La Vida Dulce LOVES cooking shows! Some more than others. I also love bizarre TV. Stuff nobody watches but me. Many years ago I got hooked on a soap opera called "Tokyo Housewives" that was followed by a cooking show in which a battle was waged between two chefs over a featured food item, like sea cucumber. It was the original "Iron Chef" now shown on FoodTV. Both shows displayed English subtitles, I loved watching them. It was charming to hear the English and French culinary terms on the cooking show. Then suddenly "IC" was taken off the air. I actually called the local station, Channel 18, and asked what happened. It seems that there was a dispute over the rights to the English translations and subtitles so that was that. Well, I was very happy to see "IC" back on the air, but those cheesy voice-overs are the worst. I rarely watch it anymore, it's annoying to listen to the silly overacting and giggling. Put the subtitles back, please!
Well you can imagine my delight, while scrolling the through the guide, to discover another Japanese food program called "Cooking Showdown" on Channel 18. OMIGOD it is fabulous!! Two teams of spectators who decide the winner, two chefs, two different takes on the same meal item, this week---sandwiches! One team chose to make a fried fish filet sandwich with freshly caught suzuki fish. The other team made a Norwegian smoked salmon sandwich on a fresh bagel. The bagel team called their sandwich the "Jennifer Lopez" and the suzuki team called theirs the "Mariah Carey" which had both teams laughing. Me too! Ask yourself, what would JLo eat? Elaborate preparations were made, they even smoked the Norwegian salmon onstage in a stainless steel smoker that had me envious. These were the most spectacularly executed plate presentations, and both teams of spectators were anxious for a bite of either one. It made me hungry too, and we had just been to The Hat!
The best part of the show is a behind-the-scenes look at the featured "Showdown" foods. Cameras were on board the tiny fishing boat that hooked the suzuki, which is one of the most expensive types of fish. We were then treated to a visit to the popular "Bagel Cafe" and watched fresh dough being made into bagels. They made it clear that only imported American flour was used. I was surprised to learn that they didn't boil their bagels for a very long period of time. A longer boil creates a chewier bagel and they said Japanese jaws are not as strong as American jaws! Then the baker announced that these bagels "grab a woman's heart!" --- so help me, that's what the subtitles read! They went on to explain that since there is no fat in these bagels, women love them. The bagels looked delicious, slightly chewy outside, soft and fluffy inside. Customers couldn't get enough.
After the two sandwiches were presented, the spectators voted, and the suzuki fish sandwich won. That meant that the spectators who voted for the bagel sandwich didn't get to eat! All they could do was look on with sad faces and watch the other spectators devour their food, and then the show was over. Bizarre TV indeed, and I loved it. La Vida Dulce can't wait for another "Cooking Showdown" next weekend. I found a cooking show that grabbed my heart!
NOTE: You can watch "Cooking Showdown" in the greater Los Angeles area on KSCI Channel 18 at 8pm on Saturdays.
THINK BLUE --- GO DODGERS!!