Saturday, June 14, 2008

TV: Food Network Challenge

It's been said that people like to see other people fail, but that's only really part of the equation. My theory is that people enjoy seeing others fail spectacularly, and if that's what you're after, than the "Food Network Challenge" series on the Food Network will deliver moments of uncompromising suspense:

The show pits top chefs against each other to create some strange, often monumental concoctions. Huge cakes, gigantic carved-fruit centerpieces, fancy gingerbread houses - these things usually take an entire day to complete.

The best part of the show, however, is when contestants are asked to move their work from the ktichen to the judging table. Rather cruelly, most of the challenges have minimum height requirements, which means that the end product is going to be sliding, listing, and shaking like a ship in a storm-tossed sea.

And when a cake does crumble, when something does fall off, the audible reaction of the crowd is worth the price of admission. For the chef, whose 7 hours of work and chance to win $10,000 are now splattered all over the floor, it's heartache, but for the crowd, it's entertainment.


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