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Food for thought

Nate Buchik
GoWild writer
By Nate Buchik
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 24, 2003

Mmmmmm delicious. I want to eat the television. Food Network that's what I'm watching these days, even though I don't cook and don't even have a stove in my dorm.

I know what you're thinking "That young man in the mug shot must be the grandson of the old woman who is actually writing this article." but no, you are mistaken.

You see, it's natural for me to want what I can't have, whether it be a nicer car or a larger bank account. And living with only a microwave (which I think exceeds the wattage limit for the dorms), means I can't make delicious food.

Believe me, with the right equipment, I'm sure I could cook perfect meals without any training. I mean, it looks easy enough, after watching Emeril and his buddies saut, mince and butterfly.

Anyway, here are some shows you should flock to and some you should flee hysterically from:

Unwrapped, The Best Of and Date Plate

These shows are the lighter fare of the network; "Unwrapped" is even hosted by former Double Dare ringleader Marc Summers. OK stop laughing now. The show reveals the secrets of the packaged food industry, "unwrapping" the production and history of bubble gum on one show, and doing the same for French fries the next time. I don't mean to give away any of the behind-the-scenes action, but I will say that pretty much every episode shows gigantic mixing pots and assembly lines.

"The Best Of "s hosts go around the county finding the best food. While I will probably never go to Memphis and crave BBQ, it's good to be prepared.

"Date Plate" is the newest show, and the best reality TV out there. Two guys make dinner for one woman whom they have never met, and then the woman has to choose a man based solely on the meal. The guys are like me no talent in the kitchen, just extremely good-looking. The highlight so far was when both guys made meat dishes for the vegetarian, so she chose to become a lesbian.

Molto Mario

This show, on the other hand, is horse manure. Mario Batali, supposedly one of New York's finest chefs, is one smug bastard. While I'm comfortable with the knowledge that the chances I could make the meals from any show are slim, Mario goes one step further, and shows me that I suck and will never have a chance at succeeding at anything in life.

Braised veal shank with marjoram? Go to hell, Mario. You are a disgrace to the name "chef."

Iron Chef

If you haven't seen "Iron Chef," go home and watch it right now! The show, translated from Japanese, is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. Two chefs go head-to-head in the kitchen, preparing multiple dishes using one primary ingredient for a panel of judges.

I have not seen anything on the show that I would eat lots of eel, lots of tofu, not much teriyaki chicken. Yet I go back for more each week because the voiceovers are so reminiscent of Godzilla movies.

Tune in next time for Battle Sardine.

Miracle Blade

"Fed up with knives that just won't cut?" I know I am. And Chef Tony's Miracle Blade show really helps fix all your slicing and dicing problems.

Sure, it's an infomercial. But when you're up at 3 a.m. with a toothache, it suffices while the Vicodin sets in.

Many of you are probably wondering whether the knives can cut through steel. Lucky for you, they can. Tony also mentions they can cut through bone.

Bone? Now, he probably means chicken bone or ribs, but the notion of these knives cutting through bone rubs me the wrong way. The people who normally watch Food Network are not violent, but come three or four in the morning, the viewer-to-killer ratio skyrockets.

Anyone watching is suffering from something: a toothache (like me), insomnia, schizophrenia or an evil spouse. That means they are more prone to killing. I'm picturing people all across the country going, "Bones, eh? What about skull? Or is that considered a bone? Shit, I'm going to bed."

Yes, most end up in bed, forgetting about it, but you never know who's taking Chef Tony's guarantees a little too seriously.


After a failed sitcom, Emeril is cooking up a storm on his shows, which are on as often as SNL reruns on Comedy Central. Like Mario, lots of stuff he does with ease is a few notches beyond my grasp.

However, he's a lovable guy with a total disregard for my health (lard and oil are almost always primary ingredients), and as soon as he showed me how to make Guinness Ice Cream, I knew he would always have a special place in my heart.

While it's strange to watch him prepare lamb or duck while I sit with a bowl of Ramen and a plastic fork, it gives me hope that someday I will be able to "Bam!" hire a chef that can make me these dishes.

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