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2-8: "Food of the Gods" 2010.05.26


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#61

lunch

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Posted May 29, 2010 @ 7:31 PM

Actually -- we know the stories, but I guess we could all say that because we're American, it's not really "our culture" either.


Not exactly right, I think. An awful lot of what we agree upon as western "culture" descends directly from the civilizations of ancient Rome and Greece. We pick up a bunch of it through osmosis, even at this late date, even through really crappy interpretations. (What, you didn't watch Shazam! as a kid? Xanadu, then?) I don't think Asian cultures that have the same set of references -- I'm thinking particularly of China, which had its own pretty awesome ancient civilization to draw upon. I'll give Susur a pass on those grounds...but not on the remark that follows here, because, damn:

When he was grousing about "He's the god of wine? That has nothing to do with food!" I turned to the friend who was watching with me and said "In my head, I just made a coq au vin and beat him over the head with it."

Ha! As long as it was a true coq au vin... </Tom Colicchio>

Edited by lunch, May 29, 2010 @ 7:32 PM.


#62

sloopster

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Posted May 29, 2010 @ 7:50 PM

As long as it was a true coq au vin... </Tom Colicchio>

Made with an old rooster!

Funny, coq au vin was the first thing I thought of for Dionysius, too. But that isn't Susur's culture either. ;)

#63

ingridsf

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Posted May 29, 2010 @ 11:47 PM

Someone should tell Rick Hades isn't the same as the Devil. Overcooked fish should have sunk him, but who knows. Maybe it really was that tasty.


As others have chimed in, this bugged. I was g®eeking out many times because their references to the gods and goddesses were muddled in several cases. It was sad that there wasn't much knowledge of foods that were sacred to various figures or that show up in their stories. Hades was somber but not evil, associated with wealth and, c'mon people!, how about some pomegranates? Aphrodite was romance/fucking not reproduction! -- how about oysters, apples or boar? Ares was senseless carnage and not real popular with anybody -- easy, something charred and bloody. Susur at least went with wine but he could have gone with wild game, too, and hit the mark.

Thank you for allowing me to rant about something no one really cares about.


ETA:

Charon does ferry the dead on his boat across the Styx, so there is some possibility of a fish connection, though I doubt I'd want to eat anything out of that river.


Chances are, it would be completely forgettable./ducks head/

Thank you thank you! Try the veal and don't forget to tip your server.

Edited by ingridsf, May 30, 2010 @ 12:02 AM.


#64

Lisette

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Posted May 30, 2010 @ 2:18 AM

I loved all of the final 5. They are each so talented and their food--and food preferences and thought processes--are so different from each other. The food looked delicious (even Susan's sandwich and egg) and creative.

I was frustrated that they didn't give them a few minutes online to look up their god. This was a fun challenge--but they really can't assume a common point of reference for everyone (and some may have known the Roman names, not the Greek ones.) I was especially frustrated for Susur because Dionysus would have been so much fun for him if he got the "wild, debauchery, and WINES!" part of it.

Rick was creative with Hades and I thought Susan was a hoot. She should annoy me with the gimmicks (jersey, plants in hair, etc), but she just seems so fun and sincere and adorable. I was glad Jonathan seemed less stressed--there's something so engaging about him (and I enjoy him and Rick together, including Rick's obvious respect and competitiveness). Marcus is cooler and more intellectual in his approach and I love to see how he thinks and combines things. Has he ever won money for his charity? He seems to be "close, but no cigar".

I could watch these five cook every week. Very sorry to see Susan go (though it was the right decision).

Edited by Lisette, May 30, 2010 @ 2:20 AM.


#65

butterycroc

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Posted May 30, 2010 @ 1:58 PM

He could have made something using actual seaweed. The Whole Foods I've been in have had packets of dried arame, hijiki, and nori. Even nori flakes.

I love seaweed! It's the comforting taste of my childhood. That being said, I doubt that seaweed is in Jonathan's wheelhouse. Seaweed isn't very difficult to cook but he does exquisite, homestyle food and seems very uncomfortable with anything outside of his expertise.

It's not exactly Marcus's culture either, but he's not whinging about it. Actually -- we know the stories, but I guess we could all say that because we're American, it's not really "our culture" either.

