Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Open Letter to Iron Chef America

Although I try to keep the subject of this blog limited to wood and wood related art, it is my blog so I feel free to break my rules when ever I feel like it. Below is a letter I recently wrote to the Food Network asking for a chance to challenge Masaharu Morimoto on their show, Iron Chef America. As you will see below, I am more than adequately qualified.

Attn: Alton Brown
Iron Chef America
The Food Network
Atlanta, GA

Dear Mr. Brown,

I would like to be considered for an opportunity to challenge an Iron Chef on your program, Iron Chef America. Although I have not ever worked in a professional kitchen (unless you count washing dishes in a Miami University cafeteria), nor have I been to culinary school, I believe that the meals I cook at home are of a quality that qualify me for your program. For instance, I make a really good breakfast every morning that consists of oat meal, peanut butter, sugar, and raisins. Until recently I cooked them in the microwave for two minutes but after the microwave died, I discovered that toasting the oats on the stove prior to cooking them makes the meal Iron Chef worthy. If the secret ingredient is any of the above, I am sure I can sway the judges with that course alone.

Although, I generally keep a vegetarian kitchen, I believe that I have watched your shows enough to be able to pull together an impressive meal. As an example, if beef or pork is the secret ingredient, I could take the meat, pound it paper thin, then serve it with a small garnish and olive oil. I know, it sounds disgusting, but the judges always seem to like it and it does not appear to be either difficult or time consuming.

On the other hand, if the secret ingredient is some type of seafood, I would have several full-proof meals that I could, no doubt, impress the judges with. One of my favorite recipes is a Senegalese rice and fish meal called Ceebu Jen. It really is very good and uses a lot of vegetables, so there are a number of ways I could include it in my challenge. Everyone I have made it for seem to really like it even though I use less oil than the widely used recipe of one liter peanut oil per one kilo of rice. Also, I have been to Peru so I am sure I could make a pretty good ceviche.

Of course, if the secret ingredient is some kind of bean (including tofu) I would certainly make a meal that would be talked about for years. Granted, I will have to learn how to use a pressure cooker, but I think I can master it before we film the show. I have been slowly perfecting a refried bean recipe (both pinto and black) over the last 20 years and believe it is currently the best in the world. In addition, I make a number of very good stews with chick peas and I have found that panini pressed tofu in a soba noodle peanut butter salad is always a winner.

In case you are concerned that I would not be able to finish five courses in one hour, I can assure you that most of the time I complete dinner in under 35 minutes, so I figure, with a couple of sous-chefs, I could easily get the task completed on time. As for which Iron Chef I would challenge, I think Masaharu Morimoto would be the best match given my tofu/bean bias.

Thank you for taking the time to read my proposal. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Rob Hitzig

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