Jody Adams explains why she wasn’t meant for reality cooking shows

“Most restaurants are not run like to the extremes you see on TV,” the James Beard Award-winning chef told The Boston Globe.

Jody Adams at Rialto in Harvard Square. Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

No matter how many episodes of Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen you binge watch on TV, you still won’t understand how a regular kitchen runs unless you’ve worked the line, according to actual chefs.

Famed French chef Jacques Pépin recently penned an open letter criticizing the plethora of cooking shows that “portray the restaurant kitchen in a chaotic and negative light,” and Boston’s own chef Jody Adams agreed.

On Monday, Adams—of Trade, Saloniki, Porto, and the recently shuttered Rialto—shared Pépin’s letter on Facebook, writing, “Thank you for bringing this perspective to the forefront.”

Bravo Jacques. Thank you for bringing this perspective to the forefront.

Posted by Jody Adams on Monday, July 25, 2016

Adams knows about reality cooking shows firsthand: The James Beard Award-winning chef competed on Top Chef Masters in 2010 and Ready Set Cook! before that.

“Most restaurants are not run like to the extremes you see on TV,” Adams told The Boston Globe, expanding on her thoughts in her Facebook post.


In his letter, Pépin wrote that the drama often shown would not be conducive to preparing good food, and that successful kitchens are often quiet. Instead of the clashes that make for entertainment, a real kitchen runs smoothly and “is not exciting or dramatic enough for TV,” Pépin wrote.

Adams echoed this, telling the Globe that although producers push for conflict, she doesn’t operate that way.

“I didn’t necessarily make great TV,” she told the Globe. “I was too nice.”

Read the full story at the Globe.

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