Saturday, May 23, 2009

Disingenuous Compliment

One of my favorite television networks is the Food Network, and one of my favorite shows is Throwdown With Bobby Flay. The concept of the show, if you have never seen it (and I'm certain that you could find some back episodes - I'll throw a YouTube for you down at the bottom) is that Bobby Flay, professional Chef for twenty years, has to learn how to make a dish that someone else in the nation is an expert at. Some examples are combating Buffalo, NY's Wing King in a buffalo wing contest, various bbq entree masters at their particular dishes, or even a former chef at one of his NYC restaurants, and current owner of Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar in a falafel making contest. During the throwdown, both competitors make their recipes right there on the spot, send out plates of samples for all of the live audience to taste, and then submit to a blind taste test to supposedly qualified judges. Generally, judging is done by a chef or critic, although the donuts throwdown that I watched just prior to the episode I'm watching now, was judged by two retired New York City police officers. Yep, NYPD to judge donuts. They laughed, too.

So, here is the part that bugs me. They explain to you, in every single episode, that the chosen combatant has no idea that they are scheduled for a throwdown. The person, or team, has been told that they will be starring in a Food Network featured profile, but that they are, in fact, being set up for the Throwdown. The current episode, a cake designer, was told that she would be doing the final portion of the profile (where the throwdown always occurs), at Tavern On The Green, with the opportunity to try and pick up some new clients. This is, of course, a bold faced lie. This is the part that bugs me.

Listen, I get it, Bobby takes a week to learn the dish, shows up, competes, and sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. Why not just tell the person, "hey, we're going to have a competitive cook-off between you and Bobby Flay next Saturday afternoon," or even schedule four or five of them ahead of time (or the entire danged season) so that said combatant can promote it, maybe even sell some tickets, and capitalize on the event? Why lie to them and tell them that they will be featured? Those features never air. That never happens. Why lie? That just isn't right. Come on... this is a fantastic show, why add an element of dishonesty to it?

Oh well, time to sit back and watch Mr. Flay lose... badly... very badly... he just has to. After all, who would make a heavily shredded-coconut encrusted wedding cake??

And, in the even that you haven't seen it, and can't find it yet, here is part one of the Fish and Chips episode (while it lasts):

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