Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As you may know, I'm a fan of food. I like eating it. I enjoy cooking. I like watching food be prepared. I watch a LOT of Food Network. There is (usually) no blood, gore, violence, or sexy crap on the tube.

Last night, after I finished my shift, I couldn't sleep. I should have just turned on Charlie like I mentioned earlier and fallen asleep, but Chopped was on and I really like that show. Four chefs compete for $10K, one being eliminated after each round. The rounds are always appetizer, entree, and dessert. The producers put mystery ingredients inside baskets, one for each chef, and the chef has 20 minutes to come up with something amazing out of the basket. They also have access to a fully stocked pantry and, usually, a fully stocked fridge. Last night's mystery ingredients during the appetizer were eel, peaches, and fresh peas. The entree was some japanese pickled pear or something (I can't remember what it's called), whole shrimp, oatmeal, and something else. I got pretty distracted during the entree...and didn't watch the dessert.

There were two very young chefs (both men) and two older chefs (probably in their 50s, cooking for longer than the either two chefs have been alive), one man, one woman. The older man was eliminated after the appetizer.

During the entree portion of the competition, one of the younger chefs sliced his hand. He immediately ran to the first aid station, cleaned himself up a bit, and put a rubber glove on so he didn't contaminate his food. A minute or so later, the woman cut her finger. She kept cutting up her orange (ew), then went for a glove. It wouldn't go on right because her hands were wet and was getting in her way, so she threw it out and kept working. The young guy who cut himself told her she needed to stop and go get another glove. She didn't. Instead, she finished preparing and tossed a salad *by hand* with blood on her finger. I was mortified. The judges were mortified. She then did clean up and put another glove on.

When it came time to critique her dish, they wouldn't touch the salad, though did eat the other parts of the dish (for which she'd been properly gloved while preparing). She thought they were being overly dramatic and said, "I don't have cooties!" She also kept saying, "It was just a nick!" Whether that's true or not, you could see the blood drip into the dish. They told her bleeding into food could possibly endanger someone.

At least she poked fun of herself when she was immediately eliminated -- "Blood vinaigrette" didn't go over so well.

I couldn't believe a professional chef, in the business for over 30 years, would do something like that. I'm no pro, but my stars, if I cut myself *at home* and I'm just serving my family, I still stop what I'm doing, clean myself up, put a Band-Aid or something on, then continue prepping. No, I don't have only 20 or 30 minutes to do it, but food safety has to come first.

Made me never want to eat at another restaurant EVER again.


evitafjord said...

Food Network is the channel I miss the most since we dropped satellite. Sad.

steph k said...

that's pretty nasty

The Boob Nazi said...


treen said...

Yuck! My immediate run for a band-aid, however, has nothing to do with sanitation of the food. It's because I don't want to get anything (lemon juice?) into the cut that would make it sting. I HATE that.

stewbert said...

Treen, she actually purposely put lemon juice on it, thinking it would "cauterize" it. Yeah ... no. waterproof barrier when you're working with other people's food, lady!