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Friday, January 22, 2010

Dear Food Network, Hire Me

As much as I enjoy watching Giada De Laurentiis… cook, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps there needs to be a show for the idiot in the kitchen, like me. After all, one of my first cooking endeavors had me trying to be creative by putting some vanilla into a pot of beans and weenies. There was brown sugar in there. I thought it would be a good idea. I didn’t know one iota of cooking basics and have yet to live that incident down over the last ten years. So, for the dumb ass in the kitchen I think there needs to be a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a lot of fun while being informative. Think "Tool Time" with skillets and whisks instead of power tools.

I am a married with family and we very rarely cook. My oven and stovetop are pretty much storage. Even the microwave holds items. It’s kind of like the equivalent of having a Nordic Rack which is a Nordic Track or other piece of exercise equipment that is utilized as a place to hang laundry on after it comes out of the wash. But, I can make some dishes. I can make spaghetti and even jazz up the sauce from a jar without resorting to vanilla extract. I can make chili from a recipe I could only get from my father-in-law after I married his daughter. I do pretty good French toast and some other baked goods, but real meals escape me or at least the motivation to make them does. I guess that I am more kitchen lazy than kitchen incompetent….hey that’s a good idea for a title.

So, here’s my unsolicited pitch. You’ve seen talk show hosts like Dave Letterman have someone on to make something and he spends more time screwing around and drinking the cooking sherry, straight from the bottle, than actually preparing something so let’s go with that idea. I would be the host of a cooking or home show that dispenses more tips on “What Not To Do.” It’s like Martha Stewart with knuckles dragging across the hand knitted rug.

Each week I would have a theme and actual chefs would come on to cook a meal and show me how to do it. Meanwhile I would bet totally inept and would make jokes or break a lot of stuff, this would not be a struggle in the acting department for me. During the cooking segments we would have two dishes being prepared, one by the pro and one by the putz, me. At the end, we compare to see what it should look like and what it probably will look like. I want truth in advertising here.

Now, there are guy type shows on The Food Network but do we really need to see Guy Fieri going for the ole 96er eating speed record. Not to mention, I don’t use product. I’m just your average idiot who doesn’t know the difference between jam, jelly, or preserves. The draw and attraction to the show would be the honesty with which I would truly screw up dishes. In fact, I expect there to be a lot of broken dishes and food splashed around so that it looks like something exploded in the kitchen. Granted, a lot of this will be done for effect. Also, I like to be able to interject a sense of Pop Culture trivia, sort of like an Alton Brown delivery with very little important information. I would love to devote entire shows to recreating recipes used in movies and television shows.

But why would anyone watch such idiocy when they could be tuning in Paula Deen and learning how to make hoecakes. Because Paula would be a guest and I’m sure her and I would have a huge amount of fun going back and forth. My only hopes would be that the guest chefs would not take themselves too seriously on my show and it would give the audience a chance to see their favorites cut it up and have fun. I expect a food fight at least once a month….maybe when Giada shows up.

Of course, I know I can never realize this pipe dream. I wouldn’t last one three minute egg’s length of time on Iron Chef. They’d have to rename it cheap ass aluminum foil chef for me. I couldn’t go onto a cooking show competition and expect to wow and dazzle anyone but wouldn’t it be funnier if the guy hosting the show was so ridiculously incompetent that he would have three fire extinguishers on the set and a fire marshal on speed dial?

Come one TFN. Why not dumb it down for those of us who think that Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee should still have a Le Cordon Bleu degree as a prerequisite. Think about it, Home Improvement was more popular because of the antics that Tim Taylor would get himself into rather than the home life. Here I would be the Bob Vila of the kitchen. Did you ever notice that they never let Bob do any dangerous work? And how can you resist having a show on the air that could or could not end in the Emergency Room every week. There should be a warning in front of the show like on Jackass. In fact, there’s an automatic drinking game built into the show from the first episode.
  • Take one drink every time the host uses too much of an ingredient.
  • Take one drink every time the host uses the wrong ingredient.
  • Take two drinks every time the host pronounces something wrong (no lie, I was in Applebee’s once and ordered the Tuscan Chicken and called it Tucson Chicken. I thought it was a South Western dish)
  • Take two drinks every time the guest has to control the host’s attention.
  • Take three drinks every time the host swears and gets bleeped.
  • Take four drinks every time the censors miss it.
  • Finish the bottle if the paramedics or EMS is called.
So, write your congressman or go bug Rachel Ray or something. Start a petition, update your facebook status to read “If you believe my friend Mongo deserves his own cooking show because I want to see him catch on fire, at least once, add this to your status for an hour.” Do the work for me because I’m too busy leveling up my café on Facebook. Get on the ball and get me on TV. Think of the carnage and wonderful dishes we can bring to your home.

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