On Bravo’s new show, The Better Half, two couples face off for $20,000. In the first episode, two professional chefs have to teach their non-cooking, kitchen-spastic partners how to plan, prep and cook a meal for the judges. The winning couple is the one that works together the best and creates the best dish.
I’m mentioning this because one of the judges, Donatella Arpaia of the restaurant, David Burke and Donatella (see her above with judges Gael Greene, food critic, and Harold Dieterle, season 1 winner of Top Chef) said, what I think, typifies what many food professionals believe about feeding kids – mainly, that there are two kinds of food - (1) the kind we grown ups eat and (2) all that other bland, ugly, noodle-based stuff we feed them.
Donatella was trying the food of one of the kitchen-spastic contestants – it involved some bow tie pasta and string beans – and by her face it was clear that it tasted badly and she said, “I have to say this is really what you serve a child…and the string beans…yeah, it’s not good.”
David and I just sort of looked at each other, our mouths hanging open like tandem sea basses. I’m sure Donatella was just caught up in some judging revery, but I think this kind of belief is pretty common - that bad tasting, ill-prepared, un-appealing, bland, white food is food fit for a child.
What a disappointment – but not really a surprise - to hear that from a respected restaurant professional.