Wednesday, February 3, 2010
This post isn't going to please any American readers out there (or the members of my nuclear family - who are all currently in the US.) Thankfully this blog is based in Toronto!
There have been discussions in Taste TO, Toronto Life and the Toronto Star who felt that the results were unfair. Even American blog, Slashfood, pointed out that giving the secret ingredient of avocado to Bobby Flay, king of Southwestern cuisine, seemed dubious. Michael Thomas Hastings wrote, "It'd be like giving Morimoto seaweed or Mario Batali basil. "
I don't think he necessarily should have won the competition, but to lose by 14 points was insulting. Chef Michael Smith is a James Beard Award winner after all!! Sheryl Kirby from Taste TO rightly pointed out that Iron Chef Bobby Flaw's presentation was hideous compared to Smith, but Flay received a score of 14/15.
Smith's presentation was whimsical and charming, definitely creative. He made anchors shaped out of potato dough,
Co-judges Donatella Arpaia and Anya Fernald were humourless and didn't appreciate any of Smith's creativity. I actually had to change the channel at one point because the whole debaucle was too hard to watch and he looked miffed off!
The theory that I have developed for the injustice of the battle results is as follows. Bobby Flay is Mister America-Yankee extraordinaire. He even owns a Restaurant in NYC called Bar America. USA! USA! Bobby Flay love-in! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
By contract, Michael Smith is the defector, the dodge-drafter (not literally.) Although he is NY-born, he has chosen a quieter, humbler life in Canada where he lives on the ocean in PEI with his wife and son.
I think he lost because of underlying sentiments about his expatriatism. Full stop.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Did you watch the show? Did you think the results were justified?
PS In case you're feeling bad, Chef Smith is currently involved with food logistics for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. He'll be just fine.