Not exactly right, I think. An awful lot of what we agree upon as western "culture" descends directly from the civilizations of ancient Rome and Greece. We pick up a bunch of it through osmosis, even at this late date, even through really crappy interpretations. (What, you didn't watch Shazam! as a kid? Xanadu, then?)

Word, lunch. As distorted as our knowledge of Greek mythology may be (as evidenced by the misconceptions of the chefs), it is such a part of our 'western' ethos (heh, Greek!). The classical tradition of Renaissance humanism lives strong today.

I don't get the whole "Look at Marcus, it's also outside his culture but he's not complaining" line of thought. Did I miss something about Marcus? While it's clear that he remains connected to his Ethiopian roots, he was also raised in Sweden, correct? I don't profess to know what sort of subjects the schools in Sweden touch on, but I assume Marcus would have a more passing familiarity with Greek mythology than Susur, as well as a more cosmopolitan approach towards food (international as opposed to the vastly essentializing 'east meets west'). Marcus is not only of a different place but also of a younger generation- his educational experience was probably quite different from Susur's.

When he was grousing about "He's the god of wine? That has nothing to do with food!" I turned to the friend who was watching with me and said "In my head, I just made a coq au vin and beat him over the head with it."

Funny, coq au vin was the first thing I thought of for Dionysius, too. But that isn't Susur's culture either. ;)

Isn't Susur classically trained in French cuisine? I may be talking out of my ass because I don't drink and I'm not much of a cook but someone like Susur should be vaguely familiar with wine-food pairings and certainly with coq au vin. He knows very well that wine can have a whole lot to do with food! OTOH, he doesn't often cook French food, just applies French technique to Asian dishes. There is no extensive wine tradition in most Asian cultures.

Edited by butterycroc, May 30, 2010 @ 8:24 PM.


#66

Artistictype

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Posted May 30, 2010 @ 2:13 PM

Has anyone had experience/tasted Chinese wines. I've heard that it can be a bit jarring to the Western pallate. (Thinking mainly of the movie, 'The Wedding Party.)

#67

Mooncake76

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Posted Jun 1, 2010 @ 10:55 PM

There's a recipe for pork chops in How to Cook Everything that calls for dry white wine. I substitute the white wine with Chinese rice wine (which is also dry and is mainly used for cooking) and it comes out amazing. I don't find it jarring at all, but I did grow up on Asian foods so....

Edited by Mooncake76, Jun 1, 2010 @ 10:55 PM.


#68

JudeMorrigan

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Posted Jun 2, 2010 @ 9:14 PM

Chances are, it would be completely forgettable./ducks head/


You're thinking of Lethe, aren't you?

On an unrelated note, I'm sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but they had cell phones from the show's sponsors, didn't they? Couldn't they have used those to look up their gods, or were the phones locked down somehow to keep them sequestered?

#69

BoobTubeTob

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Posted Jun 2, 2010 @ 10:19 PM

Charon does ferry the dead on his boat across the Styx, so there is some possibility of a fish connection, though I doubt I'd want to eat anything out of that river.

Chances are, it would be completely forgettable.

No, but it would be hard to eat. Unless fish have heels.

#70

celestial605

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Posted Jun 3, 2010 @ 4:50 PM

I'm sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but they had cell phones from the show's sponsors, didn't they? Couldn't they have used those to look up their gods, or were the phones locked down somehow to keep them sequestered?


I don't know; I don't think it's been addressed in any episode or blog post (but I admit I don't read all of those, or have a perfect memory). I've also wondered if they've been allowed to use the internet, particularly for ECs when they've got some time to plan their dishes.

One thing that sticks in my mind is the Simpsons challenge - I think Rick gave Susur tips on what Marge was like, and apparently he got enough information to do decently. So they can talk to each other... but still, I don't know about using internet resources. I personally think they should be allowed to do a quick bit of research; it doesn't make sense to ask someone to cook for an audience that they aren't familiar with. It's obviously not good enough to just make tasty food; a chef needs to target what his guests (or judges) are looking for.

At least that's my thought as a non-chef... I just can't imagine a chef opening a restaurant and being like "I'm going to cook whatever I want and don't care if potential customers like it!"