Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Food Network Challenge - Stop Being Racist

A Food Network Challenge - Stop Being Racist

Oh man, that's a loaded word, isn't it? The R word. Yeah, you don't go yelling fire in a crowded theater and you probably shouldn't go calling people racist. Well, not unless they somehow are. And it seems that Food Network likes to stick its minorities in their place.

I came to this realization while watching Chopped. It pissed me off when they said something about meals not having continuity with every meal. As if a chef can plan ahead on what their continuity and theme of the meal will be when you throw random shit in the basket before the start of the show. You really can't tell someone to have "continuity" when their ingredients are a secret until 30 seconds before they start cooking. It's just not possible.

Then I started waiting for that one contestant to make a French-toast Napoleon with layers of mascarpone or ricotta ice cream. Because really, that would truly be the dessert to end all Chopped deserts.

The only problem there is that they would be declared the loser for not "Staying true to their roots/cooking with their soul" or "not within the continuity of the meal" bullshit.

But it was that one aspect that really pissed me off. The whole notion of "staying true to your roots" thing that always gets me if the judges bring it up. It's just furthering the notion that Asian people better make Chinese food and Hispanic people better make Mexican food. Because I noticed that on Next Food Network Star, the Hispanic woman said she didn't want to be pegged as the Mexican chef, so she cooked French food. The judges panned her and told her she wasn't staying true to her roots, so now all she cooks is all Mexican food influenced by her Mexican mother and Mexican grandmother and telling "relatable stories" of how she's first generation American in her Mexican family.

I really wish someone would call the judges out on their blatant racism instead of just pandering to them. It's disturbing to see how they get away with regularly telling chefs "you can only cook food from your race, no mixing!" in their competitions. It's also disturbing how many of the chefs seem to believe they should only cook within their own culture.

Just look at Aaron Sanchez, who lost the first Next Iron Chef because of this. That time around they seemed to actually be thinking it would be a good idea for an Iron Chef to use as many styles as possible. In the second round they told him they really liked his food but he was being really "one note with Mexican dishes". Then they cut to him talking to the cameras being amazingly offended that they would dare ask him to cook a different style of food. He still managed to basically place third.

But yeah, this whole notion of sticking to your ethnic roots is so much bullshit. Or didn't you know that staying true to his Irish roots was how Bobby Flay became so popular? I would love to read his biography if it includes a section on how growing up in his Irish grandmother's kitchen, roasting poblanos on the grill, so she could use them in traditional Irish barbecue made him the Iron Chef he is today.

But you know that if anyone on Next Food Network Star tried to call him on that shit that there's no way they wouldn't be crucified at the Alter of Flay for such tongue. I guess it just goes to show you that white people can cook whatever they want whenever they want. It's only the ethnics that should stay in their place.

What next, are they going to make the Cajun chef get water from a different faucet? I would suggest that people should complain about this, but if anything, Food Network would assume that it means that ratings are increasing. That's what they did with NFNS. There was a drama queen in the running who's sole purpose in being on the show was to start shit up.

She basically manufactured drama for no other reason than she could. Those crazy amounts of ratings offsets any negative reaction from the small number of people writing in to complain about such blatant racism. After all, the food network is all about drama. That's why it's called the food network.

Or maybe they put the ethnics into a pigeon hole because they don't want to turn off the viewers who would otherwise be confused on the matter. Because, why is that there Mexican girl cooking Foy-grass and not tacos and burritos?

Don't believe me in all this? Here you go, here's the video:

Challenge: "Wow us with a sophisticated breakfast." She makes crepes.
Cooking French food: 11:03-11:18
Showing her food: 18:00-18:42

Now, Mexican.
Second challenge: 27:55-31:17
(even the amazing Alton Brown has her be less "Mexican")

So yeah, perhaps Food Network should be less racist. Hell, at this point I'll settle with just less reality show like. Get back to what worked... COOKING! What ever happened to television station that was all about cooking things.


Tish said...

I know i'm late but I've been watching chopped here lately and i told my mom (who watches with me sometimes) that i felt the show was a bit racist. They will praise a person of color, complain about undercooked food of the competitor but chop the POC...i just don't get it. i'm beginning to hate the show.

Absolute Wellness said...

So true, and I thought that we (Americans) were trying to overcome bullying in America. Well, apparently not on television. This show only encourages bullying and nasty remarks to accomplished people. The judges are clearly bitter unhappy people bullies.

marian claville said...

THAT IS SO TRUE! I'M WATCHING IT NOW AND THE NON - PERSON OF COLOR LEFT OUT A MYSTERY ingredient In the 1st round, 2nd round under cooked, 3rd round didn't use much of the mystery ingredients but still won! Wtf! Mine you she was up against 3 POC that all got high praises! This is making me MAD!

Brandon McEntyre said...

Thank you!!!! I was telling my wife tonight that Chopped seems racist because i've watched at least a dozen episodes & the minority cooks may have a good presentation or great tasting dishes, & they will get complimented on it, but in the end the the white chef seems to always win. And they may have lacked quite a bit in all 4 rounds. I feel all chefs NO Matter what race they are deserve a fair chance at winning, but it seems blacks, latinos, & asians do not get a fair chance & as a result this show needs to be CHOPPED!

The Celluloid Vision said...

I too believe this show is racist and sexist. In an episode I was just watching, the woman who had the most perfectly cooked venison was chopped. The white guy gave uncooked Venizon and the African American guy made it medium rare. The POC was chopped in the last round. This makes no sense to me. And this happens in ALL episodes - the white guy wins, always. No fair.

Stop Choppin said...

I been realizing it more and more; the episode The Celluloid Vision mentioned pushed me over the edge in believing it. If it isn’t true that sure was bad editing.

Margarita Elizarde said...

Just watched the last competition for 50 thousand. Clearly the young Jamaican, Andre won with less mistakes.I am angry that he was discriminated. The white boys control this show.They steal recipes from many people of color. When are people of color going to wake up. We need to have our own shows and networks. Enough is enough!

C Jae Afruika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C Jae Afruika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
??!!?? said...

I totally agree. I just watched that episode. I'm never watching the food network again.

??!!?? said...

I totally agree. I just watched that episode. I'm never watching the food network again.

Unknown said...

The racism runs rampant on Chopped and, sadly, Chopped Junior. As long as there is a minority contestant on the show ALL Caucasians are guaranteed the win. I'm done!!

Miphimi Miphimi said...

I use to love chopped and watched it faithfully but hell Stevie Wonder could see how bias and racist they are against blacks...who cook well.....they rarely ever get to win and this is not a race card, its just true....I stop watching a long time ago and started watching Cut Throat freaking funny

C Jae Afruika said...

Exactly. You are not alone. I thought watching cooking shows would be a break from racism. Wrong SCOTT CONANT! The biggest racist of them all. I've watch several shows where a black person was cut because of not enough dressing, but a white person would totally not change the basket item at all, just blatant. So sad our children especially have it hard on these shows. Folks say, they are on the show, so it's not racist. Duh. being on the show is not the goal. WINNING IS!

C Jae Afruika said...

Yes indeed.

C Jae Afruika said...

Marian, C. You have Cognitive Dissonance! You heard yourself say that ONE Original person (Black) Made several mistakes,and still won. What about the several mistakes the Rhesus Monkey gene contestant makes and win hundred of times. See the odds?