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February 20, 2012 / beatricebunny

Worst Cooks S3 Ep 2

Honestly, this wasn’t the most exciting episode.  It’s early in the season and viewers are still getting to know the contestants.  Also, the chefs are still weeding out the contestants who are obviously not suited to the show.  Namely, people who cannot or will not be taught.

(SPOILERS)

The noodle challenge was kind of cool,  but it did bring forth one of my minor quibbles with the show: as far as I know no one really does that at home.  Even gourmet home cooks who make their own noodles use a pasta maker or other basic tool.  I always wonder, when watching this show, if contestants go home convinced that every home cooked meal requires perfect mise en place and crazy elaborate preparations.  I mean, I’m a pretty good home cook, and last night I dumped some green soup over ground beef, canned tomatoes, onions, and garlic and served it over spaghetti noodles.  My husband and I ate it in front of the television while watching Worst Cooks.  I thought it was tasty, and my husband used the word “delicious.”  Still, watching non-cooks learn to cook boring basics wouldn’t make very interesting television, and I get that.

There was a time when I would have quibbled over the emphasis on presentation as well.  As I’ve become a better cook, though, I do appreciate that we eat first with our noses, by smelling food cooking, and second with our eyes as we anticipate the meal placed in front of us.  Taste and texture are experienced together.  And again, it is a TV show.  Viewers don’t get to taste the food, but we can experience the way it looks.  And the chefs’ reminders that cutting vegetables evenly and prepping meat so all the pieces are the same size impacts cooking size is good advice.

The meatball challenge was more interesting for me.  Foods that have a universal interpretation intrigue me, and there are several types of meatball that I make myself – North African, Greek, and American being the prime ones.  I also enjoyed a challenge that forced the contestants to create something themselves.  When they go home, that is a skill that will serve them well.  I understand that the cast is still too large to focus on each person’s cooking in depth, but I would have liked to have seen more about the contestants’ interpretations of the cultures.

It is kind of amazing to me just how little these people know about the kitchen and kitchen tools.  It is not just that they don’t know how to cook, it seems that most of them have never really been exposed to a kitchen.  I mean, I would struggle with a sausage grinder, but listening to them try and pronounce “tofu” or “cumin” or whatever, or watching them not be able to get the lid off the food processor or try and cover a blender with their hands – it’s just strange.  You hear all the time that people don’t cook at all anymore, but it isn’t something I am exposed to much.  These people live in a whole different world than mine.

Last night’s losers were not a surprise.  Rachel, for Anne’s team actually failed to plate an entire meal for the second week in a row.  I’m not sure whether she lacked passion for this or just couldn’t get it together.  Either way, it was her time to go.  Sherill was no surprise from Bobby’s team either.  She suffers from the worst trait to have in one of these shows – she is convinced that she isn’t a bad cook and would not follow directions.  There was no way that she was sticking around.  There is at least one more week of “weeding” before we are done to few enough contestants that I’ll remember their names without looking them up.  At this point, it doesn’t pay to get too attached to any of them.  (But pink-haired Dorothy has kind of won my vote.)

 Photo recap from Food Network.

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