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Jul 17, 2008 11:46 AM

Sneak peak : Symon on Dinner Impossible

Sunday night (7/20) at 11pm. Let's see how he does!

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  1. nice. thanks for the heads-up!

    1. I've been curious to see how a restaurant chef deals with large catering jobs. I wonder if he will take the short cuts that many caterers, including the last host, take.

      4 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        <I've been curious to see how a restaurant chef deals with large catering jobs. I wonder if he will take the short cuts that many caterers, including the last host, take.>

        My guess is that he will deal with it in HIS way. There is no formula for how "a restaurant chef" deals with catering gigs.... or anything else, for that matter.

        1. re: ChefJune

          Which is why we're (or at least, I am) curious to see what changes Symon will bring.

          Watching parts of the Japanese dinner episode with Irvine really bugged me. I was certainly glad that he had expert staff on board for the specialties, and the shortcuts bugged me but were expected, (dff gyoza, baked yakitori), but the item that set me off was the gyoza filling. Why would he even think that he had nailed it? Did he have some previous experience that made him an expert? That hostess saved his ass - not only in correcting his filling, but then to go on and prepare 250 gyoza, (too bad he dff them...). Did he know she was coming to do that - was he counting on her labor? I know that a lot of this kind of thing is editing - but I expect to see Symon bring some major changes in the running of a catering shop.

          1. re: applehome

            All I know is that with the typical time and staff constraints somebody would need to be superman to make everything "from scratch" and "without shortcuts"

            1. re: Blueicus

              I totally agree Blueicus. The whole idea of Dinner: Impossible is he has to do in 4-7 hours things that normally would take 3-5 days of planning. Anyone who thinks it can be done without shortcuts should go in there and try it themselves.

      2. watching now... interesting. love the gazpacho idea. bacon - interesting! :) we'll see...

        1. Well - I did enjoy this show, even if the premise was somewhat arbitrary. What circumstances would mandate the limitation of food only from the site? But I guess it's no different than Top Chef, with their vending machine challenge - it's a TV show, and limitations make it more dramatic.

          There were some really high-end kicks to the menu - they really met the challenge. The gazpacho from the slush machine with a big chunk of lobster on top - wow - I need that right now.

          It's only one show, but I'd put it above most of the Irvine shows. Someone said that they were considering moving this to a 1 hour show, which would be a really good idea. But I really like Symon's style - this show is definitely in good hands.

          1. I miss Irvine! This whole thing is a bit disappointing.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Chew on That

              I was a fan of Robert Irvine and Dinner Impossible, but I don't think I'll be watching the new version with Michael Symon any more. Tried it, don't like it. And has anyone noticed that when Robert did episodes, there would be ten, fifteen, sometimes more than twenty recipes on the Food Netwok site for each show? With Symon, you're lucky to get three (and one of them may be "boiled carrots"). I hope we'll see Chef Irvine back on TV soon.

              1. re: gentleman

                One big difference - Irvine was king of the shortcuts - and I know that everybody feels that it's ok with catering. But Symon is a scratch cook - boy, what a really fundamental difference in food quality. Irvine has just spent way too much time cooking in mess halls. Since I've never wanted to look up a recipe on Food Network, that's not been a problem for me. Irvine's would probably have been instructions on how to open a box.

                This latest Passover seder meal was a little shticky, especially the Kugel bit. But once again, it was all from scratch. (ok, he didn't smoke the salmon himself)

                1. re: applehome

                  On closer examination, I think Chef Irvine does much more work from scratch than you might remember. He routinely makes his own reduction sauces and forcemeat preparations from scratch, and often makes his own doughs, does his own butchery, fillets whole fish, etc. The main dish in the magic episode was based on quite refined charcuterie work. In the "Japan" episode, I noticed that the consomme was made from scratch- no mean feat, especially in such large quantity. One could say that Mr. Symon's boardwalk show was almost entirely about shortcuts, with lots of help from local vendors- and he made very few items on his own. I would recommend maybe taking a look at some of Robert's recipes, especially from the colonial episode. I was impressed when I first did so. You may be pleasantly surprised.

                  1. re: gentleman

                    It's the Japanese reception show that turned me off so completely. Baking yakitori? Thinking that his gyoza filling was adequate, and not reviewing it except when the lady insisted? I hope he published the lady's recipe - not his.

                    1. re: applehome

                      Ah. Clearly your mind is made up. I'll leave the field to you.

                      1. re: gentleman

                        Always an effective argument - but very little to be learned from a complete lack of a dialectic. Hopefully, you are not a lawyer.

                        My position: Baking yakitori is not a good shortcut as it completely removes the essence of what the dish is supposed to be.

                        Your position: Your mind is made up.

                      2. re: applehome

                        Again, it's a stunt CATERING show. Cooking for groups as large as they deal with on the show often requires compromises -- the point of the show is how he deals with the challenges not the perfect authenticity of each offering. Clearly the show's not for people who scoff at shortcuts or improvisation, but that's what they try to do. If anyone expects to walk away with recipe or preparation tips from here then they're definitely watching the wrong show.