Entertainment Magazine

Women of Worst Cooks

Posted on the 14 February 2012 by Starofdavida
Women of Worst CooksAs a FoodNetwork junkie, I was really excited to hear about the new season of WorstCooks in America. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Chefs AnneBurrell and Bobby Flay each have to teach a team of the so-called “worst cooksin America”how to cook. I’ll miss Robert Irvine from last year, since I have a mild crushon him, but Bobby Flay is definitely a cool replacement. In the first episodealone, I noticed some women to keep an eye on as the competition progresses.
On Team Anne,there’s Melissa Rhodes from Naples, Florida, an anorexia and bulimia survivorwho still struggles with a fear of food and her body. I think it’s really greatthat the show is featuring someone who has a hard time with food from aculinary and psychological perspective. While I don’t think that Food Network goesout of its way to ignore eating disorders, it certainly doesn’t take pains tomention them. (The only time I can remember anorexia being brought up was on anepisode of Chopped, when a competitor talked about how she wentinto cooking as part of anorexia recovery, but it’s not like I’ve seen everyepisode of every show the network has ever aired.)
I think thatpart of the reason why there isn’t that much attention given to eatingdisorders is because there are much fewer women on Food Network. While I thinkthe network tries to equalize the numbers as much as possible, there are justfewer female restaurant chefs out there, so there’s only so much they can do.(Why there are more men than women in the restaurant kitchen is a whole othertopic.)
While I’m discussing this, I feel like I should mention that I find the new show Fat Chef alittle offensive. I’ve never actually watched it, so my impression could betotally wrong, but the commercials are too reminiscent of The Biggest Loser,which encourages horrendously unhealthy weight loss methods. I also don’t likethe title, since it sounds more like a schoolyard taunt than television show. Iknow that Beth Ditto, lead singer of Gossip, has called herself a “fat dyke”and has no problem with the terminology fat, but I’m not comfortablewith it in this context.
Whatever thecase, I’m glad to see someone like Melissa on Worst Cooks.
The show alsohas two apparently Jewish women: Rachel Margolin from New York, New York, and Erica Weidnerfrom Long Beach, New York. (For the record, I’m assumingthese women are Jewish based on their names, because I have no actual proof.) Iguess it’s not surprising that there are a few Jews on the show, consideringthat the show is based out of NYC and two million of us live in themetropolitan area. I like that these women are breaking the stereotype of theJewish bubbe who’s deft in the kitchen and always has home-cooked meals waitingfor you at her house. No, not all Jewish women know how to cook! And for therecord, not all women know how to cook, either!
So I’mdefinitely looking forward to watching how the rest of Worst Cooks goes.Until then, happy eating!

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