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If you have ever watched the “24 Hour Restaurant Battle” on the Food Network, you know that the basic idea is that two two-person teams of aspiring restaurateurs have 24 hours to conceive, plan and open their own restaurants for one night. The winner gets a $10,000 prize.

In tonight’s episode, a father-son team launched a Philippino-style restaurant featuring such disgusting items as beef tongue, tripe, and ox-tail. Clearly noted throughout the program was the fact that no one wanted to eat at their place. Even die-hard meat-eaters have their limits. From a marketing standpoint, it was obvious that their concept was doomed to fail. I mean fail with a capital “F.”

The other team consisted of two African-American women who had designed a vegetarian-style restaurant. Their restaurant was a huge success with diners — they loved the food, the restaurant was packed. It seemed they would be the sure winners in tonight’s episode.

They lost.

So, what happened?

The judges consisted of the following Neanderthals: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, Scott Conant, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Being traditional blood lusting meat-eaters, there was no way that they would give the award to the vegetarians, despite the fact their restaurant was a big success. No, it was more important that the judges seem cool and avant garde, even if most people thought the Philippine menu was hideous. Then there was the blood-lust factor. A restaurant that doesn’t serve meat? The idea runs counter to all the conventional expectations of food critics.

In the final analysis, the sensibilities of these self-appointed food mavens are conventional, trite, unsurprising, and boring.

Unfortunately, that obvious bias stole the $10,000 prize from the real winners. The judges should be ashamed. And anyone watching should give second thoughts to watching any future programs in this series.

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