Regarding Robert Sietsema's 'Iron Chef Boyardee' [February 20–26]: Oh, Robert. Did you forget to have your Cheerios before you went to a five-hour taping in which culinary masters cook near-perfect delicacies in front of you? Always a mistake. Smelling those smells is torture for the audience and crew.
I'll just make two points in response to your very, very, very (waking self up, now—oh, hello!) long article:
One, Iron Chef America is a television show. A television show is generally something that is produced for the purpose of broadcasting it via the medium of television, with the goal being to entertain people who watch, you know, television. Kudos for your crack investigative skills in outing Mark as not really the Chairman's nephew. You're a real Woodward and Bernstein, ain'tcha?
And, two, Morimoto prevailed because his food was incredible, as it usually is. Fortunato Nicotra did a magnificent job, too; he is a spectacular chef and a delightful guy, and scoring 51 to 59 is hardly a rout. I ate his food again at Felidia last month, and I'm still talking about his shrimp crudo on a slab of pink salt. But for a variety of reasons, many of which were discussed during our tasting, we judges, independently and of our own, honest accord, preferred Morimoto's work that day. That's the way the kanpachi crumbles.
So I'm only 23, which means I've not been reading the Voice that long. But even so, I feel safe in telling you that had to be the stupidest cover story/exposé of all-time. From the people who brought you Teresa Carpenter and Wayne Barrett comes several pages about the fact that a TV cooking show is not quite as it appears on TV. You must be kidding.
I thought this was an entertaining article. That they knew about the ingredient beforehand was obvious to me, but if the recipes are being recooked (especially without the chef), that completely defeats the supposed competitive aspect of the show. I guess the winners are irrelevant. Oh, and hey, Ted Allen—one Simon Cowell is far more than enough.
And I suppose you're going to tell me that the Kitchen Stadium is not actually in a remote mountaintop? And that the Chairman isn't actually a chairman? Talk about ace investigative reporting—you exposed a TV show as a . . . TV show! Somebody get this man a Pulitzer!
Pssst. There's no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny, either.
I'm sorry, but what about this "exposé" is shocking? Anyone who watches the show can tell that the chefs know the ingredient and who they're going to battle beforehand. It also seems fairly obvious that they remake the dishes for the judges. Who actually thinks Iron Chef is real? Its just a highly entertaining cooking show. The author is quite stupid if he was expecting something other than what he got.
I know you had to be making some of this up, because you referred to Alton Brown as well-spoken. Next time you watch Iron Chef America, take a sip of an alcoholic beverage every time he says "uh." It's the best TV drinking game since "Oh, Bob" from The Bob Newhart Show.
My father took me to see a live taping of American Gladiators (the first incarnation). I was incredibly disappointed at how slow and tedious the whole thing was, what with the changing of the sets and costumes, etc. My love for American Gladiators was crushed that day, and I learned never to trust TV again.
Dumb ass! Look, fool. This is a cooking show. It is yet another way to catch or hold the viewers' attention and present them with a possible new style or technique of cooking. But more importantly, it will expose you to new kitchen aids or cooking items that will definitely ease your daily grind in the kitchen as you prepare your exquisite meals for your starving family! Look, man, it's a TV show! Really.
From the Department of Interesting Yet Useless Iron Chef Facts: The original Chairman previously played the role of Christ in the original Japanese cast of Jesus Christ Superstar (and his voice appears on the corresponding Sony Japan release of the soundtrack).
Anyone with decent eyesight and minimal observation skills could figure out that Iron Chef, like all "reality shows," is planned in advance. Secret ingredient? Not a secret at all. Five spontaneous dishes? Created and tested in advance. Winner? Probably decided before the "challenger" even sets foot in Kitchen Stadium. The show is a way to hype Food Network stars and give media exposure to up-and-coming or gaining-fame-in-the-food-business chefs.
This article was lazy journalism. If you feel the need to do an exposé, reality TV is not really the best topic to write about.
Strum und drag
Re Rob Harvilla's 'The Worst Song, Played on the Ugliest Guitar' [February 20–26]:
Amusing take on this. "Bob" isn't just one of their worst songs; it is flat-out ridiculous. May as well be "Dear Mr. President" from Dewey Cox.
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