A magical time of the year is setting upon the land. No, of course I’m not speaking of the winter holiday season. A decade in retail ruined Christmas for me forever. I’m talking about something much more wonderful. I’m talking of course about Next Iron Chef: Redemption.
I never thought I would be a Food Network enthusiast. I never got that hunger-porn feeling a lot of people get when they watch cooking shows. I don’t even really like food that much. If I’m alone I often forget to eat. I suppose that makes me a poseur. It’s a shame I have to learn to live with.
It was last year that Zelda started introducing me to Food related television. She started me off easy with Good Eats. There were costumes and puppets that would entertain me if the food didn’t. Then it was Chopped. I was hooked pretty much instantly. The judges were awesome to watch. The competitors were always hilarious, whether or not it was intentional.
Then along came Next Iron Chef last year. I was seeing the cooking talent that Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli had that got them into those judges’ seats on Chopped. In retrospect it would have been awesome to see a Zakarian/Guarnaschelli face off at the end. It didn’t happen and I could live with it. I don’t know anything about Elizabeth Falkner so it was much easier to keep using the #TeamZakarian twitter hashtag. To this day one of my most retweeted tweets was something to the effect of “I hope Geoffrey Zakarian set up Falkner’s area with Home Alone-style traps.”
Over the summer I learned just how emotionally invested I can truly get over a cooking competition show. Food Network Star absolutely captivated the Kittensharks. A tear-stricken Alton Brown in the promos had us setting up the DVR immediately in case we couldn’t be around to see it live.
Ultimately, our standard brand of antagonizing people on the internet would end up getting us to root for the lovely Nikki Martin, who we are STILL waiting for Food Network to just give her a show already despite not having been the champion. We consider Nikki a Kittenshark. (You have to be one if we say you are. That’s just how it works.) Giada De Laurentiis blocked me during an episode about midway through the series because I said she looked like a Bratz doll. She was my second Food Network block. It was one of the happiest feelings I’ve ever had.
Now we’ve got Redemption, and I just can’t wait for it. The Kittensharks are going to support Alex Guarnaschelli with our usual level of ferocity. She’s the rightful champion of this competition and I know she’s going to cook with the heat of a thousand suns.
Here’s a few reasons why we love Alex:
1. Her descriptions of food on her twitter feed will immediately make you hungry. I never understood hunger-porn until I started following her on twitter. Listen to this classic youtube video when you have a few minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p48BKFOh1zs (WordPress doesn’t want to turn this into a functioning link. You’ll have to copy/paste.)
2. As far as Chopped judges go, she cares the most BY FAR about how the food tastes. The others will go into presentation and other elements of a meal more often. I love it when Scott Conant tears into some would-be chef because the food wasn’t stacked all pretty, but Alex has an appreciation for flavor goes unmatched. At the end of the day I’m more excited about how my food tastes than how it looks.
3. She wished the cat at the top of this page a happy birthday this year.
4. Amanda “Bones” Freitag must be stopped. I mentioned above that De Laurentiis was my second block on twitter. Freitag was my first. Apparently I like Chopped too much. Sorry every time you try something new you find bones in your mouth. The Bones in your mouth are teeth, Amanda. They’re supposed to be there.
Go get ’em, Alex. You just let us know whether you like #IronChefGuarnaschelli or #TeamAlex better.