Is your heart beating a little faster? We’re nearing the final hours of the Bocuse d'Or “Olympics of Cooking”. Over a 48 hour period, chefs from all over the world will compete for top honors and bragging rights.
Yesterday morning as the teams were in an advanced state of hype, it was discovered that the shrimp were…. Frozen!! Quelle horreur! The shrimp were not pristine, live, private jetted in, they were common frozen shrimp!
Walking down the streets of NYC there are huge billboard signs up for “Top Chef” Bright Knives. Big City.
Starchef is always on the hunt for the next Rising Star so they can bestow the mantle of Star.
In little sleepy Umbria there is a “Talenty Match” for the hot young chef. Yes, a Talenty Match.
What’s going on?
Something just feels wrong about these glorious competitions for the young and in need of fame. The Bocuse d’Or shrimp debacle feels wrong because of the excess. I was a fan of the original Japanese Iron Chef because it was blatantly farce, and I loved that little Japanese actress judge who always commented, “It’s salty, but I like it.”
Maybe I’m just becoming a depression era curmudgeon, but I prefer to think of the art of cooking as something thoughtful, not flash for the sake of flash. I like to think of the great chefs rolling a flavor around in their mouth and contemplating all its nuances, and developing a dish over time and experimentation.
There is a time and a place for these diversions and competitions, perhaps right now is just not the time.