Top Chef ‘Prize’ Worth Virtually Nothing


​While a previous contestant walked away with $15,000 from an elimination challenge, in last night’s episode of Top Chef, the sumptuously bearded Kevin was awarded a set of Calphalon non-stick cookware for his victory, making him a mere sideshow to a huge product placement advertisement. He tried to look enthusiastic, sporting a fakey grin as he grabbed the box, but inside he was crying.

It turns out this reward is worth a mere $149.99. And, underneath the “proprietary non-stick interior” is plain “medium gauge aluminum,” which is virtually useless in evenly distributing heat. Kevin clearly got a set of pans that no self-respecting chef would even fry a turd in.

Read Rebecca Marx’s excellent synopsis and analysis of the episode here.

Update: Reader Ted reports that the box grabbed by Kevin actually holds a more expensive set of Calphalon Cookware, worth $599.99. He goes on to say it is “actually one of the most innovative pieces of cookware I have ever used.” Still, Kevin didn’t look too happy as he parroted his quick endorsement.