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Bobby Flay showing up the little guys


chappie
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I used to loathe the stale show Bobby Flay taped inside amongst his butcher, his baker and some sneering socialites, in which his ever-worsening cohost basically held a glass of wine and mingled. From the look on his face he hated it, too.

Lately I've really enjoyed the food he's been making on his solo show, Boy Meets Grill. I've come to realize the arrogance I sensed in earlier incarnations has either been tempered or was a result of bad format.

But I'm not so sure about this new gig in which he surprises some small-time champ (chowder, chili, etc.) with a "throwdown" challenge. Last night I watched as some young, eager Marine captain — The Man before his men — was duped into believing he was submitting an audition tape to Food TV, when in fact they were setting him up for a Flay throwdown. Here the guy is, in his 110-degree corner of desert where he has built up his own slice of turf and where his men seem to totally enjoy the perks of serving under a steak-grilling prizewinner (on days off he grills, and they get a break from MREs). And up comes Bobby, with a Hummer full of top-dollar slabs of beef, sauces and assistants.

On one hand, the Marines and their captain all seemed thrilled Flay — a celebrity, and probably a culinary idol of sorts to the captain — showed up to hang with them. On the other, I was wincing thinking of Bobby Flay, the multimillionaire TV star, crushing this guy's little food heaven. It seemed a tad invasive.

It didn't matter anyway. The judge picked the captain's steaks and the pecking order on this chunk of molten sand was intact. But I think the more of these "challenges" Bobby wins, the more the audience is going to lose its taste for the show.

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Truth to be told, I was kinda glad he lost to that Marine Captain. :laugh:

And in the chowder episode, his version did seem more appealing. So I think he won that contest legitimately.

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Is it just me or did that captain have a slight nervous twinge to his smiles? As if outwardly, vocally, "Yes, I am happy Bobby Flay is here," but inwardly, "Shit. I really, really don't want to get shown up infront of my boys, and I wish I had a van full of top-dollar steaks and an astute blonde assistant."

He didn't really have the time to prepare for Flay, so I'm glad he won also. Flay seemed also to be glad. I'm sure he kind of recognized it wouldn't have been so cool to beat this guy in this situation.

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Hmmm.. The format of this show isn't exactly what i was expecting based on the promotions I saw on Food Network. I kind of got the idea that all the people Bobby was going to go "battle" with were viewers who wrote in and said "I can out cook you". But it appears not to be the case based on this description of the first episode.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I've seen most of two episodes now in bits and pieces. Honestly, I did enjoy them and, what's more, I have to give the producers and Flay credit for trying to do it right: the situation is potentially delicate and the possibility is there of an awful experience for the participant.

But it seems to me they're making a clear effort not to air anything that could make the subject look bad. They seem to have adopted the viewpoint that this is a celebration of the subject's talent and not about Flay or the competition. They actually insist on this in the aired footage to the point where it's perhaps not as good TV, but I can see the importance of doing it. Given the mean-spiritedness inherent in a lot of reality TV, I think it's a commendable effort.

As mentioned, I take the "point" of the show to be celebrating people who are really good at something. Part of that is simply showing them at work on camera, i.e., the "show" they thought they were making. But part of that is having a friendly tete-a-tete with the celebrity and showing them doing a great job (even if they lose.)

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jsmeeker,

Actually...you must not have seen the show in full...because all of the contestants did write in, and stated that they have the recipe(s) for the best (fill in the blank)...(i.e chowder, chili, steak, etc etc etc). So, when Flay shows up they had all gone to the effort to write in at the hopes to land some kind of TV special, based on thier "famous" and, already 'bragged' and 'gloated' about food specialty. So, that is that - Flay is simply letting them live thier dream...in a somewhat surprise type setting/meeting grounds. :)

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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I think he should wear looser shirts or go to the gym more often.

dude, it's not like he's the fat black guy from the next food network star with moobs all over the place.

wrt the results of the show, i think it's been pretty spot on. the chowder guy would have had a better chance if he had submitted the more traditional style chowder. bobby's chowder looked damn good...more so than that bahamian eel chowder. i'm glad the wedding cake girl won, although how lousy is it for her that everyone thought his tasted better...and he had never made a wedding cake before! the steak one was a toss-up, imho. still waiting to catch the bbq and pizza episodes.

