It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

When Food Shows Go Bad

Like most human beings not in the modelling profession, I love food in its many varieties and styles. Since I love food, I also happen to love The Food Network.

The Food Network is an American cable network that focuses on food. This may seem obvious to you until you've tuned into a World Rugby recap on the Fox Soccer Channel, or worse, anything produced on what is purported to be the "'E' - Entertainment Channel." They should rename it to the "Paris and Britney's Sordid Night Out Channel"

The Food Network is loaded with vibrant personalities who revel in the delicate art of food preparation and the joy of exploring vital, unique cuisines...and also Emeril Lagasse. These people make the subtle art of cooking seem easy and straightforward. They carry off complicated dishes with cheer and an easygoing panache. Quite frankly, they irritate the hell out of all of us who don't know the difference between a velouté and a demi-glaze.

However, things don't always go as smoothly as they seem. Here, for the first time ever (that I am personally aware of) are the moments behind the scenes when things go wrong, when the silky, Royal frosting smooth world of the Food Network goes unexpectedly lumpy.

Here are some Food Network Bloopers!

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(Paula Dean is working in her kitchen in her usual jovial manner)

Paula: Ha, ha, ha! Hee, hee!! Haaa!! (doubles over in laughter) Hee, hee!! I stuck my hand in the deep fryer, y'all!

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(Episode #54 of Iron Chef America - Parsley Battle)

Commentator Alton Brown: Well, things seem to be going rather swimmingly halfway through this "Battle Parsley," with challenger Gordon Ramsey enjoying himself by berating one of his assistants for slicing a Tournedo with the grain and Iron Chef Mario Batali working feverishly on a roast turkey dish. There seems to be some commotion on the floor now though. Kevin, what's happening.

Floor Reporter Kevin Brauch: Alton, it looks as though Chef Batali has accidentally impaled his sous-chef with his cleaver.

Iron Chef Mario Batali: Mark, are you OK? I feel awful about this! Damn, that brown butter on my fingers!

Sous-Chef Mark Redshirt: I'll be all right Chef! Don't get distracted from your dishes! That scapula will heal just fine.

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(Emeril Lagasse's show Emeril Live)

Ashton Kutcher: (offstage) What Chef Lagasse doesn't know is that he's being Punk'd! Someone has switched his cayenne pepper with red-coloured gunpowder!

Emeril: OK! Today I'm making my super-spiced Jambalaya and I've got a nice hot skillet to work in. We're sizzling andouille and chicken in here, and you know we've gotta add some heat to this little dish! (Throws some "cayenne pepper" into the skillet) Bam!

(Large explosion and "Bam!" sound effect)

Emeril: My eyebrows!!!

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(Throwdown, with Bobby Flay. The judges are about to announce the winner of the hamburger throwdown between Bobby Flay and a McDonald's fry cook.)

Judge: It wasn't even close. We really liked the greasy blandness of "Burger A."

Bobby Flay: The McDonald's burger? That's what I get for using too much rosemary, thyme, and saffron oil with my ground chuck!

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(Good Eats with Alton Brown. Alton is explaining how to get baking dough to rise.)

Alton: One thing that every good dough can use to help get a good rise is acetylsalicylic acid or baking soda. (Looking offscreen) What did I say? Acetylsalicylic acid? No, that's aspirin. I couldn't have said that. Baking soda. What's baking soda? Sodium chloride? It's sodium something... I know this like the back of my hand!

(two hours later)

Alton: hydrocarbonate dioxide? No? Aggghhh!! (Beats head against table) Someone get me a copy of Larousse Gastronomique, stat!

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(Iron Chef America #124 - Porridge Battle... The Chairman is about to start the battle.)

The Chairman: Alle Cuisine!!! (he spins around and accidentally backflips into the porridge.)

Iron Chef Cat Cora: I'm not using that stuff, now.

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($40 a Day - Rachel Ray is rummaging through bread at Seattle bakery. As she is looking, she has a "nip-slip." this goes on for about 60 seconds. Finally she notices.)

Rachel: Oh my gosh! Is that on camera??

Cameraman: Is what on camera?

Rachel: My nip? Did you guys see that? I'm so embarrassed!

Cameraman: Rachel hon, the way you dress, we pretty much see that all the time, whether it's covered or not.

Soundman: I did notice it, but it was pretty much what I thought it'd look like, so I figured the audience couldn't tell the difference."

(Rachel throws a baguette at the soundman.)

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(The Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten is trying to tape an episode the day after St. Patrick's Day.)

Ina: Man, I wish I hadn't drank all that Budweiser last night. Here, hand me that frozen Mahi-Mahi. (She holds it against her head and closes her eyes.) Ooohhh... I feel like someone hit me over the head with a blackjack.

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(Ace of Cakes - Chief Charm City Cakes Cakemaker Duff Goldman is talking with his executive sous-chef Geoffrey Manthorne about "stuff.")

Duff: Did you see The Simpsons last night, dude. That was so funny when Homer got wasted on all that beer and drove his car into the nuclear power plant.

Geoff: I'm surprised you think it's funny, dude.

Duff: Why's that, man?

Geoff: The beer is called "Duff's Beer" and they're like selling it internationally now. They totally named it after you and they're making millions.

Duff: No way, man!

Geoff: Yeah, I totally heard Matt Groening say that in an interview.

Duff: Oh, man! (starts pacing) I can't believe that! I gotta call my lawyer and sue those bastards!

Geoff: No, dude... dude... calm down. I'm just yanking your chain.

Duff: (stopping) What do you mean?

Geoff: It's not real beer, man, and they've been calling it "Duff's" since it premiered back on December 17th, 1989. You were only, like 15 then, dude.

Duff: December 17th? that's my birthday, dude. (Laughs) That's funny, man.

Geoff: Yeah.

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(Dinner Impossible - Chef Robert Irvine and his staff are preparing a meal on a desert island for 12,000 cruise-liner passengers, using only coconuts, bananas, and whatever seafood they can catch with a paper clip and whatever they brought with them to the island. They have 45 minutes to go.)

Chef Irvine: All right! we've got 40,000 clams that George found behind a rock on the beach, 1,500 tunas that I wrestled to the beach using my bare hands, 50,000 bananas, 30,000 coconuts, the 4,000 squid that George, that's other George, caught with a net made from his shoestrings and dental floss this morning. Other George is working on the shrimp and lobster now with his hat. So! (Pointing to various temporary assistants) You start the clam ravioli! You start the coconut mousse! You start the banana crostinis! And you start fileting the tuna for the sushi and sashimi...provided I can salvage enough rice from the wedding they had on shipboard this afternoon!

Assistants: (in unison) Yes Chef!

(The various assistants rush off to their assignments. Chef Irvine looks around to see if anyone is watching. He pulls out two 50 lb. dumbbells and starts doing vigourous curl reps. Suddenly, he notices the cameraman is still there and taping.)

Chef Irvine: (blushing) Oh, blimey! I didn't see you there. Is that on tape? It's just that I missed my morning workout when we parachuted in!

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