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Is anyone else appalled by "Worst Cooks in America?"

As an amateur home chef who is also a teacher, I am completely disgusted by this show.

The hosts of this program know nothing about education, but they have mastered the art of humiliation.

While educators such as Julia Child (and Alton Brown and Rachael Ray) successfully demystify cooking and inspire home cooks to believe in themselves, these chefs seem more concerned with belittling their students.

It is truly sad that the Food Network believes this program is more worthy than the far more inspirational "Chef Jeff Project." That show was the exact opposite of "Worst Cooks." It taught people who had little self-confidence to believe in themselves in cooks and as human beings.

Obviously, these hosts have not seen the "Chef Jeff Project." If you haven't seen the program, you should try to track it down. It is an antidote to this dehumanized, toxic mess called "Worst Cooks in America."

Aaron

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  1. Its the worst show I have ever seen on the Food Network, and thats saying something considering what the programming has been like in the last few years.

    1. interesting to see the disparate opinions:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678067

      personally i find it unwatchable. i tried twice, but everything about this show makes me cringe. the contestants are clueless, some of them are scared of their own shadows so trusting them with sharp knives and flames in a stressful environment is an accident waiting to happen, and Anne Burrell's demeanor just rubs me the wrong way. and the woman who breaks down weeping all the time is just more than i can tolerate. it's absurd. she acts as though the fate of the free world rests on her learning how to cook, and you'd think this show was her only option in the entire universe. take a freaking cooking class!

      i've already wasted 2 hours of my life on this train wreck. that's more than enough for me. the Cablevision customers who were upset about losing access to the channel can rest assured that they're really not missing anything.

      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I watched this for the first time (and last!) time last night. Really NOT a good show - but then again, no surprise, considering who's putting it out.

        Why aren't they REALLY teaching them the basics? They get less-than-cursory knife skills training, and then have to use them in a teppanyaki challenge? I guess ratings wouldn't be as good without the challenges and humiliation.

        Seriously amazing that the people who go on this show are that clueless, or would want to humiliate themselves just to be on TV. Why not go to a local culinary class or two and really learn?

        TFN really dug deep into the bottom of the barrel for this one. Oy.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks for your opinion, ghg, I was wondering. I can't handle cluelessness.
          No FN for me these days; as a Cablevision customer, I actually don't miss it.

          "take a freaking cooking class!" I scream this at the TV frequently.

        2. I watched tonight and decided that's it. I agree with much of what you say. Apart from belittling the students in the name of competition, the challenges don't appear to match up with the ambitions of the cooks (most of whom seem to be genuinely more interested in learning to cook for the sake of learning to cook than they are in competition. For example, they had training on knife skills, ok, I can see that, but then they are asked to use their skills in teppanyaki cooking (on a teppanyaki grill at a restaurant). So, what home chef is ever going to need to know, much less WANT to know, how do that?

          1. This show is a big train wreck. IMO it's rather obvious that Food Network took the confrontational aspects of shows like "Chopped" and multiplied the angst.

            I think the level of cookery expected from the contestants is ridiculous. They're being told to make complex dishes that many middle class people have never encountered or eaten, using techniques and ingredients that 95% of the amateur cooks in the US have no idea about. It would be much more meaningful if the boot camp progressed through some basics, such as making a reduction sauce by deglazing. Instead it's this showy nouvelle cuisine stuff.

            Of course, a sensible approach wouldn't get ratings and it would take too long. You have to make people break down and cry on camera and you need to eject someone after each round.

            The show that is closest to this I've seen lately is "Hoarders" on A&E. It makes me squirm the same way because you just don't see a happy ending. If I were a contestant who made it to the end I would feel like crap for all of the friends that I saw get booted.

            Guess we'll see if this concept has legs.

            3 Replies
            1. re: donw9876

              In defense of Hoarders (I'm a recent fan) many of the episodes really do appear to reach some helpful semi-resolution. A few are notable for the amazing psychological growth and accomplishment of the participants, in fact (I'm thinking in particular of the young man with the alcoholic father, who cleaned their entire house and really, really gained some deep personal perception, in the process).

              Additionally, the intent of the Hoarder shows truly seems to be HELPFUL. Some of the more frequent helpers are getting snippy, though (the man who is in charge of the dumpster detail, for instance, is running out of patience) but many of the mental health professionals seem really compassionate.

              That's all. Now, to return to our regularly scheduled programming... <g>

              1. re: donw9876

                Yikes! Haven't seen "Worst Cooks" and probably won't now..."Hoarders" was just completely disturbing!

                1. re: donw9876

                  what does middle class got to do with anything?

                2. Humiliation is what TV is all about these days, my friend. Not only do people by the millions tune in to watch others be humiliated, they also line up around the block for the opportunity to be humiliated themselves.