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Nov 1, 2010 09:50 AM

Bourdain's Medium Raw Challenge

Have any of you been following this? It can be found here.

I am rather surprised at the winning entry. Yes I wrote one, but I never expected to be chosen. Seems a rather odd choice with almost nothing to do with the question.


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  1. OMG I feel the exact same way! I thought maybe it was just me because I also entered and thought oh, must be sour grapes or something, but I had several friends who felt the same way and they didn't enter! I am just really surprised that was the winning entry. Doesn't seem to match very well with the suggested subject. This feels like when I was in college and got an essay assignment and felt I did a 100% awesome job and was guaranteed an A and when I got the paper back there's a big, red F on it. I'm just like, huh? That was my best work and it wasn't even CLOSE to what you were looking for apparently. I don't know what they were looking for, but I am very surprised at the winner.

    1. Just to be clear, I think it's a well written peice. It is evocative and I feel for the guy. I get that he works his ass off and the picture of him eating his meal in a darkened apt, tasting that bit of home that he rarely gets to experience, is poignant. Maybe that's what they liked. I just expected something different.


      1 Reply
      1. re: JuniorBalloon

        While it's definitely a well-written piece, I have to agree with the others that its connection to the supposed topic is vague. But at the same time I can see why Bourdain would like it.

      2. I'm happy to see I'm not the only one unsatisfied. The winning entry certainly wasn't what I would expect to see as a foreword. I'd venture that's exactly why it was chosen. Bourdain seems to make an example of operating counter to what is expected.

        And yes, I submitted one. An essay/epiphany that reminded me that I love to write and will henceforth be writing about food. Disappointed I wasn't awarded that instant endorsement (and ten grand)? Of course. But not a total loss. See you in the blogosphere. I'll be food blog number 7,000,001.

        3 Replies
        1. re: OnBlank

          Actually, I wrote one as well, but then discovered I apparently had to be a member of Facebook in order to submit it. And since I'm totally anti-Facebook (& all those other bizarre privacy-intrusion sites), I declined.

          But after seeing what won, it obviously didn't make any difference since I was trying to conform somewhat to the required theme. Stupid me - lol!!

          1. re: Breezychow

            There was an obscure option where you could just register an account with the challenge website, but of course they pushed the Facebook crossover heavily. I will concede I'm happy to see the winner only had a few votes. I was sure this was going to be about how many Facebook friends you could get to vote for you daily.

            1. re: Breezychow

              You didn't have to be on FB to enter, or to vote. But you did have to register on the website to do either. That's what I did for my entry.

          2. I didn't submit an entry, but was also befuddled by the chosen essay. As loose as the stated objective was ( "why cook well"), I felt there was a switcheroo when the winning essay came from the point of view of someone who wanted to eat well rather than someone who wanted to cook well. OnBlank makes a good point, though, about Bourdain being a contrarian. And as another friend pointed out, the winner wasn't schmaltzy, which would probably NOT have been up Tony's alley.