1/13/2010

Cooking Shows: Not For the Faint of Heart

As I ramble along on the elliptical every day (well, nearly every day), I've been using that time to indulge in my guilty secret: reality TV. Now, not just any old reality show will catch my eye - there really has to be some kind of skill involved. So, it's not as if I'm hooking up the Bachelor or Survivor (though I guess one could say that being a slimy, two-timing, dishonest freak - as is necessary apparently to survive on Survivor - is a skill. It's just not one I'm interested in.)

What has been catching my eye though are the plethora of cooking related reality shows that are on these days. Right now that translates to Chef Academy on Bravo and The Worst Cooks in America on Food Network (and BBC America just started up Last Restaurant Standing, though I've yet to watch the first episode of that). In fact, it was Chef Academy that prompted me to give choux pastry a try (and I'm probably about due to give that another whirl.) But, I will say that this season in particular, I've found myself fast forwarding quite a bit and curling my fingers and wincing...because these people! Have they seriously never used a knife before?

It's terrifying! I just keep expecting someone to lop off a hand - not just a finger. Not just part of a finger, but their whole entire hand (or in some cases, the hand of the person working next to them).

Now, I'll be the first to admit that Tim is in charge of all cheese grating in our household because the box grater and I do not get along. It has eaten my fingers one too many times (and really, once is one too many times) (and boy, let me clue you, that hurts!) I've also had my share of nicks and slices in the kitchen...but even I've never considered wielding a knife the way these people do. It's like they don't realize there's a sharp end on there.

In the case of Worst Cooks, I kind of get that, since, well, the premise is that these people can't cook. But on the others, there is supposed to be at least some level of kitchen proficiency prior to their appearance on the show.

So I'm wondering if maybe they're being told to play it up to increase the terror and drama somewhat, because, well, otherwise cooking shows just aren't the hotbed of intrigue that other reality shows can be. Still, I'm really not ready for a cooking show where the winner is the last person standing with all their digits intact, no matter how interesting the recipes look.

1 comment:

michellewillingham said...

I watch Chef Academy also, and the knife episode was interesting to watch. I actually had never learned how to control the blade--so I just chopped things very slowly and most of my knives were too dull to do any harm.

This year I got a new Santoku knife that is wicked-sharp, and I love it. Still, I'm using their "lesson" to control it better.