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Sep 4, 2014 10:23 AM

Talk about Create...Pepin

I saw a few minutes of Pepin, "Fast Food" something or other a few nights ago. He was making chicken stuffed with tapenade. After setting the chicken in the pan, the guy about touched the entire kitchen with chicken-y hands...The pan handle, pepper mill, oil bottle, another pan handle on a different burner...GEEZE! Does anybody else catch this when watching a chef work?

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  1. I think Jacques Pepin, who has worked in the food industry for more years than probably any other chef on TV, knows about safe food handling practices. That said, when watching a cooking show I do not obsess about these things. I am watching for technique, helpful hints, menu planning etc. I really don't want to see the chef running to the sink every few minutes to wash his hands. Just my opinion. Take it for what it's worth.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Multifoiled

      True - about the washing at the sink thing...tho I notice some do

      1. re: BiscuitBoy

        FN has ruined me when it comes to chef-washing shots. Some shows like Chopped never show any handwashing unless someone slashes an artery, but the instructors are always cleaning up to the point where I'd probably go nuts over the Pepin example in the OP if I ever saw it. But usually he and Julia seem pretty safety-conscious.

    2. It is a total waste of airtime to show a Chef washing his or her hands.

      8 Replies
      1. re: smtucker

        Yes. I believe it's called "editing".

        1. re: linguafood

          You've apparently NOT seen the episode in question...there were NO editing breaks

          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            So what? You want content, or Comet? These are shows about cooking, not cleaning. Every second of hand-washing and counter-wiping wastes time on a 22-minute program. TV cooks don't swipe out every bit of batter from the bowl with a rubber scraper, as you'd - and they'd - do at home, either. Nor do they show the measuring of the mis-en-place.

            1. re: greygarious

              As someone downthread suggested, they're tossing the food most likely. I sure wouldn't eat it

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                Chopped judges keep an eye out for unsanitary practices, and will refuse to eat suspect preparations.

                On Cutthroat Kitchen it appears that the chefs prepare 2 plates. One is for the judge, the other for the camera beauty shots (after the food stylists does her magic).

                More mention of beauty shots in the blog about Essential Pepin behind the scenes.

          2. re: smtucker

            Unless Nadia G is doing it! :)

          3. ^So you think the proper hand washing was edited out?

            2 Replies
            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              I've noticed it too and admit it makes me cringe. But I agree that Pepin surely knows proper food handling.

              I've come to the conclusion that:

              a) they're editing the hand washing out


              b) they're just saying screw it and letting him make dirty food and cleaning a dirty kitchen afterward to save $$ and time with the cameras rolling.

              Sometimes you see a straight shot of him handling the raw chicken, then wiping his hands on his towel, then touching everything, prepping a raw salad, etc. and there's no break in filming where he could've stepped away to wash. So maybe that salad full of salmonella is just discarded after filming..?

              1. re: nothingswrong

                What you say is mostly probably true. I'm sure there are edited scenes of him washing as well as a lot of food wasted due to cross contamination. Pepin has had a number of cooking shows; I'm sure if people were getting sick because of his perceived unsafe food handling, it would have been addressed by now. We think too much about this stuff these days. Julia did just fine back in the day and there are many times when she is guilty of unsafe food handling on her shows.

            2. Back in the nineties when his daughter was at Boston University he did a lot of live cooking demos and while we were to poor in those days to go I know there were health and food professionals in the audience plus it was part of the Hospitality Program at BU. I can't imagine that he was touching things with chicken-y hands at those events. Academics love to find fault.

              1. lolz, I was just looking at a Rachael Ray recipe (I wanted a pork loin recipe.) It said: make up some kind of coating with breadcrumbs & herbs, pat it all over the roast, sear the roast on the stove top, put roast in oven, wash hands. um, isn't that a little late? you've already touched the skillet, the stove controls, the oven door and now you want me to wash my hands?

                6 Replies
                1. re: joycebre


                  1. re: joycebre

                    Great example. I guess like wasting time at a sink, this write-up would have wasted time by being properly edited. RR isn't the smartest crayon...doing the best with what she has

                    1. re: BiscuitBoy

                      I highly doubt Rachel Ray writes the recipes that appear online. I suspect there is a dedicated team of copywriters who create a database for this. The blame goes to poor copyediting.

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          Well, that too. I have always suspected that most of the recipes on FN's site are just uploaded from the scripts for the show with absolutely no editing with the general public/home cook in mind.