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Reality TV for foodies: Hit (mostly)
It was a foodie fest in summer 2010, starting with the launch of the Cooking Channel. And maybe it's just us, but it seems as if chef Gordon Ramsay was everywhere we looked. No sooner did the "Hell's Kitchen" overlord bestow Season 7 honors on San Bernardino's Holli Ugalde than he launched a new show, "MasterChef," which -- finally! -- featured the "real" cooks in America: home cooks.
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times
But the most charming food hit of the summer? The lovely Aarti Sequeira. The L.A. blogger waltzed away with our hearts, overcoming self-doubt to become "The Next Food Network Star" winner. We couldn't wait to set the TiVo for "Aarti Party" to see if the magic lasts. Another notable hit: "The Great Food Truck Race." Granted, it has the easy-on-the-eyes Tyler Florence at the helm as gourmet-food trucks duke it out. But it's still a nail biter (and it made our stomachs growl).
One dish definitely left us cold: Fan favorite "Top Chef." While host Padma Lakshmi remains red-white-and-blue hot, the show itself felt like it lost some sizzle in Season 7. And spinoff "Top Chef: Just Desserts?" Emotional breakdowns and tired challenges definitely left a sour taste in our mouths.
-- Rene Lynch
Photos from left: Gordon Ramsay, credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press; Aarti Sequeira, credit: Food Network; Tyler Florence, credit: Associated Press