Edited by carpetbagger, esq. (log)
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I think he should wear looser shirts or go to the gym more often.

meeeoooowwww :biggrin:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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jsmeeker,

Actually...you must not have seen the show in full...because all of the contestants did write in, and stated that they have the recipe(s) for the best (fill in the blank)...(i.e chowder, chili, steak, etc etc etc). So, when Flay shows up they had all gone to the effort to write in at the hopes to land some kind of TV special, based on thier "famous" and, already 'bragged' and 'gloated' about food specialty.  So, that is that - Flay is simply letting them live thier dream...in a somewhat surprise type setting/meeting grounds. :)

I haven't seen any of it yet, actually. They always promote these shows way in advance before the guide data for it shows up in my TiVo. Then, before you know it they are on the air and I have forgotten to set the season pass. :rolleyes:

I need to set one up for this, plus the new Alton Brown show. But thanks for clearing up the format of Flay's new show. Based on the desription in the first post, I was getting the impression they were trying to "fool" the lucky "contestant". But thankfully, that appears to NOT be the case.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I dunno, I like this show. I think someone might have finally got to Bobby Flay about coming across as arrogant.

The "competition" portion is kind of hoky, but recipes are decent and it is certainly better than another episode of Unwrapped!

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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I've only seen a few of the shows - the pizza, chowder, and wedding cake - and they were interesting. It does seem to humanize Bobby Flay a bit; he shows a sense of humor, for example. But by giving him time to prep, and learn recipes (as in the pizza show), they're putting the "little guy" at a disadvantage. I thought this was going to be somewhat Iron Chef-like, where Bobby would come in and start from scratch against the local expert... not coming in with lessons from a master pizza maker, or having the chance to practice his own recipe, etc.

Although, I gotta say that the wedding cake one was awesome. The best was when Bobby asked one of his assistants about the finished cake, and she says something along the lines of, "Well, it looks like it would taste really good." Hee! :biggrin:

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I'll see what kind of details I can get about the show. My girlfriend, now 29, grew up with the Marine and we found out a while back about the outcome of the show. However, I only saw a few minutes of that episode; she dated him over a decade ago so I guess I'm a bit jealous. Looks like a cool show though, I'll watch from here on out.

-Kevin

TampaBayEats

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I heard that when he showed up for the BBQ throwdown, it was the guy's daughter's birthday party. All of a sudden, here comes Bobby Flay with all this equipment.

Happy Birthday to you,

Dad's got somethin to do,

presents wait til tomorrow,

hope he wins now, don't you?

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I don't know. Did any of you guys see the expression on the chowder guy's face when he lost? The dude looked heartbroken. Bobby was obviously gracious in victory and gave the guy his credit, but I still felt pretty bad for him.

On a random note, I have been toying with the idea of starting one of the Chuck Norris or Vin Disel "random fact" sites about Bobby Flay. Just replace "roundhouse kick" with "grilling" and it pretty much works.

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As I said, it is a sensitive situation. Ben would obviously rather win than lose, and maybe he did feel bad about it. All I'm saying is that the producers seem to be making the effort to make the participant look good rather than showing him up or smacking him down. Like I said, the potential for bad is there, but the show tries to minimize the amount of bad that is aired, unlike a lot of reality TV.

The birthday thing does seem a little off. But you gotta figure he agreed ahead of time to have himself taped at the party, right? The only difference is what was taped.

Another thing to remember is that it's a new show and there are always kinks to work out. I did read something on the web that made me feel bad for the chowder guy. He apparently wasn't aware how the judging would work (he thought it would be by popular vote by the spectators) so gave out his best bowls to them rather than saving it for the judge. If true, that's something they should have made clear as soon as he agreed to the throwdown. Also, since he didn't know Flay was coming and thought the taping was just going to be one big chowder party, he had downed a few beers ahead of time, which I think he said he wouldn't have, if he'd known. (I don't have the website in front of me so I'm paraphrasing but hopefully not making anything up.) FTV should find a way to prevent that kind of thing without giving away the surprise.

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Truth to be told, I was kinda glad he lost to that Marine Captain. :laugh:

I think him getting thrown a beatin by the Marine Captain would have been really good FOX quality reality TV! Comeon Bobby, take one for the team. :raz:

-Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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The woman I work for will be featured on this show on August 10 at 9pm. Please watch if you can. I will probably be there somewhere in the background. The challenge is jerk chicken.

