two judges, Master Chef wouldn’t be watchable.

Among the Master Chef contestants, Christian Collins is one of the most unlikable people on television. He’s a stay-at-home dad who believes he’s the best chef ever. I feel sorry for his wife. Like living with Christian isn’t bad enough, she has to work because he’s just too big of a prick to keep a job. When he got eliminated last night, I jumped up and cheered.

Penny Davidi, a contestant on The Next Food Network Star, is another super unlikable person with an attitude to match. She seemed able to get along with the male contestants, but clashed big-time with all the women. Next to cooking ability, being over-the-top nice is apparently essential for success on the Food Network. Think Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray, and Paula Dean. I cheered when Penny got sent home, too.

Beyond a doubt, the biggest bitch on a cooking show is Elise Wims. She’s currently a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen, another Gordon Ramsay show, and is more irritating than finger nails on a chalkboard. She’s been up for elimination almost every week but so far, is still a contender. I think they keep her on for ratings.  One thing for sure, when she gets eliminated, there will be a lot of cheering here in…

My Glass House

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