Good Life Lessons on Cooking Shows

So I’ve had some health issues since early May that have been fairly annoying and off-putting since our kid got vaccinated recently, and we are finally almost a little free from Plague Drama and he’s out of school. Figures I get sick right at that time. But I’m trying to not be a whiny baby about it now that I know it’s not extra serious…just time stealing and annoying, and dealing with continuing being stuck in the house as  best I can. 

J got me a food-show-heavy streaming service a couple days ago (it is actually a bunch of food shows, a bunch of travel shows, a bunch of nature shows, and a bunch of true crime stuff, so like…pretty much a dream streaming service for our little family…all it needs is some cartoons and classic sitcoms and it’d be perfect). So I’m indulging in re-watching a lot of old food shows I haven’t seen in 10-15 years. So I know who wins all the competitions…I still like watching them. I’m kind of a food show addict. I admit this.

Anyway, I’m watching season 2 of Next Iron Chef from 2009, and one of the judges (who is notoriously crabby and mean) told one of the chefs he wasn’t being ‘fearless’ enough with how he served an ingredient that basically no one likes. (It was durian. No offense to anyone out there who loves durian, but I have never and will never eat it based on how I’ve seen professional chefs repeatedly react to it. Andrew Zimmern will not eat durian again and that dude will eat squirrel brains and shit. So like…just saying…it must be pretty damned gross.)

Anyway, this chef actually made a couple dishes with this stuff that didn’t smell or taste nasty, and the judge (I KNOW, RIGHT?!) gave him shit about it. And I love this quote he used as a rebuttal, so I have to share it:

“I don’t think it’s fearless to serve people something they won’t like.”

That’s kind of bad ass. I realize that this is just a cooking show and that guy was literally reacting to criticism about his food, but I think in metaphor and I just love the layered meaning those words have for me. There seems to be a trend where many people think it’s brave and bold to intentionally offend people, whether that’s with hurtful, insulting words or provocative or exclusionary or even violent behavior. Like…it’s not brave or fearless or bad ass to do that. It’s not bold and revolutionary to use racial slurs or dead name a trans person or anonymously negatively critique someone’s creation or appearance or relationship or whatever online. It’s not brave to hand someone a plate of unaltered durian when you know the entire reason it was handed to you as a main ingredient is the common knowledge that the overwhelming majority of people don’t like it. It’s not fearless to serve people something they won’t like. 

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