After the "shocking" and "tragic" (all of cyberspace's words, not mine) elimination of Viet, it's now clear that one misplaced pepper can spell doom for anyone, even an Iron Chef competitor.
Whoever thought up this week's challenge was a real smart prepackaged cookie, because a good POV should be able to be easily printed on a label and slapped onto whatever cooks create. A crystal clear POV is essentially your brand, and without a crystal clear brand (I make rebellious cuisine: It's my right and duty to do so), you're going to end up being just a lonely piece of eggplant in the ratatouille of life.
- The barbecue guy, Chad, dreams up "Big Boy Baked Beans." These aren’t your ordinary beans, no sir; these are for Big Boys. Perhaps Chad's POV is still wearing pull-ups.
- Taking hoopty recipes and throwing some rims on them is Stacey. She pitches a hot-rodded version of butterscotch, amped up with cayenne.
- What Chris didn't realize is that this challenge was about selling himself, not the product. People don’t buy a Guy Fieri knife set because it’s the sharpest blade in the store. They buy it because it’s Guy's knife and they like Guy. When I come out with my squid de-tentacler, you'll probably buy it because you like me and my blogs, right?
- I think a cooler name for Nikki's product would've been Nikki's Vegged-Out Sauces, and its placement in the store would be on shelves above the meat case. Imagine the logo: a steak sitting on a couch made of peppers and tomatillos, or an armchair of eggplant. Nikki, that's for you, for free. You can have it.
- Russell begins his pitch with, "I'm here to start a culinary revolution. I'm here to get you to embrace sins. My culinary sins." BOOM SHAKALAKA. That's all it takes. Whatever comes after that is gravy.
- Damaris wants to find a balance between Karaoke Damaris and Drone Damaris.
- And now Rodney. With a guitar. And a quiche kit made out of coat hangers and gaffers tape. That's all I have to say.
Cue the Scary Music
Damaris, Stacey and Russell were the complete package this week, while Chad, Nikki, Chris and Rodney were all recalled goods. Chad has whooped it up from the get-go, but this week his beans were as pretty as, well, a pile of beans. Nikki's awesome POV lacked depth and articulation. Chris had as much authenticity as a three-dollar bill. Rodney was an entertainer as opposed to an expert.
In the end, the judges couldn’t see the connection between the person Chris is and the food Chris cooks.
The Moral of the Story: When I was in high-school journalism class, the school newspaper needed some extra funds. Someone came up with the idea of having a bake sale. It was a flop. Why? Nobody trusted the journalism kids to cook good food. It wasn't our forte. There was no connection. The bake sale was canceled.
Chris, with a little more packaging, could have been just the man for the job. Imagine a show called The Bake Sale, wherein we are taken to Chris' kitchen as he cooks up a Food Network Star version of regional specialties, like, say, the apples in Ohio. From here, Chris sells the goods to people on behalf of a charity in need of some cash flow.
Chris had an uphill battle from the start. It's clear to me what the transformative power of food can be and Chris could definitely spearhead said movement, but alas, this is show biz, kids. It’s gotta sell.
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- A First-Person Account of Being Judged by Bobby and Giada, Plus the Finalists to Watch — Alex’s Star Report