Feb
13

Top Chef, season 5, episode 7.

Contestants were asked to cook their cuisine, their signature dishes to impress a food critic from UK. One of the contestants said she wanted to cook a vegetarian dish but had to change her mind since she was afraid judges would think she doesn’t know how to cook protein. Well, how about to know how to cook non-animal products? Isn’t this as important as being able to deliver medium rare steak?

Top Chef, season 5, episode 8.

Visiting small local farms, with a beautiful scenery.  “It is nice to see where our food comes from”. Well, the thing is it doesn’t come from small farms like that.

Top Chef, season 5, episode 10.

Contestants were asked to draw a food group they would have to work around. Fabio, one of the contestants, drew “vegetables”. He was disappointed: “There is no reason to eat vegetables when there is meat and fish around”. I wonder why would produces or the show won’t cut such an ignorant comment.

To Chef, season 4, episode 10.

Quick Fire Challenge was to make a salad.
First let’s define what a salad is. “A food made primarily of a mixture of raw or cold ingredients, typically vegetables, usually served with a dressing such as vinegar or mayonnaise”.
It was kind of sad to see that 2/3 of contestants couldn’t go without animal protein to make a salad, using sea food, egg, bacon or beef as the primary ingredient of their salads, adding vegetables (often cooked) and fruits to them. Why to call it a salad then? To me those dishes should be named “beef with diced pineapple” and “lobster with sliced bananas”.
They say a real chef knows how to cook an egg. I would add that a real chef would know how to make a beautiful salad using only plant based foods, and preferably raw.

Elimination Challenge was to make a healthy lunch in a box for police officers using lean protein, whole grain, vegetables and low carbohydrate ingredients.
Was refreshing to see a new breed of chefs (Andrew) who studied nutrition for 2 years and learned about benefits of raw plant based ingredients. He decided to make sushi rolls using parsnip and pine nuts as “rice”. Way to go, Andrew!!!
Well, unfortunately chefs didn’t appreciate his creative idea. You should have seen the look on Tom’s face (one of the judges) when picking apart the roll and not finding sticky rice inside. Padma commented: “He didn’t use whole grains”. Well, you know what Padma: while the judges are still out on the subject of benefits of consuming grains, whole or not, and the growing numbers of people with gluten intolerance, at the same time nobody denies health benefits of raw vegetables.

All in all, as much as I enjoy watching Top Chef show for its entertaining and somewhat educational value (when it comes to learning about new dishes, ingredients and cooking techniques), I find it very biased and one-sided.
Seeing there is a new show called “Top Chef Just Desserts”, I would say it is high time there is a show called “Top Chef Just Vegans”.

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