In an upcoming January episode of Iron Chef America – politics will mix with epicureans. It seems that first lady Michelle Obama has sought out the popular cooking show as a way of promoting her cause of healthy eating for children. The show will be a team effort of Food Network Icon Chefs Mario Batali & Emeril Lagasse versus fellow FN Chef Booby Flay paired-up with White House Executive Chef, Cristeta Comerford. According to a Marian Burros article, the show visited the White House and the chefs wandered through the White House Garden to decide on vegetables that will be used in their creative dishes. The rules were that the Chefs must combine ingredients of the types grown in the White House garden with other FN supplied food components in every dish.
I am a regular viewer of Iron Chef America as well as the original Japanese version of the show. And while it should be an interesting battle – I do not foresee healthy eating habits coming from the creativity of these Chefs. Both Batali and Lagasse could sub for the Pillsbury Dough Boy should he call in sick. “Blue Corn” Bobby Flay, while not of Pillsbury Dough Boy material, is not known for serving health food either. They are all top end Chefs that serve gourmet taste buds, whom seek extravagant cuisine that does not come from healthy eating habits. The prepared foods are often large portioned high-fat high-carb high-caloric treats accompanied by more of the same side dishes. The favorite accompanying ingredient to any dish for the guest judges is usually – BACON! One of the media leaked not so healthy ingredients for this episode also happens to be baby-pig. And though the some guest judges may look healthy to pencil thin – if they eat meals similar to those served on camera, when at home and away from the show, then they must be often practitioners of bulimia. Great Television Spectacle, you bet! Good politics, probably. Good food, no doubt. Healthy eating habits encouragement – not so much and only at a public pretense level.