In my never-ending quest to improve the world (OK. I am not on a quest. Of any kind. And the idea of a never-ending quest is ridiculous, because I have the attention span of—SQUIRREL!). As I was saying, in my never-ending quest to improve the world, I have discovered decided that cooking shows are to cooking what fashion magazines are to teenage girls.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the cooking channel and the food network, et al. But the same way that fashion magazines undermine our self-confidence and warp our views of what we are supposed to look like, cooking shows undermine our chef-confidence and warp our views of what we are supposed to be able to accomplish in the kitchen.
I don’t often usually always create disasters when I cook. Sometimes I make really wonderful stuff. Sometimes I set off the fire alarm.
But I’m pretty sure I’d be a better cook:
- If I had people doing the prep work for me. On those shows, all the measuring, washing, and chopping is done by someone the camera never sees.
- If I had rehearsal time. Rarely do celebrity chefs “invent” something on-air. They try, they perfect, then the director yells “Quiet on the set!”
- If no one were actually going to eat what I made. On a lot of these shows the chef tastes his own work, makes a “yum yum” face to the camera, and encourages us to watch the next episode. For enough money, I can make “yum yum” faces no matter what the food actually tastes like.
- If I had all the specialty equipment in the world. Have you ever noticed that those dudes don’t have three knives and 20-year-old pots?
- If I had someone to clean up. To be fair, Dad does the majority of the cleaning up, but still.
Of course, the biggest advantage they have (that I don’t) is that they are professional chefs. And they have skill and education. And years of practice. And talent. And …
How do you feel about take out for dinner?