Worst Cooks in America, Ep 4

The Flavors in Jennifer Cross' Head Saved Her Butt

Thank you, Food Network for proving that the Worst Cooks in America are those forced to follow recipes. I’ve been saying it for years! I’ve seen it in my cooking school, and I hear it from thousands that also know it’s true. I’m thankful to have the MTV of food finally admitting it in their programming.

Worst Cooks in America is starting to confuse me more than Jenn Vecchio with half a fig. “You’re reading it off a recipe card and just going blindly”, Jenn explains. It can’t be her fault that she doesn’t know what “done” looks like because she’s relying solely on the written recipe.

The show is supposed to be about duplicating a Chef Beau or Chef Ann dish to fool restaurant critics. If so, why the heavy reliance on written recipes? Why not teach them how to cook in the STYLE of Chef Beau?

There are constant recipe problems in week 4, but the contestants are left to figure it out themselves.
“I don’t know what to do”, laments Marque. “Why is it doing this”? It’s all critique from the chefs, there’s no help, no secrets of WHY something is happening or HOW it’s supposed to look. Yet, everything is about the written recipe, someone else’s’ opinion of how something should be cooked.

However, it all changed when the six survivors of sauté were told they could invent their own crostini.
Eyes widened, mouths smiled at the sudden freedom they were given. “I’m already thinking of great flavors in my head”, says Jennifer Cross, revealing the inspiration that would be her savior, despite a complete logistical and emotional boil-over.

The artistic interpretation of flavors in her head was the best dish of the day. Her problems came from the pressures of following a recipe under time constraints. She couldn’t hang with the time-task that’s mandated to increase the emotion for the cameras, but blew them away with her art.

For a moment, a small part of the show had realized a goal for me. In a blink of an eye, it showed the excitement, confidence, and superior results of making up your own recipes. It’s a message I’ve been trying to bring to a mass audience for years. Jennifer Cross proved it. Cooking is joyous expression, not jealous competition. It’s accomplished with full heart, not fast clock. Unfortunately, the message was only a blip on a show that doesn’t teach anyone to cook, Worst Cooks in America.

Previous posts about Worst Cooks in America:
Cooking is About Crying and Salt
Worst Cooking Instructors in America
Are You the Worst Cook in America?

About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.


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  • Kathy
    10:27 AM - 7 February, 2011

    I watch the show every week and I am baffled about the lack of instruction given. These people can't boil water, yet they are given a recipe and told to go for it:or Chief Beau is going so fast your eyes go crossed and your brain explodes!!!Do they get lessons before the filming? Oh and I felt so sorry for the girl who was cleaning that calamari and pulled out a fish...YUCK..

    • cheftodd
      10:41 AM - 7 February, 2011

      "Worst Cooks in America" really proves the point that the Food TV is about entertainment, not about teaching someone to cook. Cooking is an art form to be enjoyed, not a competition to cry about.

      I'm trying to take cooking out of the living room and bring it back into the kitchen. Horrible shows like this don't help anyone learn to cook.

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  • Bill Blunt
    12:41 AM - 27 January, 2010

    Chef Todd...Just wanted to say how glad I am that the video thing got straight....I was really frustrated....but..now I'm ok....Just wanted to let you know that I did the wing thing and made my own hot sauce without any recipes...I just went into my cabinets and checked out what I had...and I used a tablespoon to a teaspoon to a few shakes to make a sample....my wife thought it was great so I expanded and we had great oven fried hot wings with MY home made hot sauce and we sat back and enjoyed the playoffs..I'm getting ready for the super bowl now...I have a few ideas just from what I have gotten from the method.......looking forward to week 4

  • Michaelangleo
    12:26 PM - 26 January, 2010

    My name is Michael Torres and I am low vision and hard hearing. I believe in your faith of passion in cooking. I am hard time see books and cookbooks. Now I read your web. it so cool and keep me to apply my concept without recipes. Every chef and Foodwriter need to stop printing the damn cooking recipes. I have recipes too. tell the cookbook and writer to whip recipe to restroom and totally waste money and save the earth. God will bless your heart of your gift of concepts. Also, I am chef and I completed my degree in culinary art in San Antonio, texas. I am still using the concepts of your idea. I am planning to order your video for my ref. guide. thanks for the wonderful video in youtube.com live, love, and eat and shot the recipes

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