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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Whats in your kitchen?

Published: October 14, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

I can bet that youre probably not keeping the adorable Bradley Cooper and his rag-tag team of chefs in your kitchen cabinet. And thats where youre wrong. Because Foxs new fall show, Kitchen Confidential, is one of the best written and acted comedies on TV right now. Add to that he fact that its from Sex and the City creator Darren Star, and Kitchen Confidential is probably the best show youre not watching. Based on famous chef Anthony Bourdains autobiography, the show takes what really happened and makes it funnier.

Basically, just add one talented chef, plenty of drugs, alcohol, and lots of women, and you have Jack Bourdain (Bradley Cooper) right up until he hit rock bottom. Now hes sober and trying to rebuild his career with the help of various chefs from his past, an entertaining crew of waiters, and one very funny novice pastry chef named Jimmy.

Think of Jack as the Carrie of the group, only instead of a sex columnist, hes a head chef in a top New York restaurant, Nolita. He even has Carrie-esque voiceovers and something to say about life based on the dramatic and hilarious events in his daily life. Alongside Jack is Seth, the adorable pastry chef who I cant help but still see as Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which actually works. Hes funny and sweet, and has a crush on a blonde, so the reference works. And, for those of you who appreciate ear candy, theres the very British Steven, who is an entertaining bad boy chef. For example? He deals in the black market of food and likes to steal things, often with hilarious results. Notable is the moment when hes trading food from Nolitas kitchen and one of Stevens dealers approaches Jack and says, Hey if you are interested we have tofu. Not here. But close by, with all the seriousness of a Mexican drug lord. That, and the fact that the dealers claim to be fisherman from Nantucket, which is just random enough to be pretty funny.

Also in the mix are the flighty blonde hostess Tanya (played by the beautiful Jamie King) and a Karen-and-Jack-like duo (a la Will and Grace) of waiters, as well as the restaurant owners daughter Mimi (Bonnie Somerville), whose dominant personality trait is a hatred for Jack. Which, of course, makes for some unresolved sexual tension between Mimi and Jack, so I wouldnt be surprised to see them going at it on a kitchen counter in the future.

The show has continually gotten better, raising the bar with each new episode. The most recent featured Jacks mentor, Chef Gerard, who is dying from a lifetime bad diet of fatty foods. The old chef wants Jack to literally feed him to death he wants to eat Jacks delicious and fatty concoctions every day until he dies. Even the clich of the entire restaurant taking bets on when Chef Gerard will die and what dish will do it is played in a way that is still funny. Another highlight of this episode is Jimmy, lowest on the chef totem pole, becoming a dishwashers bitch. Unfortunately for Jimmy, in trying to let off some steam at someone lower than him, he chooses a dishwasher to be the object of his locker room ass-slap. You do not want to mess with dishwashers. At the end of the episode, Seth has to buy Jimmy from the dishwasher to save him, thus getting his very own Jimmy to do all of his bidding and, apparently, dry cleaning.

Kitchen Confidential has all of the ingredients and the potential to grow from a good show into a great show, especially with the creators from Sex and the City, American Dad and Just Shoot Me working on the show. Its currently on hiatus until Monday, Nov. 14, after baseball is over, so remember the date and have a good laugh at a show thats genuinely funny.

If you like Kitchen Confidential, you might also like Arrested Development and The Simpsons or anything on the Food Network!