Like a dutiful serious eater I watched the first episode of The Chopping Block, the new cooking competition show hosted by the famously tempestuous British chef Marco Pierre White. In their attempt to suck us in the producers pulled out the all too familiar bag of reality show tricks: internal team squabbles; heart-string-tugging family situations; heated arguments (replete with multiple bleeps) between contestants; secret visits to the competing restaurants by a critic (my friend Corby Kummer); and surprisingly tame, downright empathetic pronouncements by former enfant terrible White.
And you know what? In the end I didn't end up caring about any of them. I just didn't buy into the whole thing. I know Marco Pierre White is supposed to be this galvanizing, charismatic presence, but I just wasn't feeling him last night. Does that make me a heartless, jaded serious eater with a rotten food television palate? I don't think so. It may be that that the hard drive that is my brain has no more room for any additional cooking competition shows.
What say you, serious eaters? Do you have room on your personal hard drive for The Chopping Block?