2. Volunteering to captain Restaurant Wars
For Top Chef aficionados, Restaurant Wars is like the second coming of Christmas. It’s edge-of-your-seat entertainment, a car wreck of explosive egos, petty, passive aggressiveness, and extreme, unadulterated confusion, all submerged into complete chaos. And no matter who’s at the helm, if that ship goes down, the captain’s taking the blame. When season sweetheart Kristen Kish signed up to lead her RW team, every single fan cringed into their Ben and Jerry’s -- the girl was a goner. And, lo and behold, Kish took the fall for her team’s egregious mistakes -- not because she made terrible food, but because she couldn’t handle being the boss. Even the judges were sorry to see her go and the elimination round was one of the saddest in Top Chef history, on both sides. Thank goodness she won back her spot on Last Chance Kitchen, dumb advertising ploy that it is, because her culinary talent knows no bounds.
3. And/or agreeing to do FOH without FOH experience
The flipside to the captain’s perilous adventure is getting stuck with playing host for the evening. So many cheftestants treat this as a throw-away gig, inherently less important than sweating it out in the kitchen. But therein lies their mistake -- the diners, judges’ table included -- only really see the front of house in action. It shapes their entire experience, regardless of how perfect the crudo or lamb shank might be. There are a million ways to screw this one up, from spending all your time expediting out back to running around like some sort of tuxedoed tweaker. Just ask notorious pea puree thief Alex Reznik from Season 7 -- dude’s caustic, demanding attitude, corny suit, and unspeakable awkwardness almost cost him the game. Also, Padma’s face when he called that lamb chop a pork chop? Worth a screenshot for sure.