Let's Rank The All-Time Best Top Chef Boyfriends!
This list is subjective, except for #1. He is, inarguably, the dreamiest.
I always want a competitive reality series to provide me with a boyfriend -- not an actual boyfriend, given that I'm married; a gentleman who is cute and/or charming enough to make me root for (and perhaps swoon for) him throughout his season.
But selecting a reality boyfriend can be tricky. Sometimes, a cute guy looks like a winner until he opens his crazy mouth. Sometimes, a boy who seems like an emotional deathtrap wins your heart anyway. And sometimes, the lanky fireman is dreamy from beginning to end, exactly as you knew he would be.
In my experience, though, no series makes it harder to pick a boyfriend than Top Chef. There are just SO MANY ASSHOLES on this show. And you can say what you want about the restaurant world breeding hypermasculine aggression and blah blah BLAH. But I don't want your excuses, TERRIBLE NICHOLAS. I want you to be handsome on the inside, too! And hey, Paul...I can't date you if you're just going to do this. So get with the program. Or call Yigit from Top Chef: Just Desserts. He knows what's up.
Anyway: I bring this up because the current season of Top Chef has blessed us with the return of one of the show's all-time greatest boyfriends. In honor of that holiday gift, I'm celebrating the show's all-time greatest crush objects. They can stir my pot any time! And also knead my dough! And also make me a Scotch egg, which is not a euphemism but just sounds good right now!
- Sylva Senat (Season 14)
The only reason Sylva is last on this list is because he's a newcomer in the current season. At this point, I'm mostly going on faith that this Haitian sensation is as relaxed, focused, and thoughtful as he appears.
Sylva, so far, seems like someone who isn't going to freak out, and not for nothing, but his eyes could melt my TV. Boyfriended!
- Carl Dooley (Season 13)
Carl's presence on this list is completely unjustifiable in many ways. For one, he spent much of his season making self-consciously goofy "rap guy" comments about earning "dolla-dolla bills." For another, he radiated the dude energy of someone who will fart on you and then laugh like it was AWESOME. But at the same time, he managed to pair some nice cooking with a charming, puppy-ish quality.
He's not mature, but he's the right kind of immature for a quick makeout session. Plus, he looks like a kid I had a MASSIVE crush on in seventh grade.
- Bryan Voltaggio (Season 6)
Bryan's brother Michael might have won their season, but Bryan stood out as the lesser of two dickheads.
Really, he wasn't a dickhead. He just got visibly and understandably frustrated by the arrogant king of asparagus foam that he happened to be related to. His ongoing maturity in the face of such shenanigans made his kitchen skills even more impressive. Quiet, intense, and polite are always better than the loud, intense, and rude.
- Fabio Viviani (Season 5)
Fabio will break your heart. No question.
You wanted something exclusive, but he's exclusively interested in playing the field. But oh, those two or three days when you're the sole recipient of his charm will make it all worth it.
- Isaac Toups (Season 13)
YOU GUYS! Has anyone in the entire history of Top Chef been more charming than Isaac Toups, whose name perfectly captures his "cuddly creature" quality?
His penchant for comfort food, his obvious zeal for life, and his season-long ability to just be polite make him the type of guy you definitely want next to you in the morning, handing you eggs.
- Sam Talbot (Seasons 2 and 14)
I'll admit it: Sam Talbot is the entire reason this ranking exists. He is the dreamiest.
He's tall, handsome, and rugged, yet he's sensitive enough to turn his diabetes battle into a career built around healthy choices. My husband has suggested that Bravo should offer "Sam Cam," just so we can watch him do stuff whenever we want. I'd subscribe.