Tag Archives: chef

Who’s laughing now?

I haven’t watched Cooking Channel much at all, but a commercial for Cutthroat Kitchen caught my eye.

Host Alton Brown is always good for a laugh.

Cutthroat_Kitchen_LogoIf you haven’t seen the show, four professional chefs compete in cooking challenges while Alton Brown sabotages them.

But there’s a catch.

He actually gives each chef money at the beginning of the game so that they can bid to sabotage each other, making the timed competition even more challenging.  The eventual winner keeps whatever money he has left at the end of the game.

As the episode comes to an end, I realize it’s not for me.

It reminds me too much of hazing…or those degrading initiation days that some of my high school clubs subjected new members to freshman year.  The folks in charge are laughing, but it’s more mean-spirited than funny.

Just ask Jon Hamm. That stuff comes back to bite you in the butt.

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Location, location

I’m watching Food Network Star right now, which has been in Las Vegas for the past couple of weeks.

But it certainly doesn’t look like Vegas.

food network star vegasEvery time Bobby, Alton or Giada — the show’s three hallowed hosts — stand before this season’s contestants to set up a challenge, it looks like they are shooting the episode in an empty room. Or vacant parking lot.

Food Network goes to such great lengths to clear out the ‘normal folk’ during production, Vegas looks nothing like the manic city I have experienced every time I’ve had the chance to visit.

Why go to the expense of using Vegas as your backdrop if you’re going to make it sterile and still?  You might as well fake the whole thing at the Food Network studios here in New York City.

The show’s producers must have heard me.  They just announced this week’s survivors are coming to Manhattan for the remainder of the season.

That will probably look like Cleveland.

 

 

Asleep in my takeout

I am fascinated by the critics’ take on the movie Chef, which is currently 88 percent fresh on RottenTomatoes.com.

I found it stale and oh-so-overcooked.

chef movie

I watch a lot of Food Network, so I had high hopes for the film’s ‘recipe’: a chef gets fired after he starts a Twitter war with a restaurant critic,  and opens a food truck.

Seems new, seems current.

Turns out all the conflict that drives the film is in the first 15 minutes.  After the chef (Jon Favreau) loses his job, everyone and everything starts working in his favor.

  • Need a food truck?  His ex-wife gets her other ex-husband to provide one.  Takes him to Miami to get it. Appears to bankroll the enterprise, too. (Sure, that happens.)
  • Need help setting it up?  His former junior cook travels across the country — without pay — to help him get started. That sainted ex-wife even takes orders at one point.
  • Need to reconnect with your kid? The ex-wife — again, the most non-confrontational divorced couple in the history of movies and life, for that matter — lets an 11-year old kid work as a line cook on a food truck for the entire summer. Without checking in. Right.

I don’t want to give away the ending in case you plan to see it.  But let’s just say that, once the food truck is parked —

Nothing really happens then, either. Or if it does, they don’t show it.

Because conflict might wake you up out of your food coma.

 

Sweet, sweet superlative

I watch a lot of Food Network — I’m a big fan.

(I want that on the record.)

thebestthingieverateBut watching all the show hosts and chefs from Food Network describe their food favorites on The Best Thing I Ever Ate makes me understand why some people from other countries think Americans are batshit crazy.

These personalities, who typically appear authentic on their Food Network shows,  turn into over-the-top, food-obsessed, caffeine- or sugar-addled caricatures of themselves as they describe the ‘perfect ice cream dish’ or ‘best egg salad ever’ (like that even exists in nature — seriously).

Their eyes bulge. Their pronouncements are peppered with puns.  (They alliterate like that, too.)

It is so annoying.

It is, in fact, The Most Annoying Show on Food Network.