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Google's gourmet embarrassed on 'Top Chef'

Preeti Mistry, Google's entrant into the popular reality show, is one of the first to be dismissed by the judges. It is not a good advertisement for the Google canteen.

September 11, 2001, gave many people pause for thought. But how many can say that such a dark day made them want to cook?

That was the interesting claim made by Preeti Mistry, the 33-year-old executive chef with Google's Bon Appetit management company. She made her declaration on the latest episode of Bravo TV's "Top Chef," in which she was a contestant.


For Mistry was removed by the judges after serving a paltry pasta salad to the brave and hungry airmen and women at Nellis Air Force Base.

You see, the judges, led by the bald, lip-twitching Tom Colicchio (he of New York's Craft restaurant), weren't merely upset that she had prepared something that a bankrupt British public school might offer its pupils during a power outage.

They were distraught that, even when challenged, she thought the dish was good.

When all around her blanched at the blandness, Mistry was unbowed. So for her stubborn myopia, she had to hear the words that lead so many young chefs to tears, recriminations, Xanax and a job at the Outback Steakhouse: "Please pack your knives and go."

Mistry's reactions lay somewhere between blase and Buddhist. But she had already proved that she was incapable of shucking clams. Now here she was shirking criticism.

Regretfully, this was not the finest advertisement for the Google brand. Nor for the Google canteen.

After Woz's demise on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," the tech world continues its search for a reality TV breakthrough.

It is a troubling situation, one that should surely be discussed at the highest levels.