Most people have at least some interest in food.  For some it’s a career and others it’s downright an obsession.  That’s probably why the Food Network has been getting so popular lately.  We discovered it some time ago and have spent a lot of time watching and learning some interesting things.  There’s also a lot of competitions as well, not the “how much can you stuff into yourself in record breaking time” kind, but the creative, “cook your brains out” kind like The Next Food Network Star where cooks from all over compete to win their own show on Food Network.  Some of the contestants are just “home grown” cooks, but others spend time in culinary schools like http://www.baychef.com/ getting professional training to become chefs.  By the time they entered the contest, several of them were already successful restaraunt owners and chefs.

Something else that’s really interesting and educational to watch is Iron Chef America.  They’ve brought the Japanese Iron Chef competition to the US.  It takes place in “Kitchen Stadium” where two chefs and their teams of assistants prepare dishes that are created on the spot to feature a secret ingredient that is not revealed until seconds before the clock starts.  They get one hour to create sevearal dishes that use this ingredient.  I’ve seen some secret ingredients that I’m seriously glad *I* don’t have to try to use and one challenger that used liquid nitrogen and lasers in preparing their entries.

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