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Connector of the Day – Tom Colicchio

November 2nd, 2009
06:44 PM ET

Cooking on TV has exploded on to our screens in the past decade –- and has never been more popular. Whether it’s a Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsey, Wolfgang Puck or Rachael Ray - the career of the celebrity chef has never been more pronounced.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/02/art.colicchio.jpg caption="Send your questions for Tom Colicchio."]

Back in the day, there was Julia Child and Jacques Pépin.

Now there are literally hundreds of celebrity chefs ladling out their kitchen tips and giving some poor sous-chef a grilling on national TV.

What was the turning point and who caused it? Has the world gone mad over food and the people who make it? And is it changing the way we eat? Are people eating more healthily?

Has there been a move away from fast food, and do more people cook at home? Are we using more responsibly-sourced produce and are we aware of more seasonal choices? During an economic recession do people have more or less reason to splash out on a fancy meal?

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio is our Connector of the Day on Tuesday. Owner of the Craft family of restaurants in USA and the Gramercy Tavern in NY, he’s an award winning chef and author. He is also the head judge on Bravos’ emmy-nominated reality tv show “Top Chef”.

Send your questions for Tom below –- about food, his career, celebrity chefs, and the future of the restaurant industry.

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. George S

    question 1: is judging for top chef based only on their performance in that week's challenge or is previous performance factored in?

    question 2: there has been some criticism regarding winners in previous seasons that the best chef (based on overall performance) didn't win (season 2, 4, 5 come to mind). for example if you were putting your life savings into starting a restaurant i doubt you would take hosea over stefan as executive chef. is it fair to award the top prize to a chef who excels in the final challenge without taking into consideration what it took to get there?

    November 2, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  2. Lorraine

    Tom,
    Cooking for one is boring...what would you advise me to have on hand (panty or frig) in order to cook up a healthy yet quick meal for one so that I won't be tempted to run to the fast food/hamburger joints?? Thanks... Love your show too!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  3. RAFAEL

    Is it very difficult to open and keep open a Restaurant? why do so many Restaurants close? is it the rent, the cost off employees salaries and benefits?

    Best Regards.

    Rafael

    November 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  4. Steven T.

    Tom, Why havent you dont any cooking on Top Chef? My wife and I were really hoping to see you on the masters show! When can we see you get into the mix?

    November 2, 2009 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  5. joel Magsaysay

    what factors make a good chef?

    November 2, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  6. raimonds

    what are your favorite movies about food? (and you have a cool last name!)

    November 2, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  7. Ruth

    I love your smile and your eyes!!!!

    November 3, 2009 at 1:43 am | Reply
  8. Roxy

    Tom,

    Do you feel that the rise of the celebrity chef is pushing the culinary arts forward by engaging a great number of new enthusiasts and creative minds, or stalling it all by creating a culture of silly acronyms and fame-over-flavor glory seeking?

    November 3, 2009 at 1:58 am | Reply
  9. Manakristo Delnessa

    How do you stay in shape (or in near constant shape for you) when you have to sometimes taste multiple plates on Top Chef???

    November 3, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  10. Ray

    Has the demand for profesional chefs increased or decreased?has the financial meltdown been a big factor?

    November 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  11. Vijay

    What is more soul satisfying,Home food or Restaurant food?

    November 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  12. Scott Stoll

    Hi Tom,

    Love your show, though I hardly cook, but I'd like to. But by the time I plan a meal, go shopping, cook and clean, I've "lost" 4 hours of my day.

    Any thoughts?
    Scott

    November 3, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  13. lisa

    Tom you are hot.. are you married?
    seriously though.. what is a fun thing to do with broccoli?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  14. Murry zborowski

    Tom;
    As a working parent while I enjoy watching your shows I would like to ask you what can I take from the show and apply it to the meals I prepare for family and friends ?
    Thanks for hours of education and entertainment

    November 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  15. MJ

    Your show has inspired some tasty meals in my home. I hope you will include more shows with practical themes for the average family or single person trying to make a healthy, quick, and budget conscious meal.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  16. Nick D

    Chef Tom,
    All things being equal, how do you think you'd do if your were thrown into the mix on a Top Chef episode?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  17. Ben S

    Hi Tom,

    Modern technology has made its way into every part of our lives and it seems restaurants are no exception. What are your thoughts on the use of technology to enhance a dining experience at the traditional restaurant table. Are interactive table surfaces and light displays worth the high cost to differentiate a business? Is this the next generation of restaurant dining?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  18. Scott Stoll

    PS I forgot to mention eating 🙂 There's another luxurious hour.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  19. jeff walker

    There may be many, but Papin is still the best.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  20. Sheralyn Colichio

    Tom, Are you related to the Colichio's on Long Island, N.Y.?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  21. Martijn H

    Hi Tom,

    I have stopped using Veal for Saltimbocca, using Turkey instead, because the Veal becomes so "chewy". What is the secret to keeping the Veal tender?

    thanks, Martijn

    November 3, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  22. Isabelle Zimmer

    As an award-winning and successful chef, I'd like to know who inspired you to pursue your career, and who are your inspirations today?

    I'd also like to know how the guest judges are chosen for your show and which has been your personal friend or favorite?

    Now that I live in Germany, I make my sister tape Top Chef for me so I don't miss an episode.. I'm hooked! Keep up the fabulous work!

    November 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  23. Kay K.

    Hi Tom,

    Do you think there would be any interest in a show combining elements of Top Chef /Hell's Kitchen/Chopped/Iron Chef featuring self-taught home cooks pitted against someone from the CIA? Perhaps with a focus on recreating a dish based on blind tastings with quickfire competitions of name the ingredient. It may prove humorous and surprising.

    November 3, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Reply

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