Cooking to survive…

My mom and husband watch a lot of competitive cooking shows.  Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef, Top Chef, Chopped, Sweet Genius (I love Sweet Genius – Chef Ron is awesome)…they sit back and play armchair judge.  They talk about what looks good and what looks disgusting.  It’s as fun to watch them as the shows.  I’m a picky eater, so most of the time I’m glad that I don’t have to eat scallops or tell the difference between turnips and parsnips.

Although part of the appeal is the cooking, I think most of it is the interaction between the people.  You could create a drinking game in our house for every time someone says, “she’s insufferable.”  I like to watch Hell’s Kitchen when the contestants run the pass and the normal sous chefs play sneaky tricks.  “Oh, is that crab?  Sorry.”  That’s fun.  People messing with other people entertains me.  Which makes me sound really cold and harsh.  I’m not at all; in fact I’m quite kind and generous.  My grandmother was a bit of a trickster.  She loved playing practical jokes on the family, so maybe this appreciation for messing with others comes from there.  

I’m most interested in human behavior.  Why do people do the things they do?  Survivor is more interesting because of the group dynamics.  What do you have to do to win?  What are you willing to do to win?  Who will you turn on and on whom will you rely?  I hear it over and over on competition shows, “I’m not here to make friends.”  And then, as they are picked off one by one they say, “I got further than I thought I would, and I’ve made some great friends.”  I want to go on a reality show just to say, “I’m here to make friends.  I don’t really care about winning.”

We watch Survivor pretty religiously.  I love when they bring the families to the island after they’ve been separated for like two weeks.  We’re retired military.  Two weeks is nothing.  We always like to imagine what we’d be like… “Ummm, hey.  So, what’s new?” while everyone around us is crying and snotting all over the place.

Which leads me to my next, “that’s a job?”  I want to know about the people who design the Survivor challenges.  Are they engineers? Set designers? How do you get that job?  What qualifications do you have to have?  I imagine you must be good at construction and puzzles…and have a valid passport.

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Survivor…camping…same thing.

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