The idea of an all-vegetarian season of Top Chef is stupid

TOP CHEF -- "Strokes of Genius" Episode 1703 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ludo Lefebvre, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- "Strokes of Genius" Episode 1703 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ludo Lefebvre, Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo) /

According to Mashed, Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi, who has been with the series since season 2, wants to do an all-vegetarian season of the show. She feels that with plant-based diets experiencing a surge in popularity and with her being a former vegetarian, this is the perfect time to do a vegan season of the hugely popular cooking competition.

All I have to say in response is that it is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard.

Now before everyone comes at me with their zucchini and tofu, let me say that I understand why Lakshmi may feel that way. The benefits of eating a plant-based diet have been proven beyond a doubt to have many health benefits.

While on the other hand, I don’t believe that not eating meat due to the effect on the ecosystem makes a lot of sense, I do get why someone might decide to eat a vegetarian diet for their own health.

My own sister was a vegetarian until an unfortunate incident with a hot dog, so yes, I do get it.

But to take one of the top shows in the cooking competition genre and remove meat from the options the chefs have makes zero sense and will make for a very boring, bland season.

Top Chef thankfully realizes not everyone is a vegetarian or vegan.

According to the source, Top Chef producers have little appetite to try a vegetarian season of the show. And Lakshmi understands why. America is all about their meat. We love it. We crave it. I mean, you can literally add bacon to anything and it will be better. Ice cream, steak, vegetables, you name it, and bacon as an ingredient makes it better.

Of course, the argument is that almost 10 million Americans now practice a plant-based diet so they are a growing demographic that the show’s producers should embrace. This is fine until you realize there are over 330 million people in the U.S., most of which love them some burgers and pulled pork.

The bottom line is that vegan and vegetarian diets are still very much a niche category. And most chefs who would compete on Top Chef likely would have little experience making plant-based dishes unless it’s a one-off meal to appease the vegetarian crowd.

And before you say “Have all the contestants be vegetarian cooks! Problem solved!” I say um, no. Have you seen vegan cooks in cooking competitions? Just watch any episode of Chopped when one competes and I promise you’ll be screaming at the television for them to be sent home.

Because while most of us just eat our bacon cheeseburgers and don’t talk about it, we all know at least one vegetarian who simply must tell everyone they are a vegan, why they are a vegan, how you should be a vegan and how they won’t eat anything that casts a shadow.

There are zero reasons to take some of the best chefs in the country and tie their hands by making them all cook strictly plant-based meals. Include a vegan challenge? Sure. The Great British Baking Show did that and while I wouldn’t eat anything they made, it was fun to watch. An entire season? Not so much.

I enjoy watching Top Chef, I always have. But an all-vegetarian season? Count me out. I’ll watch Hell’s Kitchen reruns.

Next. New Angus Burgers are now available at Wawa. dark

What do you think Guilty Eats Nation? Would be want to watch an all-vegetarian season of Top Chef or do you need to see the chefs cook some red meat on a grill? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter page.