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Oct 31, 2008 09:44 AM

Dinner Imposs, M Symon, Veggie Cowboys

Did anyone catch this episode? Symon has to cook a veg meal for a group of cowboys. They give him a helper, who is both knowledgeable and apparently Symon's sounding board for lots of venting about how anyone can not eat meat, how tofu is weird and squishy, and general unhappiness. But my lol moment was as Symon is writing out his menu, and spells seitan SATAN. Too funny. I did almost raunch when he crumbled peanut butter marinated grilled tofu onto nachos. Not so sure about the peaches in the bbq sauce either that was supposed to go onto pulled "pork" sandwiches.

Shouldn't a well known chef be a little more knowledgeable about these vegetarian proteins? And a little less vocal about his abhorrence of them? I eat meat, but love tofu as well for its health and versatility.

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  1. Saw the show and really enjoyed it. Why should Chef Symon know more about vegitarian proteins? That's not what he does. He's all about the pork thank god.
    Another thing that has always puzzled me: Taking all these vegitarian ingredients and trying to get the texture and taste of meat out of them. Why not just eat meat?
    This should get some comments.

    8 Replies
    1. re: chazmo

      I grant you that it is a strange exercise to be making "not-dogs" and tofu turkeys. I feel the same way about nonfat cheese and potato chips. Either do the real thing, or call it off.

      But as for your inquiry re why not just eat meat, well, because tofu tastes good, prepared correctly. You wouldn't say to someone who enjoys bread to stick to that and forego crackers. Or to eat bananas and not apples. They are different foods. Enjoy both.

      I think your question about Symon's knowledge is the most interesting. Why should he have a passing knowledge about tofu and other soy products? Because he is a chef, which I think of as a subject matter expert about food generally, regardless of what his cooking or eating preferences are. I'd hate to go to a doctor who couldn't recognize a flu, even if his specialty was feet, or noses.

      1. re: sasha1

        I agree, somenr who is A " Iron Chef " should be able to have the knowledge to adapt to anything. All his moaning seemed insulting to me.

        1. re: rozz01

          Maybe he was acting dumb for the sake of the audience. It is standard practice on this series to have an expert on hand to explain the unique ingredients or methods. The expert is not just explaining things to the chef, but also to the audience. In addition, a certain amount of moaning and worrying by the chef adds to the drama. For all we know the producer might have chosen the most dramatic of multiple takes.

          1. re: paulj

            He's complained before about having a vegetarian option. He did it on the episode on Alcatraz

            1. re: rozz01

              and he had fun making lamb-liver and chocolate truffles on the latest ICA competition!

        2. re: sasha1

          I think the point chazmo is making is not that one should just eat meat instead of tofu or seitan but, rather, why not eat the tofu and seitan and such without trying to make those things replicate the taste and texture of meat. Eat them for their own taste and texture.

          Is a chef supposed to know all food products at all times? Not all doctors are going to know every illness or treatment. Did he not know what tofu is? Or did he not like to work with it or understand why people like it?

          1. re: ccbweb

            Though many of the Chinese forms of seitan are meant to resemble meat. Some versions have a pattern embossed on the surface that is like duck skin.

            Given the Rodeo dinners, would dishes that did not resemble typical meat ones (burgers, pulled pork, etc) fared any better? Comments were not nearly as favorable in this challenge compared to many others.

            1. re: paulj

              I didn't see the show, so I can't comment on the comments or how dishes fared.

      2. I love Dinner Impossible, but I was a little confused by this particular challenge. Symon didn't want to do vegetarian and the cowboys didn't want to eat it, so I guess I'll assume that it took place purely to entertain the audience.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lscanlon

          i'm watching it now but it is funny. and i'm actually learning something about these cooking techniques.

          1. re: lscanlon

            I completely agree. Of all audiences, why would he force the cowboys to eat vegetarian when they are notoriously all about meat? the chef wasn't happy and neither were many of the cowboys.

            1. re: rockandroller1

              So, what you're saying is.. maybe this really WAS Dinner: Impossible.