A Recipe For Love: 8 Romantic Lessons Learned From “Top Chef”

I subscribe to a very Liz Lemon lifestyle, and one of the many similarities that we share is our love of cooking shows. Of all the cooking shows in my life, one reigns supreme: Top Chef. Now, you may think that if I watched so many cooking shows on TV, I’d be so good at cooking that I could hang with the best of those chefs. Well you would be very, very wrong. I famously once served runny cookies to my friends who had come over (though I will continue to insist that something was wrong with the oven and not me as a chef).

So I haven’t really learned much about cooking from all my TV watching, but I have got some surprising life lessons from Top Chef about love. That’s right! Turns out that many parallels can be drawn from the chef universe to the world of love. Maybe it’s a little unconventional or a little weird to get my love tips from chefs on a cooking show, but hey – sometimes the best foods are a little weird, amirite? Here are eight love lessons that I’ve learned from Top Chef.


You Always Want What You Can't Have

When I watch Top Chef, I want whatever they are eating and everything on my plate suddenly is total trash. Did I ever think I wanted a lamb-stuffed thing? No, but now I need it. Over time though, I've learned to be happy with whatever I do have. Same goes for love - there’s no use wasting my time wanting some guy that seems cool from afar when I got my own good thing going right here at home.

Source: Hulu

Have A Good Pick-Up Line

Emeril wins the world over with his one-word line (“BAM!”) and now he judges the greatest reality show ever (in my opinion). I take this to mean that if you have a really good, memorable line to draw someone in, amazing things are bound to happen. This is something I think I should apply to the dating world. If you can charm with your words, that’s romance gold. Basically, my pick-up line will soon be coming to the nearest awkward holiday party.

Source: YouTube

A Little Flirting Doesn't Hurt

Top Chef generally lacks the romance drama of other reality TV, but flirting has its place. This year, I was taken with the flirty lives of Grayson and “Malibu Chris” on Top Chef: Texas, but I think my favorites of the year are Spike and Jen from Life After Top Chef (as seen above-centered). Yeah, they aren’t dating, whatever. But chefs lead high-stress lives, and I’ve learned from my TV chef friends that a little flirting is sometimes just what you need to give you a little boost and a smile.

Source: Hulu

Rebound Relationships Can Be Real Relationships

When Top Chef: Texas ended, I was pretty upset because I didn’t know what to do without my wannabe BFF, host Padma Lakshmi, in my life. But then I started watching Top Chef Masters. I was expecting it to be just a way to hold me over until I could get back with my real love, but I really enjoyed my time with this new show and I came to love it for its own self. I learned that rebound relationships can surprise you and be super meaningful too (also, Curtis Stone is pretty cute).

Source: Hulu

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Sometimes on Top Chef there's something that I think looks amazing that the judges end up hating. Other times, I do a secret "ew" when something comes out (like, what is that pictured?). The judges get to taste and experience the dishes so they know what's really up, while I'm just making judgy opinions based on looks. It's similar to dating, my friends - people that seem great can still suck, and people that don't seem like your type may actually be awesome. It's all about the hidden ingredients, and you need to actually experience it to know.

Source: Hulu

Don't Settle (For Shrimp Or A Date)

When pre-cooked shrimp got bought in an early team challenge episode of Top Chef: Texas, not only did they talk about shrimp the entire season, but I learned a valuable lesson about settling. You can't just cut corners in cooking, nor in relationships. Don't just be cool with someone "buying pre-cooked shrimp" as I say - expect them to put some effort into your partnership. Discuss it with them and don't wait until the reunion episode.

Source: Hulu

Use Protection

Every time there's a hand injury on Top Chef, I want to pass out like I did during the first aid video in 8th grade. Many times these chefs rally back into cooking action, but they are sure to have a glove firmly fastened on for safety. These chefs think about protection, and it reminds that if you choose to partake in some "action" in your relationship (read: sexual activities), you too should be sure to use protection too.

Source: BravoTV.com

Make Time For Your Loved Ones

Richard is an all-time fave Top Chef contestant, but the man seems so stressed out and guilty for doing his chef duties (such as pictured) instead of being with his family. Chefs lead really busy lives, so watching them on Top Chef reminds me to follow my passions, but not to take for granted the time I can spend with my boyfriend.

Source: Hulu

Do you agree with my Top Chef love lessons? What sorts of love lessons have you gotten from TV? Do you love watching cooking shows on TV as much as I do? Tell us in the comments!

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