July 07, 2008
So I should probably post a photo of my kid waving a little American flag or something...like he's doing right now! complete with peanut-butter-and-jelly smeared all over his face, because we love America up right around here! But I am a little preoccupied with the growing ball of anxiety in mah belly (just north of the OTHER growing ball of something in mah belly), because we've been officially informed that our Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode is airing tomorrow night at 9 pm.
Well, it's not "our" episode or anything -- in fact, I am really hoping "our" airtime is kept to like, four minutes -- that honor really belongs to local chef Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore's. We were just the completely unqualified judges who probably gave the producer a splitting tension headache via our inability to get a sentence out on camera without saying "uhh" or "umm" or "I think I might vomit a little."
A few additional thoughts and disclaimers and things that bear repeating from my original telling of the tale, for anyone who chooses to watch:
1) While the whole point of the show is that the local chef has no idea that Bobby Flay is showing up to challenge them to a cook-off, they never tell you that (in our case, anyway) the judges have no idea either. We were asked to be part of a "panel" of "local food experts" for an episode of something called America Eats: Inside the Belt (AKA Who the Fuck Is Gonna Watch THAT, Anyway?). Jason initially planned to turn it down, because we are not local food experts, particularly when it comes to mussels, Granville Moore's specialty. I encouraged him to say yes (*HEADSMACK*) because come on! we a'gonna be on the teevee! Besides "panel" suggested that we could just stay mostly quiet and let other people talk.
2) By filming time, there were definitely a lot of rumors floating around that this America Eats business was cover for the Throwdown show, but no one knew for sure. We STILL didn't connect the dots, but instead assumed we were invited simply for room-filling purposes, so hooray! Even LESS of an opportunity to make asses of ourselves.
3) We found out that we were the fucking JUDGES about 10 minutes after Bobby Flay showed up and challenged Teddy to the Throwdown. We were ushered upstairs, alone, given a long list of things we needed to say on camera, told to pose for "hero shots" and introductions, and then offered some free beer.
4) AND OH YEAH. I WAS LIKE...10 WEEKS PREGNANT? INSANELY SICK? DISGUSTINGLY BLOATED? AND STONE-COLD SOBER?
5) We weren't allowed to watch the dishes being made, and were not really told the full list of ingredients. We were told to be as descriptive as possible about the food, without defaulting to words like "delicious" or "tasty." Bobby's broth reminded me of a Thai curry, so I called it a curry. Twice. It wasn't a curry, and apparently Bobby rolled his eyes at me each time I said that.
6) Pregnant pregnant pregnant pregnant pregnant. But not like, obviously oh-look-at-that-brave-little-trooper-trying-to-eat-mussels pregnant. Just sick and puffy and urpy pregnant.
7) As the dishes were presented to us, someone in the crowd screamed "THAT ONE SUCKS!" when Bobby's version hit the table. Not like the illusion of blind judging would have held up anyway, what with one dish being chock-full of chiles and spice and the other containing several ingredients that we immediately recognized from other mussel dishes at Granville Moore's. Still, I solemnly swear that the best dish actually won, and that while we were really only allowed to say positive stuff and "oh wow, this is tough and so close and blahity blah"...it wasn't really that close, and the winning dish won by a long, delicious shot, which is high praise because again...
Okay, I think that's all. This was not my finest, most whip-smart hour, is what I'm getting at. Also I'm pretty sure my hair looked like ass all day.
But! What's done is done, and it airs tomorrow night, and if you're a local-type you can come to a viewing party at Granville Moore's (1238 H Street, NE, a quick cab ride from Union Station). I will be there, looking ridiculously pregnant, cowering in a corner, attempting to get a contact high from any nearby glasses of wine.