This Was The Worst Top Chef Guest Judge, According To Tom Colicchio

Food television is a great way to escape from the stressors of everyday life and look at beautiful dishes. One of the reality television shows that has been highly popular among its fans is the competitive cooking show, "Top Chef," which was first launched all the way back in 2006. The series format is simple — participants must take on each other and impress the show's judges by overcoming difficult cooking challenges.

The show's cast is impressive and includes culinary experts such as Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Padma Lakshmi. Many renowned chefs have also made guest appearances on "Top Chef" in the past, like the late Anthony Bourdain. The celebrity chef was a favorite among fans on Reddit that said they enjoyed Bourdain's commentary and sense of humor he brought to the series. However, not all of the experiences have been quite as pleasant. Apparently, the show's permanent judges have liked some guest judges a lot more than the rest. One judge, in particular, was a bit too much to handle and made the team unhappy by being really harsh.

Mike Yakura was a very opinionated judge

When asked about his least favorite guest judge on "Top Chef," Colicchio told Bravo that he wasn't a fan of chef Mike Yakura's behavior on the show. Yakura appeared in the first season and was perceived as rather aggressive with the participants. While judging the contestants' Latin American fusion food he called their dishes "arrogant" and "forgettable." However, one piece of food really seemed to set him off.

A burrito made Yakura particularly angry and he shot back at the contestants, saying, "It's a f****ng burrito. You just put s**t inside of it, and you roll it up." A participant at the time called the guest judge's style "brutal." Despite his behavior, Yakura was given a second change during the second season of "Top Chef," but it was clear he hadn't changed his judging style. He was upset with the quality of the dishes on the show and didn't hold back while offering his feedback. It's probably safe to assume he won't be returning for future seasons.

He scared some viewers

The participants were basically asked to present something delicious with funky ingredients like Kraft mayonnaise, Italian salad dressing or barbecue sauce. Definitely not a test for the faint-hearted. While the contestants came up with interesting dishes, it wasn't easy to watch thanks to Yakura's unpredictable behavior and his penchant for being overly critical. His judging style was a bit too intense for some viewers, as well. 

A fan of the show expressed their honest feelings in a piece for MTV and wrote that they were so distracted by Yakura and afraid of his behavior during the episode that they had trouble focusing on the food challenge. "Two winners were awarded, rather than one, and I was so terrified by Mike Yakura that it was difficult to pay attention to what everyone had done," he admitted. Another "Top Chef" viewer wrote on Reddit that they didn't appreciate the judge's bad behavior in the episode either. "Mike Yakura was terrible... he hated everything," they said. 

Mike Yakura hasn't appeared on other shows

Seems like Yakura didn't really get a chance to explore food television after his appearance on "Top Chef." As per his IMDb page, Yakura doesn't have any other television credits to his name. Meanwhile, Yakura's Instagram page indicates that he's still pretty active in the food industry. Yakura co-owns a restaurant in California called Spinning Bones, which is a rotisserie-style eatery that was founded by the chef and Danny Sterling. At the restaurant, Yakura works as a chef and experiments with meat dishes like Black Pepper Beef and St. Louis Pork Ribs. The pair also own other eateries such as Noodle Me, which offers speciality bowls and sides like kimchi. 

Yakura is also still quite active on social media. In one of his posts, the chef wrote that he decided to take a leap of faith several years ago when he applied for his first cooking gig as a line chef at Lu Lu's. Prior to that, he worked as a graphic designer before officially beginning his food journey. Yakura also had some experience as a waiter and a prep chef, but was mostly self-taught. He explained in his post why applying to the line cook job was so significant for him, "This would become the pivotal moment in my life where I gave up on a cushy office career and decided to try and swim in a pool with sharks."