Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cooking Competition TV Shows Need to Stop.

It seems like at least half of television shows are some version of a cooking competition. Food Network is not alone in this but they are easily the biggest offender.

These shows run the gambit on cooking skill. Chopped is a show where experienced/trained chefs need to make meals out of bizarre ingredients picked by a 10 year old who likes cotton candy for breakfast or some sadistic asshole who has a grudge against restaurant menus. Worst Cooks in America on the other hand has terrible cooks competing for money and the chance to learn techniques they will never use at home. Seriously, these people will never debone a chicken again.

Demon Chicken has no bones.

Then there are shows like Next Food Network Star and Next Iron Chef which are competition shows to find somebody to be on another show. Viewers get interested in their stars during the competition than promptly forget about them once they win. Kind of like that Sanjaya kid from American Idol or winners of American Idol not named Carrie Underwood. Although the only reason people remember her is because they think she’s Taylor Swift, so it may not be the best of comparisons.

The godfather of cooking competition shows is Iron Chef America based on the original Iron Chef that was syndicated from Japan with cheesy English dubs and used sound effects that were rejected in Bruce Campbell movies. The original wasn’t popular in Japan but that didn’t stop network executives from thinking it was perfect for American audiences. And, depressingly, they were right and it bafflingly became a phenomenon. I swear most people just wanted to see the octopus episode because people are into slaughtering live cephalopods before they try to take over the world with their psychic soccer predicting abilities.

AHHHHH. They can fly too?!?!?

A new show, not on Food Network but NBC instead, called The Next Great Restaurant is a cooking competition where one of the judges is Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle. He criticized a build-your-own wraps maker for not having a concept people would be interested in…as opposed to a build-your-own burritos concept? He basically dissed his own restaurants without realizing it. Maybe he did know and just didn’t want the competition since the difference between a wrap and a burrito is xenophobia. But if he really thinks a concept that is really similar to Chipotle won’t work, than Qdoba humbly requests you shut down. Also, nobody has any reason to believe he is a food expert. He might as well be an expert in John Boehner’s School for Climate Science since he is just spewing bullshit.

All the other shows are cupcake related or have Gordon Ramsey. Ramsey probably has a good case to call himself an expert since he has many successful restaurants, although apparently lots of screaming, not good food and service, is the most important thing to be successful. And nobody claims to be a cupcake expert because that title is lame. About as lame as pop culture comedy blogger.

So, why am I talking about cooking competition shows?

Because all of these shows are based on the premise that a food tasting expert is a thing that exists. The taste of food is completely subjective and the judging of food is based on arbitrary parameters looser than Paris Hilton on vacation in Singapore. Two people can have wildly different opinions on identical meals and these various judges are no different.

They call themselves food experts but nobody can become an expert in something that requires nothing to learn. People don’t have to learn to taste food (cooking yes, tasting no). There is no food critic dogma. Nobody likes anything overcooked? That’s not true. I dated somebody that likes burgers burned until they are as black as her heart. Cook all pasta al dente? Some people like it cooked soft due to our teeth hurting from too much soda, and because dentists are dicks. Never mix cheese and seafood? Martha Stewart will skull fuck you.

Dentist chair or medieval torture device?

Basically, the outcomes of these competitions are based on the arbitrary opinions of people who are not any better at tasting food than anybody else and thus based on luck. Winning a cooking competition means absolutely nothing, therefore, these shows as a concept have no weight on who is a better chef or cook among contestants.

There. Somebody said it. Can we stop making these shows now?

Disclaimer: This article is satirical and admittedly not my best.

Follow me on Twitter. Contact me at


  1. It's very simple, people don't watch the shows, they stop doing them.

  2. i have stopped watching most cooking stuff... they over dramatise it all too much!

  3. There are so many mistakes in this article I kind of want to delete it. You know, because I NEVER make any mistakes.

    I am really excited for my next post though. It's filled with nerdy goodness.

  4. I totally agree with you, no one should have right to say what food is good and what's not.