Despite the fact that my cooking style is not a style at all, I love food shows like “Restaurant: Impossible,” “Unwrapped” and those that are competition-related.
I admit I enjoy seeing people running around kitchens and getting judged on things that will never happen in real life—like creating 1,000 cupcakes in two hours or seeing the Iron Chef chairman back-flip into the kitchen with a sword and orders to cook a whole meal with a walnut.
I also realize they’re bit ridiculous, so I’ve included a few things you can expect to see almost every episode from a couple of them that I watch.
When it comes to American Gordon Ramsay shows, I prefer “Kitchen Nightmares,” but the new season of “Hell’s Kitchen” just started. The gist is 18 competitors subject themselves to verbal abuse and backstabbing manipulation in an attempt to cook their way into a head chef position at one of Ramsay’s restaurants.
With his reputation on the line, Gordon doesn’t take any of the bull crap. This produces a lot of colorful dialogue, gourmet dishes and the illusion that the cooks have learned something other than British profanity.
- When actually asked to cook, contestants suddenly forget how to boil water and Gordon will throw things at them.
- Someone will overcook fish and undercook rice, crimes ranking second only to “being a cow” in the world of Ramsay.
- Gordon will yell, “Shut it down!” in the middle of the service.
- Gordon will yell, “This is raw! You’re going to kill somebody!”
- Gordon will yell that every service is “the worst dinner service in history!”
- Contestants will sell out their mother in a dramatic tribal counsel-like elimination ceremony in an effort to not have their picture burned as the show fades to the closing credits.
- When dramatically forced to give over their apron, the eliminated chef will say, “you haven’t seen the last of me.” You will have seen the last of them.
Moral of the story: It’s scripted and over the top, but until the British versions of Ramsay’s shows are available OnDemand, I take what I can get.
Also, don’t ever make a mistake or Gordon will throw it at you.
Four chefs compete before a panel of three expert judges to create a three-course meal in under 30 minutes or so with “mystery ingredients” found in a basket. Once they’re done, they present each course to the unenthused judges and one chef gets chopped. The winner gets $10,000.
- First of all, the secret ingredient in every single dish is sweat. Although entertaining to watch, you’ll be completely grossed out and wonder how anyone can eat anything presented.
- Whoever creates the basket is a sadistic bastard. “For the dessert round, you have to use unicorn horn, pancetta, pink currants, crème fraiche.” Really?
- At least one contestant will bring up the fact they’re self-taught, are competing for a dying relative or that they “didn’t come here to lose.” (That’s probably a good competition strategy.)
- One of the judges will flap their hands around in the final seconds of a round yelling, “just get something on the plate!” and then bitch about whatever ended up on the plate.
- The host—Ted Allen—will inevitably try to talk to a contestant while they are moving really fast, get in their way and stress them out even more.
- After forgetting to use a required ingredient or stabbing Ted when he tried to talk to them, a contestant will angrily blame the judges, the oven or the contestants for losing.
- When interviewed, they will say, “you haven’t seen the last of me.” You will have seen the last of them.
Moral of the story: The only way I could compete on this show is if the basket ingredients were avocado, sprouted grain bread and Bobby Flay himself.
So spill it—do you watch any food shows? If not, what’s the one thing you would cook if you were put on the spot?
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