Friday, April 27, 2012

Yum! Babies!

For those of you who have never seen an episode of the series "Sweet Genius", context will be provided at the bottom of the post. For those of you who are already familiar with it, we were watching last week when one of the cooks said, narrating his own actions, "So I popped those babies in the pot and got 'em cooking..."

And my roommate said, "Oh, god! He's cooking babies!"

I replied, "Actually, on this show, it's not too unreasonable." I went into my 'Chef Ron' impression, which is much better in text than in real life. "Mmm, yes! Zis baby is delicious! Crisp skin, tender flesh...I am transported!" I paused, imagining Chef Ron's expression hardening. "However." Another pause, a signature of his judging style. "You did not use fresh babies for zis dish. Zis...zis baby is almost a year old. Really more of a toddler. I am...disappointed."

(For those of you who don't have the context to understand why this feels totally appropriate, "Sweet Genius" is a show running on the Food Network. It's a cooking competition show a la "Cupcake Wars", "Chopped", or "Top Chef", but with two significant differences: One, the show is exclusively dessert-centered, and two, the series is absolutely insane. They tried for a sort of "Willy Wonka" eccentric genius aesthetic, but the host, chef Ron Ben-Israel, gives off more of a Blofeldian vibe, leading you to imagine that at any moment, losing contestants will find themselves plunging through a trapdoor into a piranha tank at the press of a single button. Chef Ron's habit of praising people effusively, then pausing menacingly and cutting apart their flaws doesn't help, although they did get rid of the GLaDOS-esque voiceovers for Season Two.)

The show is worth watching. And once you do, I hope that you, like me, can picture him discussing the culinary merits of fresh babies.

1 comment:

Jon Gad said...

While I still consider Chopped to be the pinnacle of the competitive cooking genre, I must admit that the sheer lunacy of Sweet Genius makes for compelling viewing.

Once you've seen the host riding the conveyor belt and proclaiming himself to be the inspiration for the next dessert you realize damn near anything can happen on this show.

Which is why you watch it.