Last night chef Wolfgang Puck guest-starred on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing himself and hosting a Top Chef-inspired cooking competition show called Elite Chef, the "highest-rated culinary competition show on air." Since it's CSI, it means murder with a chef's knife, rape, and people being deceived into cannibalism (spoiler alert) by a Culinary Institute of America graduate avenging the murder of her sister from 15 years ago. (Puck's role was quite small and he had nothing to do it, phew). The opening scene has the final four contestants doing a palate test for immunity. But when a contestant finds a contact lens in her mouth while eating an eyeball from a "fish"-eye soup, it turns out to be ahhhh human meat. "This is an elite culinary competition," said Puck. "Not Fear Factor. Somebody must've sabotaged the dishes."
It was actually a pretty well-executed send-up of reality television (with the producer who admits to manipulating footage), food competition shows (sabotaging contestants hiding their criminal pasts), and even molecular gastronomy (the victim's blood was actually turned into a caviar that the one of the contestants ate off of a blini). Whoever consulted on the show sort of knew what they were doing. So you get characters like guest judge Graham Deveraux, "one of the founding fathers of molecular gastronomy" who "has a Michelin star restaurant on the Strip." (Michelin stopped publishing in Vegas in 2009, busted.) Anyway, he gets a line like, "I wouldn't feed it to my dog, and I hate my dog." The show is also full of torturous cliches: after a second contestant gets murdered, one of the investigators calls it "a killer competition."
You can watch the whole show over at CBS's website, and here are some clips:
Video: Molecular Gastronomy
Video: Manipulating Footage and Sabotage
Video: The Confession
· CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Last Supper [CBS]
· All CSI Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Wolfgang Puck Coverage on Eater [-E-]