EastShores, I suppose we all get different things out of each show. I don't receive the Food Network anymore, so I don't get to see the latest episodes unless I'm watching at work. I've never been much of a fan of Iron Chef America, but I was a HUGE fan of The original Iron Chef...way before it ever became popular. I remember I would watch the show weekly and enjoy the competition. But it wasn't until I started to seek out some high quality food and high quality ingredients that things really "clicked" for me regarding Iron Chef.
I would go out to eat, in Chicago and burbs, and seek out cooking, food, particular chefs, particular ingredients. I don't have unlimited amounts of money, so when I go out I want it to count. When out at a restaurant I'll sometimes order a 7, 9, 12, etc. course dinner to get an idea what the food is like. But if I get the impression the waitstaff and chef would be on board there are times when we were getting things cooked for us. On menu, off menu, fresh ingredients, special ingredients...and I thought. How nice would it be to have some of the best chefs cooking some of the freshest, finest ingredients with the intensity of a battle in order to deliver the finest cuisine. I thought, that's basically Iron Chef! Now...now I understood what Chairman Kaga was thinking. This would literally be the creme de la creme.
I have eaten at a couple of the challengers restaurants and also at (Iron Chef America) Jose Garces restaurant as well. But wouldn't it be something to have these guys cook for me...in a competition...showcasing the best ingredients. A man can dream
As for Guy Fieri...I can't stomach him at all. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Talk about Drama! I've eaten at a couple of the places he's televised...some were ok and some were nothing special at all. I'm not saying that he doesn't stop at some great diners...but when you see his show about a place you know (and aren't impressed) it's like you've never been to this place before because of the way he goes on and on about it.
I really didn't know where he came from, so I decided to look up his bio on The Food Network. One thing that popped out at me was that he was a winner of The Next Food Netwok Star, I hadn't known this. I only watched a few episodes of the first season. They totally lost me after a few episodes when they were talking about what makes a Food Network star. I remember they described that stories of your grandmother go over well, talking about a childhood pet is always a hit too. The contestants were also told not to worry if the food wasn't cooking the way it should, the important thing was to keep talking and keep the show moving forward. Lastly they were instructed that if the food tasted horrible just put on a yummy face and describe how good it is. In fact, that's when I started watching all the Food Network shows differently. I still think that everything that the Food Network is and what The Next Food Network Star is...is exactly the opposite of what made Julia so grand.
It's not as though he hasn't got accomplishments...but I believe Food Network DID make him a Food Network Star. I think shows just speak differently to each person.
On the subject of cooking schools...
I would love to have the time/money to go to culinary school. I wouldn't want to do it so much for employment as I would love to just learn more about cooking. While I can see cooking being a personally rewarding career, the hours are something I wouldn't be willing do. I'd like to stay with my current hours of work. But boy would I like it!