Parenting columnist Marjorie Ingall praises reality television today in Tablet Magazine for its pedagogical value. As an avid chronicler of Top Chef myself (as well as a native of Washington, D.C., where the chef in question makes her home), this example struck a chord:

She’s a great role model—she’s funny (she calls “hootie-hoo,” like an owl when she loses her husband in a grocery store), self-aware (she ruefully called her undercooked quinoa “un-duntay” instead of “al dente”), and sane in times of crisis. In the last episode, she accidentally cut off half her fingernail in a chopping-knife mishap, but unlike a certain other drama-queeny contestant who ran to the hospital with a lesser injury, she told the medic to bandage her up, then put on a rubber glove and kept cooking. … When other chefs derided her desire to make an African ground-nut soup for a challenge at the U.S. Open (saying it wasn’t “elevated” enough for a fine-dining experience), Hall politely stuck to her guns, and went on to win. Again: a great lesson for kids.

For Real