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Gifted Gourmet

COOKING UNDER FIRE from PBS: April 27 premiere

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Bon carrière, Katie!


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Water Boils Roughly

Cold Eggs Coagulating

Egg Salad On Rye

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Gregg Robinson

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I'm glad one of the producers is checking in here, and appreciate the comments of Mr Ruhlman throughout this thread.

Congrats to all the participants, etc, and I hope there's another season because I really enjoyed watching it. It was entertaining, and showed some chefs I wouldn't normally see on TV. Salut!

But I did have a problem with the show, similar to one others have expressed above: true or not, I'm left with the sense that this competition wasn't about cooking so much as it was about getting a job through an unenviably Goldbergian set of challenges. And while English would've been a fool to let this show be just about cooking, that's the show I would've rather watched.

Ultimately, I think Autumn lost because of the 3 finalists English didn't like her personality. That's a perfectly reasonable basis for making a decision about hiring someone, since it will defintely become an issue at some point, but the way the decision was presented struck me as very silly - like an excuse more than a real issue. Hell, the cameras were on, and I suppose in that situation I'd be pretty hesitant about telling someone that I didn't think they were the sort of person who'd do well in my shop. But I hope to god that if ever that happens I don't take the cheesy way out.

But that is what it is, and that's what happened. The bigger issue is what I hoped the competition would be versus what it was. I feel like this was a job interview with cooking attached instead of a cooking competition, and I really would've prefered it to be more the other way around.

If, fer instance, this were a competition about cooking, then being 30 minutes late would be the end of the story and not being willing to tell others how great you are wouldn't matter.

All of that said, I'm sure that Katie is a very qualified cook, and definitely the right person for the job. I don't begrudge her that at all, or feel like it was fixed. I just think the contest could have been more interesting, and I hope that if there is a next season it will be. Perhaps having the prize be something other than a job at a famous chef's place? Maybe (and this is a freebie here, so don't worry about spelling my name right if you run with this baby) having amateur chefs, with the prize being something like 2 years at CIA or sommat. Or even just a really large salmon - something to de-emphasize the professional/personality issues and make it about food and cooking.

And I like the blind tastings idea someone else posted. I'd buy that as a good way to weed out some of the decision-making factors that bugged me. Not that every tasting should be done that way, but one or two would make it more interesting.

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About her final brulee not being presented. I can understand that if her "perfect" meal was not "perfect" then second-best was not going to cut it.

I was left wondering why Katie didn't just serve a classic creme brulee, omitting the lavender when she found out that she left lavender off of her mis list.

Last summer in Provence I had lavender ice cream and felt like I was washing my own mouth with soap!

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I missed the final two episodes of the show because I am in Italy at a stage at a one Michelin starred restaurant.

Anyway, I know I'm a bit late on this, but better late than never, right.

I had a feeling that Katie would win. She seemed like most cooks that I know, whether they be male or female. She has the attitude needed.

Does anyone know if they are planning a second season of the show. I would really like to try out. There were times during the first couple episodes, when I said to myself that I am a better cook than most of them. Which might be true. But then I realized that I was sitting in the comforts of my house, not taking the heat.

Harlan


"Whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger."

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