Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bobby Flay and "Throwdown"

Ryan mentioned in the comments of my last post that Bobby Flay won against the Italian place "Bove's" on his show "Throwdown". This, to me, is interesting, and I'll get to why in a minute. As I've said before, I like Bobby Flay, and I think he's a good chef, so I've now watched a few Throwdowns here and there. The basic concept is that he gets a "mission" to execute a certain dish, for example, lasagna. He then has to challenge a chef (or chefs) who is particularly well known for that dish. Almost every time, the chef believes that he/she is either being featured for a Food Network segment or that he's getting his own show (did you notice I got tired of he/she crap?). The challengee then hosts some kind of demonstration in a public place on how to make his dish, and in walks Bobby Flay to challenge him for a Throwdown.

People: As soon as Food Network contacts you about a show, ask yourself if you are known for a particular dish, and if the answer is yes, BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR BOBBY FLAY!!! I guess I'm just surprised more people aren't suspicious of Food Network's motives. I would checking the entrances/exits...heck, I'd probably post someone at the door with a picture of Bobby and tell him: "This guy doesn't get in without a severe beating." Ha, I kid. But I *would* be suspicious.

Back to why I think it's interesting that Bobby beat Bove's. The guy loses like 95% of the time. I've only seen him win once, and now Ryan says he won in Burlington. And it's not because his dishes are bad. He's a really good chef! It's because he takes a classic dish and messes with it, adding stuff you normally wouldn't find in it. So what happens is, everyone present tastes it, the judges taste it, and the judges ultimately go with the classic, traditional dish - which always belongs to the person being challenged. And afterward, everyone comments on how good they both were, but that they have to go with what they know. Bobby takes his losses well, but I'd be a little frustrated. I know you have to have some things different, but most of the time he takes it a little too far, so people are like, what the heck is octopus doing in an arepa?

While googling "does Bobby Flay ever win on Throwdown?", I came across an interesting comment about the show...things that I hadn't even considered:

"Except for the firehouse chicken cacciatore throwdown where Bobby used the same budget as the challenger, he unfairly tips the scales with an unlimited budget. (No surprise the regular guy won when both were on an equal footing).

In the lasagna challenge, the ordinary folks make a standard, basic lasagna as a specialty. Yet Bobby brings one in with an expensive meaty braised short rib ragout.... Like shooting fish in a barrel. Had the challengers known what they were up against they likely would have been able to kick things up.

Some contestants are able to change midstream, while others can't. In the Philly Cheesesteak contest, Tony Luke guy would have lost if he stayed with the standard sandwich he was demo'ing.....but when he saw Bobby coming in with expensive steak and accroutements, he sent his assistants back to the restaurant to bring out the broccoli rabe and provolone. He squeaked out a win. Would have lost with his basic one though.

In the doughnut challenge, you could see the contestant was visibly upset because he was expected to whip up contest worthy doughnuts outside of his professional environment, so he only agreed to the challenge if he could use doughnuts made at the plant, and not make them live. Smart move.

It's not a fair challenge unless both teams have similar constraints."

So there you go. Fair enough, and points well made. He still loses all the time, though.


Ryan said...

I went and looked on wikipedia yesterday and though my *precise* numbers are a little hazy I think they said his record on the show was 16-35...so he doesn't lose "all the time", it's more like 2 out of 3. *shrug*. It *is* still massively unfair though because the few throwdowns I've actually seen (I don't really watch food network but the roomies do so sometimes I see it) you can tell he is backed by all that money can buy. Totally not cool, yo.

Ker said...

Well, I guess it just seems like he loses all the time since that's what has happened in almost all of the episodes I've seen.

How I would love to have an unlimited food budget! And throw in a personal chef and a maid, too. And an indoor and outdoor pool. Yeah.