I'm a big fan of Top Chef and was wondering how good these chef-testants really are compared to everyone else in the culinary industry. Obviously they are not at the lofty heights as chefs featured in Top Chef Masters but the ones that make it to the finale really do seem talented/have bona fide skills.
I'm wondering how would they rate against chefs/rstaurant owners featured on shows like No Reservations or Iron Chef or in magazines such as Bon Appetite's Best Restaurants issue or Food & Wine's Best Chefs issue?
I haven't been able to dine at any of the restaurants that these chef-testants own or work in and many of them I've never heard of. So for those of you who have had the pleasure (or perhaps misfortune) to visit their establishments, how good was the food?