I’ve written before—though not for a while—about how I’m not a big Food Network fan, despite liking to cook, and being known to occasionally watch TV.
But I have been somewhat taken with Chopped Canada. I’d seen the American version a few times and found that somewhat interesting, so checked out the Canadian version.
The first episode was fantastic because one competing chef was clearly an unlikable ass, and he ended up going mano a mano with a woman—a cooking school teacher rather than restaurant chef—who at first had seemed hopeless out of her element. (The other two contestants were also men, but of less striking temperament.)
And, satisfyingly, the nice woman won. Deservedly. In the end, she made a better three-course meal.
Although the remaining episodes haven’t had such vibrant personalities, I’ve been continuing to find it entertainment. But I can’t kid myself that it’s any kind of useful.
Because in real life, you are never handed four random food items, some of which are barely food (strawberry drink powder, processed cheese slices, macaroni deli slices?), and told that in exactly 20 minutes (or 30 or 60—depends on the round), you have to turn it into an appealing appetizer, main, or dessert, complete with lovely plating. Just doesn’t come up.
However, in a recent episode, where the ingredients were not so much bizarre in themselves as just not seeming to belong together in one dish, two of the items that had to be used were freeze-dried shrimp and dark chocolate. One of the chefs, having made something lovely with the other two ingredients in that round, seemed at a bit of a loss what to do with these ones. So although he seemed quite dubious himself, he just melted the chocolate, and tossed the shrimp in there, and served that on the side.
Of course, the judges were a bit dubious, too. Yet to a man, and woman, they declared the freeze-dried shrimp in dark chocolate to be absolutely delicious.
So there’s my one takeaway from this show so far: Apparently, some day, I need to get me some freeze-dried shrimp and chocolate-coat them. (If anyone out there is brave enough to try this before me, do let me know how it goes…)