Dining NewsJul 01, 2012
Show Biz Chef
Clara Moore of Local Harvest Cafe takes on Bravo's new show, "Around the World in 80 Plates."
Story: Christopher Reilly
Photos: Justin Stephens/Bravo
Hometown favorite Clara Moore, chef and general manager of Local Harvest Café, is back home after her fifteen minutes of fame as a competitor on Bravo's new show, "Around the World in 80 Plates." A cross between "Top Chef" and "The Great Race," it features contestants traveling to different cities around the world to learn local customs, cultures and cuisines as they battle it out in cooking challenges. The first round of each show has the chefs racing around the city in teams performing high-pressure tasks. The winning team gets an advantage in the second round, when contestants take over local restaurants in a test of kitchen savvy, customer service, teamwork and all of the skills required to run a restaurant. Members of the losing team have to vote off their weakest teammate.
If You Can't Stand the Heat…
As the first episode, set in London, reached its climax, St. Louisans held their collective breath. Though Moore was part of the losing team in the first challenge, she seemed well removed from being voted off. But, anything can happen in the world of reality television. Moore's teammate Chef Nookie, in a move to save his own skin, employed some Machiavellian mischief to redirect the heat to her side of the kitchen. When the vote came down, it was one, two, three, votes and Moore was packing her bags.
Moore says she found the other chefs friendly enough in the beginning, but as the competition heated up, any pretense of conviviality evaporated. What Moore found most challenging was working in a strange kitchen and not being the one in charge. "Here you have bunch of big personalities that want their way, pushing each other around," Moore says. "And worse, you aren't on your own turf."
The demanding shooting schedule left contestants little time to enjoy the sights, but Moore says she was able to look up "through the sweat and tears" and see some beautiful and wonderful things. Now that the disappointment has worn off and her pride healed, Moore says she'd happily do it all again. "Around the World in 80 Plates" airs Wednesday nights at 9pm on Bravo.
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