Does Watching 'Top Chef' Inspire You to Cook?

The seventh season of Bravo’s superhit cooking competition, Top Chef premieres tonight on Bravo -- and this time they take on D.C. But honestly, I could care less about where they cook.

We’re so ready for it at my place, where my husband and I are what you'd call TV foodies. Top Chef. The Next Food Network Star. Even the chaos and cursing that is Hell’s Kitchen. We salivate over the latest concoctions these highly-trained (or even sometimes disastrous) masters come up with as we chow down on our regular old spaghetti with turkey meat sauce or Chinese take-out. (Our local place does do a fabulous General Tso’s.)

And all the while I’m watching Top Chef or devouring endless hours of Saturday morning Food Network shows, I get the urge to get a bit more complex with my cooking. You know, go a bit French like new judge Eric Ripert, explore the kitchens at the CIA -- or maybe just learn how to properly cook a steak to medium.

Usually, I squelch it. After all, who’s got time between work and, well, life? Defrosting and sauteeing I can handle. But the occasional Sunday afternoon baking spree -- oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from scratch, thankyouverymuch -- is a culinarily crazy as I get with my schedule. TV is all about escapism, right?

But thanks to Top Chef and its ilk, I still find myself getting a bit more adventurous in the kitchen, even actually cracking open some of those cookbooks that have been sitting unused in a stack on the counter. And these days, I make an awesome chicken marsala -- yes, cooking with wine, I went there -- if I do say so myself.

So I may not be whipping up foie gras in Washington or going all Asian-fusion in the hopes of landing my own show on the Food Network. In fact, I may never have eaten foie gras at all (duck liver is not my thing). But a girl can still fantasize, right? All while enjoying those quick-fix fajitas with my own special homemade guacamole.

Does Top Chef inspire you to sharpen your knives and experiment in the kitchen? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
- Top Chef
Host Padma Lakshmi: My Daughter Was a "Surprise Blessing"
- Top Chef Judge Eric Ripert on the New Season and His Secret Weapons in the Kitchen
- Iron Chef Cat Cora on Feeding a Family, Getting Kids into the Kitchen and the One Food She Won't Eat

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