Basically, they lie to the contestants to keep Bobby Flay's appearance a "secret." We never wrote in challenging Flay, and we never applied to be on this particular show. We thought Food TV was fliming us for a segment on Texan cooks. The whole thing was pretty much staged from the get-go. When Flay and his crew showed up with their assistants and knife blocks and a set-up that looked like it came out of a J Crew catalogue, I kind of went "Oh shit" as I looked over our typical picnic-in-the-park set up of folding tables, checkered table cloths and disposable pans. That part really irked me. They have the props to automatically set the favor to Flay, and make the people he's challenging look amaturish in comparison. As the day went on, things were pretty fun, however. Bobby Flay is a much nicer guy than I thought he would be, and had a pretty good humor about it all. There was a point where me and my boss sat and banter-trashtalked him to the camera, and I hope a little of that makes it in because it's funny. I'm not gonna tell you who won, though! You have to watch to find out!

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Truth to be told, I was kinda glad he lost to that Marine Captain. :laugh:

I think him getting thrown a beatin by the Marine Captain would have been really good FOX quality reality TV! Comeon Bobby, take one for the team. :raz:

-Mike

Hmm, it seems a little contrived to me. You know, kind of like the Marine 1st Sergeant takes the producer aside and has a little chat about who should win and why. Of course, the 1st Sergeat wants to make sure things are properly witnessed, so he wisely brings along the medic--an impartial member of the Navy. I'm sure it was a very collegial chat, and that a compromise was met, of sorts.

Of course, I think Marines are loveable lugs, especially when they point at airplanes and say, "Ugh! Ugh!"

I also think that TVFN knows that it would be bad publicity to dishonor the Marines. Those folks have long memories, and twisted methods of revenge.

Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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  • 3 weeks later...
The woman I work for will be featured on this show on August 10 at 9pm. Please watch if you can. I will probably be there somewhere in the background. The challenge is jerk chicken.

Basically, they lie to the contestants to keep Bobby Flay's appearance a "secret." We never wrote in challenging Flay, and we never applied to be on this particular show. We thought Food TV was fliming us for a segment on Texan cooks. The whole thing was pretty much staged from the get-go. When Flay and his crew showed up with their assistants and knife blocks and a set-up that looked like it came out of a J Crew catalogue, I kind of went "Oh shit" as I looked over our typical picnic-in-the-park set up of folding tables, checkered table cloths and disposable pans. That part really irked me. They have the props to automatically set the favor to Flay, and make the people he's challenging look amaturish in comparison. As the day went on, things were pretty fun, however. Bobby Flay is a much nicer guy than I thought he would be, and had a pretty good humor about it all. There was a point where me and my boss sat and banter-trashtalked him to the camera, and I hope a little of that makes it in because it's funny. I'm not gonna tell you who won, though! You have to watch to find out!

Well I see that the "Kitchen Diva's" jerk chicken beat out Bobby's. I was trying to look out for your moments of trash talking along with your boss and Bobby Flay but I think it was edited out of the show.

I didn't realize that the jerk chicken queen that Bobby Flay was throwing down against is Angela Shelf Maderis. I have three of her cookbooks. :)

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I haven't seen the show because, based on the ads, it seems really meanspirited. I think it's just plain F'ed up to bring Booby Flay and his staff in to push the local guy off his pedestal. It's like bringing a second turkey to Mom's house for Thanksgiving with claims that yours is better than her is. Just wrong and uncalled for.

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Still catching this show in bits and pieces.

It occurs to me, though they'd never do it, that this show would lose nothing and be a lot more comfortable to watch if they just did away with the verdict.

The key "reality TV" moment of the show is, after all, having Flay show up unannounced and getting the reaction shots. And honestly, that is awfully entertaining. They can still have the cook off and have multiple people, including professional judges, express preferences for one or another. Just don't have the whole thing end with making someone a loser, given the show's insistence that everybody's a winner and the laudable efforts to put the put-upon contestant in a good light.

I think it wouldn't be any less exciting, both live and on-air. It'd still be bigtime pressure to succeed for the contestant to serve dishes in direct televised comparison with Mr. Famous to (on some episodes) prominent judges.

They'll never do it, but I hope it's considered. It'd do away with the only potentially unpleasant aspect of the show. As it is, I still think they deserve some credit for trying to keep the unpleasantness factor to a minimum, at least on air.

Edited by Leonard Kim (log)
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A friend of mine shot pool against Willie Mosconi when he played an exhibition match at our college. Of course my friend lost, but he made a good showing for himself and had a great time.

I suspect this show is much the same thing?

SB (still has his Willie Mosconi autographed scrap of notebook paper) :raz:

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