Things I don’t like:
Making people feel bad
Admitting I’m wrong
Competitive people who want to prove they are better than you
Things the show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” represent:
Making people feel bad
Bobby Flay is never wrong
Bobby Flay never admitting he is wrong
A competitive chef who wants to prove he is better than you
The apotheosis of feeling uncomfortable
I love food TV – Jacques Pepin and PBS, the Food Network and Iron Chef America ,and I will even admit to watching Top Chef, as you know. But enduring Bobby Flay’s latest endeavor is 9,000 times worse than watching Katie Lee Joel try to master the English language. (I know, I know, poor Katie was put out of her misery and there’s a new leggings-wearing sheriff in town, but I will always have a soft spot for making fun of the defenseless wife-of-Billy).
But now:Throwdown. Ugh. The premise of this piece of flung monkey poo is that an unknown but talented chef is given a “Food Network special” because they have gained recognition in their food field, be it BBQ, baking or whatever. The fact that they think they are getting their own special is why they agree to be on the show. Assy Move #1. They are given the opportunity to talk about themselves and what their particular skills are, and the show is to culminate in a party or event where their cooking is shown off to friends and family – a supportive environment but, should something go wrong, quite an embarrassing one.
It is at this event that Assy Move #2 is made when Flay ambushes them, challenging them to a cook-off — may the best chef win. HAHAHA! You thought this show was about YOU, you stupidhead! You were wrong! It is about me being better than you! I have red hair and I compensate by being mean! HAHAHA! When I was a kid people called me Booby Gay! HAHA! I’m lonely.
Bobby thinks he is the best chef, is the thing. He just spent a week preparing for this ambush, and he is excited to make formerly happy people full of that bad, I-might-get-diarrhea feeling. If the underdog refuses, there goes their shot at national exposure. If they agree, they are pitting themselves against a famous asshole. At least if they lose the cook-off, they win the decent-human-being off. I’ve watched several epsiodes of the show, and it’s never been pleasant. But the least pleasant episode is the one I watched this weekend. (Note: I don’t think this episode was brand new, so this could be somewhat outdated). The episode featured the man who founded NYC bakery The Doughnut Plant. He is a Hare Krishna from the looks of his ponytail. So I will call the episode Krishna Kruellers.
Doughnut Krishna founded his company from nothing, just making doughnuts in his basement and then perfecting his recipes. So he is exuberant and normal at the beginning of his “Food Network special”. When Bobby shows up and challenges him in front of his friends and business associates, Doughnut Krishna is visibly shaken and despite agreeing to the challenge, freaks out to his partner and does the whole hand over the camera “Do NOT tape this” move we know and love from watching so many Real Worlders get upset because they have Lyme Disease or are dating a producer. He is, frankly, pissed off. And, in a delicious turn of events, Bobby is the one who feels bad and it is so obvious that he must lie to us to make it seem ok. “This is fuunnn?”
He bumbles his way through the rest of the episode talking about how his doughnuts are going to kick Doughnut Krishna’s hole, but not a single shot for the rest of the show implies “Fun”. Doughnut Krishna is shown scowling, looking menacing, and when Bobby offers an olive branch in the form of a jelly doughnut, Donut Krishna insults it. The coup de grace of Krishna Kruellers came in jelly form when Doughnut Krishna went to shake Bobby’s hand, but not before filling his own hand with the insides of Bobby’s creation, and he squished blackberry jam into Bobby’s hand. “HAHAHA…fun?”
Finally the judges, two of NYPD’s finest, award Doughnut Krishna’s Tres Leches cake doughnut Best in Show and the horrible, humiliating discomfort is brought to an end. At least, it’s over until the next time Bobby chooses to make innocent people who make a respectable (but not Food Network famous) living feel bad about themselves. He may be a chef, but really, that’s what he does best.