June 25, 2009

Food Reality Shows - Next Food Network Star - Top Chef - Green Cuisine

Green Cuisine - Is it Viewer Friendly?

I love food. I love competition. I really enjoy watching food reality shows such as the Next Food Network Star and Top Chef.

Sometimes I think I know what the judges are looking for and then I don't. I want a show that is captivating and brings me into the world of food. I love competition but I do enjoy watching how a chef prepares a certain dish.

My style of cooking emphasizes healthy eating. This season Katie Cavuto keeps turning off the judges, particularly Bob Tuschman. He doesn't want health "shoved down his throat." Cavuto talks about antioxidants and enzymes.

What I know for sure is that when you are trying to attract a large mainstream audience it's important to appeal to a large niche and not one that is too small. Most people today know that it's important to eat healthy and want to eat food that is good for you, but; 1) it must taste good, 2) they don't care about the details of why it's healthy, 3) it has to taste great and 4) be a recipe they can prepare at home.

A man here on Maui who has been eating raw foods for 30 years said something that I resonated with, "food still has to be a celebration." Here's a man who shares his wisdom with people that come into his life and who may be eating a standard American diet. Yet, he still is able to relate 30-years of what he has learned in a way in my opinion that doesn't make someone else's eating habits wrong and his right. So when I watch a TV show I need to relate to the information as well as the person who is speaking. I need to feel that they understand "my" reality as well as theirs!

Is it possible to be perfect in our dietary habits? Who the heck knows what perfect is. I do know that I love sharing little creative tidbits on how to celebrate with food. I don't expect you to make everything from scratch or to buy all organic. And I certainly won't be creating a new table setting for each of my meals or growing all of my own vegetables and herbs any time soon. What I do hope is that you learn what "fresh" means to you and how you can experiment with ingredients that you may have been afraid of using before.

I know that when I was cooking for a family back in Washington, DC over 15 years ago and the father of the family didn't like vegetables. I just remember him saying, "I only eat vegetables when you make them." This stuck with me all of these years because I didn't realize that I was doing anything out of the ordinary by eating healthy and fresh. I thank my mother and father for the exposure to good food and the opportunity to cook. And I just share what I know by doing what I do best.
What I know for sure. Don't be afraid of trying something new that's "good for you" but don't go from eating hamburgers and french fries to lettuce and tofu. And it's important that when you try something for the first time that's not something you normally eat that you make sure that it is made really really well. It's either from a restaurant or a reputable take out place that specializes in that type of cuisine. You want to have a great first impression rather than one that will turn you off. So Katie, I think you're great and well intentioned, but be sure to relate who you are with the newcomers to green cuisine.

If I had the ability to take all first time tofu tasters and make them dishes with tofu I know that I would win over the majority. However, I know that it's so much harder to try and get those who have had bad experiences with tofu to even want to try my dishes. So eat healthy. Celebrate food in whatever way you know how. And don't worry about which antioxidants and minerals you get, just enjoy your food and do the very best you can by incorporating as many fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods as you can! Eat well. Eat fresh. Eat gourmet.


No comments: