Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cooking Shows Are Shit. Official!

Cooking Shows really are pointless.

Think about it, what do you do when you watch one?

You see a guy or gal spend an hour cooking up some delicious creation, and then they say:

“…and here it is, a delicious meal! You can’t have any. Goodbye!”

It’s all the build up, without the climax. Cooking shows are the equivalent of going on a date with a woman you really like, but without the pay-off. You see a movie, have a few drinks, then you go back to your place.

When you get there, she pushes you onto your bed, lights a bunch of candles and takes off her clothes. You knowledgably note that she’s wearing page 34 of the Summer 2005 Victoria’s Secret catalogue, which she also drops to the floor.

Then she crawls onto the bed, gets to within inches of you...

Then she puts all her clothes back on and buggers off home.

You’re like, ‘What the hell, man?’

All build up, no climax.

Why watch someone cook something if you don’t get to eat it at the end?

Think about this for a minute. When you come home, and someone is cooking something really good, what’s the first thing that comes out of your mouth?

“Mmmm, something smells good!”

Then you eat some, and say:

“This tastes fantastic!”

Smell and taste…the two defining factors of good food, neither of which are available on a television set.

Which leads to the question, how do we know that what they’re cooking is actually any good? They have the presentation down pat, but who can say with any authority that what they just cooked doesn’t taste like a jock strap that’s been sitting on a moldy sandwich in a locker all summer?

They make all the right noises and tell us how great it smells and tastes, but they’re paid to say that. They could be lying through their teeth. No cook is ever going to say that anything they cooked is anything less than ambrosia. They’d lose their job! Who wants to watch a cooking show where the cook tastes it and says: “Well, it’s alright I suppose. Not a patch on a Hardee’s Mushroom Swiss though.”?

…and think of this. You could get a really good chef to be on your show, and pay him lots…or you could hire some dude off the street, pay him $4 an hour, and just get him to follow the recipe. If it tastes like crap, who’s ever going to know?

Just once, I’d like to see some honesty.

Ok, you’re watching the Food Network:

Our cook drops her ingredients into one of those over-priced saucepans (The ones that, after the show, a half million amateur cooks will run out and buy, because they think it will magically make them better cooks…it won’t).

She adds her spices, drops in a few more ingredients, and a billowing cloud of steam rises up. The camera zooms into a close-up of her face.

She leans in, a look of absolute rapture on her face, and takes a deep sniff:

“Mmmm, now that just smells fantas-…Hurk!”

She coughs and tried to regain her compsure. We see her do her best to not recoil from the steam.

“This smells…hurk….this smells absolutely…hurk…This is…..HURK!!”

Her face disappears from view.

Hhhuurrrrrgghhlllllaaaaarrrrr!(splash) Huuuuuurgllllarrrr (splash)

Her head swings back into view. She’s got a sweat going on, her hair is plastered to her forehead, her eyes are all wide, bloodshot and stary. He mouth is locked on an open-mouthed frown. She’s breathing heavily.

“This smells like….hurk…it smells….Hurk.”

Her face disappears again as she bend over

Hhhuurrrrrgghhlllllaaaaarrrrr!(splash) Huuuuuurgllllarrrr (splash)

She swings back into camera. She’s started to cry. She breathes heavily, with a look of pain on her face.

“This smells….hurk….This sm….hurk.”

Hhhuurrrrrgghhlllllaaaaarrrrr!(splash) Huuuuuurgllllarrrr (splash)

She re-appears, she’s in full sob mode now, her shoulders are hitching, her eyes are red and there’s that one long unbreakable line of slobber down her chin.

“This smells…hurk…It sme….hurk….For the love of…hurk…for the…hurk. For the love of God!...hurk…it…hurk… It smells…hurk…like death!”

Hhhuurrrrrgghhlllllaaaaarrrrr!(splash) Huuuuuurgllllarrrr (splash)

I mean, how do we actually know? Cooking shows are like you going to work, and your Boss saying:

“Hey, have you done those TPS Reports?”

“Yup, sure have!”

“Can I see them?”

“Nope, just accept I’ve done them, and that I’ve done an excellent job…why do you need proof? Isn’t my word enough?”

Even if I can’t have a cook crying and throwing up on her own shoes on TV, I’d at least like to see a little honesty. You see, I pride myself on being a good cook, but I make mistakes, everyone does.

