Review: Cupcake Wars
Although my distaste for any reality cooking competition that doesn’t include the words “Iron Chef” remains steadfast I watched with folks across the land as the Food Network rolled out it’s latest, Cupcake Wars.
Here’s the gist from a previous post:
Apparently cupcake bakers (cupcakesters?) are very territorial as the original concept for Cupcake Wars was a documentary about their often heated turf wars. Now the idea of cupcakesters rumbling like the kids in an S.E. Hinton novel has a certain appeal – provided they do battle with rolling pins and not piping bags filled with icing. But after some discussion, Super Delicious (the production company responsible for Cupcake Wars as well as Manswers and The Assistant) morphed it into a weekly no-holds-barred, loser-leave-town cupcake battle royal.
In the very first challenge this show lost any chance of my becoming a fan when contestants had to make cupcakes that contain ingredients like smoked salmon, capers and similar un-cupcakey flavors. I am so over challenges like this. I thought they wanted to know who made the best cupcakes but apparently it was about “let’s take some talented people and do everything we can to make them look like idiots.”
I am not alone in believing that this kind of stupidity needs to run it course. Chef John of the highly popular Internet-based cooking show Food Wishes said this via Twitter, “Sorry, Cupcake Wars, I just can’t do it.” Chef John is not just a celebrity chef but also an accomplished culinary instructor.
Here’s what Food Network had to say on their premiere episode, “In this episode, 4 cupcake makers vie to have their treats presented at the Alma Awards. Based off of taste and presentation, only one will win the gig. We are about to put on our helmet, pick up our frosting gun and go to battle. The war is on!”
Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, Chopped, Next Food Network Star – they all have these “challenges to test the chefs metal.” They are more about contrived drama than actual cooking. However, Cupcake Wars takes that practice to asinine levels that quite simply are offensive. I highly doubt I watch the show again, not when I have more interesting pursuits like watching paint dry or repeatedly hitting myself with a phone book.
That being said, I predict a hit.