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.
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.