It’s always the same. Cook makes something. Cook tells us how good it smells, cook tells us how great it tastes. They never fuck it up.

How do we know? They could be tucking into freshly prepared jockstrap burgers for all we know.

Just once I’d like to see:

“…and here we are, a delicious meal.”

The camera gets a nice close-up. The cook leans forward and takes a deep sniff.

“It smells fantasti…no… wait.”

She takes another sniff.

“It smells like…hmm. It smells… It smells…It smells exactly like freshly burned ass hair.”

She picks up her fork and takes a reluctant bite. Her face turns to an instant grimace, and she spits it out onto the floor.

“And it tastes like testicle!

Now that’s something I’d actually watch.

Then you have your ‘celebrity’ chefs.

In my opinion a chef’s celebrity should never rise above “That guy who does that cooking show” status. They’re like hair dressers. They do a normal everyday job, but act like Prima Donnas, and think they’re Goddamn rock stars.

Hey, chef dude! Your job primarily consists of heating up bits of meat. You’re not a star!

Like that Emiril dude. Everyone goes on about how great he is. I mean, how do you know? Have you ever eaten his food? Even if his food is great, why does that make him a TV star? Have you ever been the Chili’s, ate an amazing chili cheesesteak sandwich and said:

“Wow, who was the chef? Can I have his autograph? That dude should be on TV!

Yeah, but Emiril is great! He says “Let’s kick it up a notch!” and shouts “Bam!” randomly!


I ‘kick it up a notch’ every time I take a dump. I can also show you a whole host of winos and hobos who shout lots of things randomly, many of them much more entertaining than ‘Bam!’…and none of them have a TV show!

I mean it comes to something when these people actually go on tour! That’s something I’ll never understand. How can a cook go on tour? Can you imagine it?

“Hello…(surreptitiously reads the place name off the back of his frying pan) South Carolina! Are you ready to cook?!? I can’t hear you! I said ARE YOU READY TO COOK!?!”

Then the crowd start chanting for their favorites, only instead of chanting “Freebird” or “Hotel California” they chant “Scrambled Eggs!” or “Rack of Lamb And Mint Sauce With Garlic Mashed Potatoes On The Side, With Perhaps A Small Portion Of Sautéed Mushrooms!”

I’ll admit, cooking is a skill and requires talent, but it’s not exactly a TV worthy talent. I mean, plenty of people enjoy reading this blog, but would you watch an hour long show called “Blogging with Paulius”?

‘Hell everyone, and welcome to Blogging with Paulius. Let’s start by making some coffee, then I like to light a cigarette! Now, come with me and I’ll sit at the computer. First we log into blogger, then I press these tiny little keys in the right order. What shall we blog about today?”

Cooking. I like to cook. I like to eat. What I don’t like to do is watch some up-himself chef spend an hour cooking something that I’m not going to get to eat, especially when there’s no proof what they just cooked is any good.

“Oh shit, Bill, we’re out of Oregano!”

“Ahh, just go chop up some crab grass…The suckers at home will never know.”

All cooking shows should be limited to 10 minutes. A guy tells you the ingredients, and what order to mix them, and how to cook it.

It should not be some tool called Emiril who shouts “Bam!” and thinks he’s an actual celebrity.


Miz S said...

I find the best pans to cook in are the ones handed down from my mom and grandmothers.

Recipes too.

mistyforeverlost said...

BAM~spot on.

bTW--"Paulius at his Blog" may be amusing, but only if we get to see the dog jump into the leaf pile or Sunny get squirted with water, which created the need to blog.
Think Truman Show, but with a twist.

Paulius said...

Sunny - Unless they're rusty.

Misty - You've hit the crux of the matter. This blog, to stretch an analogy, is the meal. I hope it's entertaining to read.

However, 45 minutes of me sitting at the computer actually writing it?

"I like to use a capital letter at the start of a sentence. I've found a period works well at the end (Tippity tappety tap) Isn't this exciting?"

MC Etcher said...

I agree - with the exception of Alton Brown and Nigella Lawson

mistyforeverlost said...

that would depend on whether or not you could do character voices. Currently, I am thinking "monotonish like with a slight drool from the left side of the lip area and a slight/but natural glassy stare at the moniter"